Using fake nails as a fashion statement started as an ancient Egyptian tradition that flourished over centuries and became one of the most popular beauty trends that is still thriving today.
Acrylic nails are defined by Nails Magazine as “clear, synthetic resins used to make plastics, paints, nail enhancements made by combining a liquid acrylic product (monomer) with a powdered acrylic product (polymer).”
Beauty advisor at Sally Beauty Michelle Law said that making sure that the salon is sanitary and using clean instruments is her number one concern when finding a salon.
“If the utensils don’t come out of a package,” Law said. “and you can visually tell if they’re clean enough to be used.”
The recommended time to fill the acrylic is every two weeks and to get a new set is two months. Law said these dates are important to remember because the specialists at the salon make sure the nails is securely in place.
“If the nail lifts and is exposed to oxygen, a fungus can form underneath, so you want to make sure the nail is sealed,” Law said.
Other types of damage that acrylics can cause is breakage, thinning and tearing.
“There isn’t really a way to keep nails healthy while the acrylic is on the nail,” Law said. “It just eats away at the nail.”
Plattsburgh State freshman social work major Emma Jolley has been getting acrylics since high school. Despite the damage to her nails, Jolley said she continues to get them because she feels better with them.
“They have become a part of my body,” Jolley said. “I just feel more put together when I have them.”
After getting her acrylics removed Jolley said that her nails are definitely thinner and puts on a clear nail polish so they don’t break and keeps them short to avoid tearing.
Although acrylics are a beauty staple, Signature Nail Systems or SNS, a new healthier alternative to acrylics, is growing in popularity and is slowly gaining a presence in Plattsburgh.
A Plus Nails and Spa is the only nail salon in Plattsburgh that carries SNS.
“SNS is actually good for the nail,” Law said. “It nurtures it and hydrates the nail. It’s very different from acrylics.”
Although Law wants to try SNS, she maintains that acrylics are good “for pretty much everyone.”
“People with weak nails feel more sturdy,” Law said. “It helps people who deal with split nails regularly, and they just look pretty.”
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