What are SNS nails and are they worth it?


Whether you regularly visit a nail salon or you paint your nails at-home, it’s likely you’ve heard of SNS nails. The SNS manicure is the latest trend in nail enhancement, with many believing it’s the healthier choice over Shellac. But is it actually healthy? Or is SNS actually bad for your nails?

RELATED: How to remove SNS nails without totally ruining your nails

We spoke to director of Absolute Spa and international nail expert, Jai Harvey-Yin, to find out everything you need to know about SNS nails.

What is SNS?

SNS is a nail dipping system and stands for Signature Nail Systems. According to Jai, “Dipping systems are another form of nail enhancement, and are a blend of adhesive resin (which some call incorrectly “gel”) and a modified form of acrylic powder.” It’s a long-lasting alternative to other nail enhancements such as Shellac. “The nails are prepared in the usual way, then dehydrated and cleaned, then a coat of resin is applied, then dipped quickly into the powder, then repeated several times to create the shape desired,” explains Jai. SNS is often preferable because it is seen as the healthier nail enhancement option, but this is simply because it’s such a quick process. “The benefit of this system is it generally is very quick and requires very little filing and therefore it is healthier for the natural nail with reduced friction,” she says.

Why is SNS currently so popular?

If you’ve been to a shopping centre with nail salons lately, you would have seen signs for SNS everywhere. There’s no doubt that it’s currently trending. “I believe because it is fast, easy and relatively fumeless (for the client anyway) as well as more hard wearing than gel polish creating a stronger enhancement, plus colour that doesn’t chip, this is why it is so popular,” explains Jai.

How is it removed?

Similar to other nail enhancement options, SNS is removed by soaking in acetone. “This breaks down the glue/powder mix and it comes away pretty quickly,” says Jai. “Some salons will file off, but there is ALWAYS a risk of nail plate damage with incorrect removal,” she warns.

Are there any downsides to choosing SNS?

“As with every salon service, it all comes down to the technician – and their training. Expecting more from the service and leaving too long between maintenance is the biggest downside, as pocket lifting can occur, which in the worst case may lead to infection,” says Jai.

Is there anyone who should steer clear of the trend all together?

If you like your nails long, SNS might not be the right choice. “I believe you need to steer clear if they are wanting long enhancements,” recommends Jai. Tips are best with other systems, where as dipping is fab for natural nail coating.” she says.

What is PowderPolish?

You might have seen the name PowderPolish being advertised in nail salons, and wondered whether it was SNS, Shellac or a new nail enhancement process. Jai says that PowderPolish is still SNS but is just CuccioPro’s brand name for their dipping system. “They chose because they wanted customers to know what they were getting when they book the service, and dipping is actually that – coloured powder that leaves a polish finish – without drying time, chipping or smudging,” she says.

What is the biggest mistake that women make when it comes to causing damage to their natural nails?

“Removing themselves or removing impatiently! No teeth!” says Jai. If you’re patient and allow enough time, there will be no damage to your nail at all.

If your nails are naturally thin and brittle, is it recommended to continue getting SNS or PowderPolish back to back for longer than 6 months?

Firstly, if your nails are thin and brittle, it may not even have anything to do with your beauty routine. “It is likely that if your nails are thin and brittle it is from something internal going on, or else, improper removal of enhancements in the past,” explains Jai. Apparently, dipping for long periods of time is ok and can actually benefit the nail. “I have used enhancement services in the past to protect my client’s nails, and in fact they finish up, stronger and prettier than before,” she says.

What do you think will be the next big trend in nails?

If you’re waiting for the next big trend in nail enhancement, you might be waiting awhile – SNS isn’t going anywhere. “I think SNS will be around for a while still yet because it is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive both in time it takes to receive the service, but also in the cost of the service itself,” says Jai. But if you’re a fan of nail art, Jai says that smoke nails, where pigments are used to create the effect of coloured smoke over the nail, are the next big thing.

Still not convinced that in-salon treatments like SNS or Shellac are right for you? Here are our favourite long-lasting, gel finish alternatives that give you similar results, without the appointment: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, essence the gel nail polish, Rimmel London Super Gel Nail Polish, OPI Infinite Shine Gel Effects Lacquer

Have you tried SNS? Are you interested in trying it after reading this article?

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