The Nail School
Nail Enhancement Removal
A common myth is that enhancements should be taken off every few months to let the nail plate 'breathe'.
There is no scientific evidence to support this notion. Nail plates do not require time to breathe, nor are they capable of breathing. Each time product is removed and reapplied, the underlying nail plate can becomes thinner
and weaker. This is especially true when the enhancement is picked or pulled from the nail plate.
Improper removal is a crime against the client's nails. It is a major reason for natural nail damage as these are
not gentle techniques. Each of these techniques will rip up layers of natural nail plate. You must take your
time or the client's nails will suffer the consequences.
Cross-linking makes enhancements more resistant to solvents in nail polish and polish removers.
Unfortunately, it also makes product removal more difficult. Only uncross-linked polymers dissolve in solvents.
Cross-links prevent the enhancements from dissolving. Then, how is the product removed?
The solvent swells the polymer network until it breaks into chunks. The same effect is seen when
a roll of paper towels is put into a bucket of water. It will break up even faster if you poke it with a stick.
The enhancement will also swell more quickly if the solvent is slightly warm. Warming the solvent can
cut product removal time in half.
The "Bowl" Soaking Method
01. Remove all traces of nail enamel, and remove any surface shine with a 240-grit file.
Pre-filing the surface will allow the remover to quickly penetrate the molecular structure of the enhancement.
Ask the client to remove all jewelery from wrists and fingers.
02. To aid a faster soak off, use a quick soak bowl. A quick soak bowl is a unit with a reservoir which you fill with hot water, above this is the finger bowls which rest in the hot water to heat up the acetone, this speeds up the soak off by at least a third.
03. Pour enough remover into the fingerbowls to cover the nails. Make sure the entire nail or nails are covered with the solution.
04. Cover the hand and dish with a terry towel and soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Do not lift the nails out of the
remover for the entire time. Lifting the nails from the remover will allow the nail product to 'set-up' again,
and will extend the removal time. Covering the hands and dish with a terry towel will help to prevent
rapid evaporation of the remover, and prevent any warmth from escaping.
05. Lift the towel off and with the nails still submerged, lightly layer the product from the nails with a cuticle pusher.
Gradually remove all product from the natural nail.
06. After all product has been removed, lift the hands from the remover and wipe the hands and nails with a towel.
Buff any remaining product from the nails with the fine side of a file.
07. You may wish to ask the client to wash her hands and scrub her nails with a soft nail brush or toothbrush.
Do not vigorously scrub the nails at this point.
08. Condition the nails and skin with oil, then massage the entire hand with lotion.
09. Wash hands and nails to remove lotion and oils, apply the service (re-apply product, or polish the nails).
10. Prescribe a home care program that will continue the health and beauty of the new service.
11. Retail the recommended home care products to your client, and book her next appointment.
Gel nails use a cross-linked product and so cannot be soaked off. When removal is asked for. just file the gel down to just above the natural nail, make smooth with a 240 grit file and fine buffer block, apply top coat.
What is cross-linked product.
The product when cured sets in interlinked chains forming a web like structure, and cannot be broken down easily with acetone. Acrylic products are not cross-linked and set in chains head to tail next to each other. During soaking off the acetone can get in between the clumps and break them down.
Easy Soak nail bath
These shorten the time acrylics soak off's take to about half.