How to care for your shellac nails in between salon appointments

Nail care at home

Keeping your manicure looking great is easier than you think. Image via Adobe Stock.

For some of us, our regular nail appointments are a part of our beauty regime, but like a lot of women around the world right now you might find that your manicure is looking a tad shabby due to the closure of nail salons. And although most nail salons have recently re-opened the demand for manicures is seeing long wait-lists which means that you may still have to wait a week or two for a fresh set. However, there are ways that you can care for you gel manicure at home to make them last longer. So, we have put together a list on how to care for your mani at-home in-between appointments and we’ve included a step-by-step guide for safe removal at home if you just can’t wait for your next appointment.

Do not peel them off
This is rule number one for shellac nails – DO NOT peel them off. Peeling off the shellac nails yourself can damage your natural nails by peeling off the stronger layers of your nails leaving the weaker nails exposed. Which means that when you reapply the shellac gel, it may peel off faster when sitting on the weaker nails and not last as long.

Make sure you prep your nails before application
If you prep your nails before going in for your next appointment or if you are re-applying the gel coat yourself, prepping the nails will ensure your mani will last longer. The number one rule is to make sure your nails are clean and dry without any product on the hand, including moisturisers or oils because the gel will not adhere to the nails as well. Also, do not wash your hands before re-applying and don’t re-apply directly after a shower as the water will add moisture to your nails and prevent the gel from adhering properly. Another way to prep the nail properly is to push back the cuticle, which is the dead skin that attaches to the nail plate at the base of the nail. If you apply the shellac over nail bed you will get premature peeling around the edges of the nail.

Wear gloves when cleaning
To make sure your mani lasts longer wearing rubber gloves will prevent your nails from getting damaged from household chemicals such as bleach and dishwashing liquid, these chemicals may dissolve, corrode or weaken the nail leaving them more likely to peel off prematurely.

Purchase a hydrating nail oil
For weak nails, a hydrating nail oil will help to strengthen them or if you want to take a more natural approach then coconut oil or almond oil a few times a day for about a week will help to strengthen the nails too.

Follow these steps to safely remove shellac polish at home
If all else fails and you just can’t wait for your next salon visit then these steps for removing shellac polish at home will ensure that you won’t damage your natural nails in the process. You will need a bottle of Acetone nail polish remover, some cotton balls, a nail file and a roll of tin foil.

Step 1- Buff the nail polish with a nail file to remove the shine

Step 2- Soak the cotton ball in the Acetone and apply it directly on top of the nail

Step 3- Wrap each finger in a small piece of foil

Step 4- Leave the foil to soak for 10 – 15 minutes

Step 5- The gel polish should slide right off with the cotton ball but if not, use a cuticle pusher to push the remaining gel off. If that still doesn’t work, repeat steps 1 to 4.

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