For the last five to six years I have been the girl that religiously is in the nail salon every two weeks getting a fresh gel manicure. Having freshly painted nails always makes me feel so put together! It might sound dumb but that fresh polish makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Anyone else get this same feeling? If it’s a black nail polish week, watch out because that means I’m feeling a little extra bad ass! Well, after telling you all of that, I’m actually here today to tell you that after religiously getting gel manicures for years, I’ve recently broken up with them and don’t plan on going back. GASP!!!
Reasons I’m Breaking Up With Gel Manicures
Reason No. 1: Not Lasting Long Enough
- When I first started getting gel manicures, I would get at least ten days of wear and tear on them, sometimes even the full two weeks with my nails only being grown out at the end. In the last year or two I have only been getting a max of seven days without any chipping. That’s right, only seven days! I cannot stand chipped nail polish so having to wait another seven days to get them fixed drove me crazy. I started buying polish colors that were a close match to the gel colors I liked. That way I could touch them up if need be. At this point, what was even the point of even getting the gel manicure? After I got tired of doing my own touch-ups, I found myself in the nail salon every seven to nine days get my gel manicures redone.
Reason No. 2: Nail Damage
- I think because I had been getting gel manicures for so many years that my nails became damaged and brittle. I swear that even though the nail salon tells you that a gel manicure is good for your nails, it’s really not! Sure… maybe it’s better than acrylic nails but that doesn’t make a gel manicure good for them. I actually feel like the reason my manicures started not lasting and chipping after a few days were because my nails were so brittle and dried out. You know when your nails are so brittle and dry that they constantly peel, chip, or bend? That’s what was happening to me and then by default the polish would chip off.
Reason No. 3: Excessively Dried Out Fingers and Cuticles
- Sticking my fingers in straight acetone to remove polish?? That’s just asking for dried out fingers, nail beds, and cuticles, am I right or am I right? And let’s not even talk about the scrapping of the polish after the acetone soak! My cuticles feel like they are permanently dried out from doing this for so long. I have tried every product that I can get my hands on to whip my cuticles back into shape and nothing has helped. I just ordered this Egyptian Magic Cream with the hopes that this will help, if anyone has any other recommendations I am all ears!
Reason No. 4: Sun Spots And More Freckles on My Hands
- While there still doesn’t seem to be a verdict on weather or not the UV lights used to cure a gel manicure is cancer causing, there is something unsettling about putting your hands in those lights. While most articles state that the cancer risks from these lights are still slim, I believe there is still a risk. This is the main reason I gave up gel manicures and here is why. I recently noticed spots appearing on my hands that had never been there before, along with an increase of the freckles on my hands. I also can’t believe that I’m admitting this but my hands also seem to have more wrinkles in them than a twenty nine year hand should have. That could just be my own vanity but they are pretty dried out and wrinkly looking. When I first noticed all of these things, I brushed them off not thinking anything of it. I honestly just assumed it was from natural sunlight (and 100% could be) but then a light bulb went off during my last gel manicure. What if these spots and wrinkles where being accelerated from my gel manicures?? After all, I was going every seven days…that’s exposure four times a month at approximately twenty minutes a pop. Yikes! I am not a health expert and have no idea if these spots and freckles are related to the gel manicures but I think there is some correlation to be found. This reason alone was enough to stop me from getting gel manicures.
Reason No. 5: Too Much Of A Time Commitment
- Spending an hour every seven to ten days to get my nails done was just plain annoying. No matter if I made an appointment the nail salons I go to always run behind so I end up waiting at least twenty minutes, making these nail appointments an hour and a half. Like the rest of America, I’m busy and finding that time to get my nails done is not always easy. Every time I was sitting at the salon I would think about all the other things I could be doing with this time and would just get annoyed. Now I can do my own nails in the comfort of my home while catching up on my favorite shows. Plus I’m saving money so this really is a win-win!
After four months of breaking up with gel manicures I am happy to report that my nails have finally healed. It was a roughhhhhhhhh road though! My nails were so thin that too hot of water would hurt them, no bueno, y’all. To get my nails back up to par I used both Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus and Nailtiques Formula 2 to really help bring my nails back to life. While these didn’t work over night to strengthen my nails, they did help protect them from hot water (literally). I’ve also been taking Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides regularly and can’t say enough good things about them. A bonus with the Collagen Peptides, is it makes my hair and nails grow like weeds. I’m averaging about 1.5 inches each month of hair growth that I actually have to get my bangs trimmed almost every 3-4 weeks. My hair stylists new nickname for me is a “hair farmer!” My nails have also never been this strong!