Gel manicure lovers often cite the rich, lustrous color with pigment and shine as their reasons for loving the long-lasting formulas. Unfortunately, that same benefit can also be a detriment to the health of your nails. “Having anything on your nails for long periods of time can dry [them] out,” says OPI nail artist Leonobi Galvez.
This is not the only nail menace, though. Galvez said the big issue actually comes when you take off the polish with the standard acetone foil wrap. “The longer you expose the nail plate to remover, the drier the nail gets,” explains Galvez. Dry nails equal weak nails, and that means they are more likely to split, peel, or even break.
One thing we know for sure is that healthy nails start at the salon — and that’s true now more than ever. New technology has made it possible to not only reduce the removal time, but in some cases even protect and strengthen your nails. In fact, OPI recently launched its GelColor ProHealth, which includes a two-step system featuring a nourishing basecoat and a wear-and-tear protective topcoat that can keep nails shiny for up to two weeks. The pair works in tandem to create a healthy gel application, but the real innovation is its patent-pending ProHealth technology that promises to cut the removal time in half, taking it from 15 minutes to a speedy seven.
“The fact that it soaks off in seven minutes helps the nail plate stay healthier,” she says. That means your nails will not only be exposed to fewer damage-causing elements, but also could emerge even better than when you got them done. That’s definitely a manicure win in our book.
As important as what happens at the salon, however, is what you do at home between manicures. If you start with strong nails you’ve got a better chance of ending with them. These four simple tips will help you achieve that end: