How to keep your nails healthy in between shellac

How to keep your nails healthy in between shellac

Our split ends have felt it. Our unruly eyebrows have felt it. And by God, our pale, un-spray-tanned bodies lifeless lashes have felt it. 

But amongst all our beauty un-doings due to salons being closed, one member of the regularly pampered squad has come out cheering. And that is, our nails. 

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The unexpected hiatus from our beloved gel manis and pedis, has left many of us with noticeably stronger, healthier and natural, (or if you’ve attempted an at home job.., then, an ok-at-best left hand and a dodgy right) nails. 

Day by day we seem to (*hopefully*) be flattening the curve enough that life will slowly go back to normal, meaning nail salons around the country will soon be able to open their doors again. For some of us this may be as soon as, well… today.

To find out when your local salon may be reopening, check out our state by state guide to to salon restrictions around the country. 

But once gels and arcylics do become an option again, what does that mean for our newborn, untouched set of nails?

Here’s how to get back to shellac without compromising your fresh set….

Here are a few tips to assist for when you go back to shellac:

1. One on, one off 

If this period has made you realise that you can actually live without a manicure 24/7, then try for one shellac session on, and then go a week or two without. Back-to-back shellac is where you will begin to see damage to your nails. For the love of God let them breathe! 

2. Invest in a cuticle oil 

Keeping your cuticles nourished and hydrated by applying an oil will help to promote growth and prevent dryness, which reduces any chipping and splitting of nails. Keep your eyes out for ones containing vitamin E. bh loves: Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil.

3. Incorporate a collagen supplement into your diet

We’ve all heard it before, beauty starts from the inside. Collagen will fight brittle nails by promoting growth and decreasing breakage. We love this one by SUP as it also includes Biotin, a B vitamin which contributes to nail health.

4. Don’t cheat on the removal

We know how tempting it can be to pick away at a chipped nail while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV. But please, don’t. 

Instead, always have your shellac removed correctly (or at least follow these at home tips) to prevent any further damage. 

Because when you peel the gel off yourself, you’re not only peeling away the polish but you are also ripping off the surface layers of the nail.

5. Abide by the 2-3 week rule

Sometimes life gets in the way, and we can’t make a nail appointment in time. But letting your shellac grow out too much may actually be doing more damage than you realise.

Over-extending your manicures will lead to weakened nails and potential exposure to harmful bacteria. As the gel wears, it can begin to lift and form air bubbles, allowing liquids to seep in. 

6. Invest in a nail hardener 

Since we know you’ve taken our advice in step one, you can use a nail hardener in your ‘off period’. A couple of coats will help reinforce the natural nail and promote growth so you’re in the best position for your next mani appointment. We recommend Revitanail Nail Strengthener

Main image credit: @betina_goldstein Are you going to rush back to get your nails done, or are you enjoying leaving them natural?

Have you tried any of the products mentioned?

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Share your thoughts

Comments 63

  1. I love to get salon manicures. Sometimes I get Shellac, but I love SNS. But I’m well aware of how damaging they are to your nails. I usually just DIY with regular nail polish nowadays.

  2. Have been having terrible trouble with my nails even buying nail conditioning Polish but to no avail my nails still break and chip.

    Need to look at some cuticle oil it might be better for my nails instead of using Conditioning Polishes.

  3. Being forced to have no gel on my nails has really made me see how bad it is! My nails now have just finally recovered! I think I’ll stick to standard paint on the toes and just paint my fingers myself! Big gel break for me I think! Even though I love the French manicure!

  4. I’ve given up doing home manicures, the polish chips within a day (despite the claims on the bottle) and I can’t be bothered anymore. But I think I will go back to having my nails done professionally when the salons reopen.

  5. I also do my own nails and now that I have had time off from housework generally, they have grown back beautifully. Nail hardener is an enemy for my nails. They end up being flaky and dry and then split so just using a good nail varnish and top coat works best for me. Having nail polish on also protects them much more as they do tend to get damaged without any polish.

  6. I DIY manis & pedis, but haven’t painted my nails for a while as I’ve been on the hunt for another fast-drying top coat (which I have found). Kinda itching to paint my nails again now! I will agree that adding cuticle oil into your hand care arsenal is a great addition – I notice the difference when I don’t use the stuff as opposed to when I do.

  7. I love the look of shellac but I just can’t have it, my nail beds are quite oily and no matter how the shellac is applied it begins to peel after 4 or so days. Even worse I can’t help but pick at things and ended up peeling extra layers of nail off. Bare nails for me from now on!

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