If you are a person with nails that easily crack or break, investing in artificial nails would be a good idea.
A lightweight plastic plate that follows the shape of the nail is glued to the tip of the natural nail in order to add length. Acrylic, gel, fibreglass or another mixture is then applied on top of the extension and is usually ‘cured’ in order to secure the extension and add strength and shine.
Overlays skip the extension step, and instead of adding artificial length onto the nail, the strengthening mixture is simply applied directly onto the natural nail in order to add strength and durability.
Acrylics are the oldest form of nail extension in the modern beauty industry, and have long since been a staple due their staying power. The acrylic itself is a mixture of liquid monomer and a powder polymer, which when combined form a hard protective layer that is sculpted over the natural nail.
Acrylic nail extensions will only become hard when exposed to air, and when this happens and the process is complete the nails become a strong and glossy base that is a fantastic for colour application.
The procedure is a multi-step process that usually involves preparing the natural nail by cleaning, shaping, buffing and cuticle work, before then applying artificial tips to add length (if required) and the acrylic on top.
After around 2-3 weeks you may need to return to your technician or salon for a ‘maintenance’ appointment or ‘infills’.
The infill process will generally involve your technician filing out the re-growth area flush to the nail so that product (the relevant gel or acrylic system) can be reapplied, filed, buffed, coated and oiled so that the nails look as good as new once again.
Please note, if you have had gel nails applied, bear in mind that some systems are not suitable for infills and will have to be removed completely and reapplied.