We love gels - and why not, right? Gone are the days where you’d accidentally smudge your brand new manicure on the way out of the salon. Now you can dig around in your bag for your keys, run your hands through your hair and even just grab that mug of coffee seconds after whipping your hand out from under the lamps.
But did you know your nails, like your hair, need some extra love to keep them healthy?
Here are our top 6 tips for gel nel lovers everywhere, to keep your nails in tip top shape over the holiday season.
This isn’t just for gel lovers, this is for everyone that uses any sort of polish. Polish dehydrates your nail beds, so keep them protected by using Vitamin E oil both before and after your manicure, as well as when you get your gels removed.
Your nails, like your hair, are made up of keratin. Keratin separates when it's exposed to water, air and chemicals. In our hair, it makes it dry but in our nails, this makes them brittle. Keeping them topped up with Vit E is the equivalent of using conditioner on your hair to keep it smooth.
Always double check with your therapist that what you're using is compatible with the gel you have.
2. Water is fine - despite what others say
Some sites tell you that water can cause your gel polish to lift...
This isn't true!
It's usually what's in the water that causes the gel to lift from the nail bed. For example, when you're washing up you're using soaps which are intended to cut through grease. Pop a pair of rubber gloves on if you’re doing the washing up.
We also advise you to wash your hands after applying suncream (just rinsing them in the pool will do!)
3. Keep them short
We know long nails are the vogue, but your gels might last a bit longer if you start off with them shorter.
After prolonged gel use your nails can get softer, which means they’re prone to snagging. The shorter the nail, the less chance of getting them caught on something - the longer they’ll last!
This all depends, however, on the length of your nail bed and the conditions of your nails, so if in doubt, ask your therapist! She'll advise you on the best length at each visit.
4. Keep your cuticles topped up, too
You should use cuticle oil even when you don’t have gels on your nails, because it’s good for them.
Applying oil when you have your gels on is also beneficial for the nail, but you need to make sure you use the right one (so it doesn't interfere with the gel and cause it to lift.) For example, we use Bio Sculpture so we recommend the Bio Sculpture Cuticle oil or cream.
This will fill in any gaps and moisturise the skin around your nail beds - so your polish is less likely to peel off later.
5. Do NOT peel off your gels
I know it’s tempting, especially if a tiny bit comes up… you could just pull it straight off. But don’t. Because most of the time, you’ll be pulling a layer of your nail bed off with it, and that takes much longer to repair. Get them removed properly at the salon to keep your nails healthy and well cared for.
All of the images used in this post are gel nails we've done! Book yours using our online booking form.