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WHY DO MY NAILS KEEP BREAKING?

“THE WORLD IS FULL OF OBVIOUS THINGS WHICH NOBODY BY ANY CHANCE EVER OBSERVES”

--ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, BRITISH AUTHOR OF THE SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES

Do you (or your clients) struggle with broken nails and nail enhancements? Is this a major cause for despair? We see it posted everywhere on our community boards. You can kick frustration to the curb by doing a little observation and detective work. All you’ll have to do is follow the clues to discover your breaking point.

GENETICS AND DIET

Height, eye color and your smooth dance moves; for good or bad, these are all inherited traits from your family line. Nail health and nail weakness is something hereditary, too! If you’re seeing dry and brittle natural nails that won’t grow past a certain length, check in with the family tree. So if you can’t pick your family, what can you do to fix the situation? Take your vitamins and eat a healthy diet of nail nutrient foods. Look for fruits and veggies packed with iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, biotin found in Vitamin B, and collagen.

SELF-INFLICTED DAMAGE

Your client’s unconscious habits are culprits in their cracked and split nails. If they gnaw on their paws, pick at gel polish or over-buff nails while watching Netflix, they’re guilty as charged. These mindless repetitive actions slowly wear away at the nail health undermining its structure. The worst part is that clients don’t even realize they’re doing it. A good way to avoid this is with a top coat hack attack. Override the bad habits. Recommend that the client apply a fresh layer of clear top coat every day or every other day. The top coat acts like nail armor. It fortifies and keeps things looking sharp. Remove it all at the end of a week.

TECHNICAL FOULS

If nail enhancements keep failing, revisit your technique. Sorry nail techs, it’s an application issue! Ask yourself the questions, What is going wrong? Where is it breaking, at the tip or the stress area? Is your acrylic or gel too thinly applied? Maybe you need to build it up more. Are you covering from the side wall out? Is the nail tip popping off? Are you sure you’re using the right size? We often don’t want to size up. We default to a smaller one and force it into submission. Beginners and experts alike, listen up. We promise better results with dedication. Hit the tutorials. With some trial and error, you’ll work your way out of this.

ALL ABOARD

A lot of people want an artificial acrylic/gel overlay on their nails but aren’t ready for the commitment. Overlays grow out and natural nails appear longer than they’ve ever been. With magical thinking, they think they now have stronger longer nails. In reality, they don’t realize that the overlay provided a scaffolding. Then once the enhancement is removed, the natural nail has no support and what you get is breakage. You have to keep up with it. You are now on the overlay/enhancement party train. Once you’re on, it’s hard to get off. It’s a lot like hair color, there is an awkward stage of growing it out. If you want to avoid the roots, you have to become a regular.

MISMATCHED

If your specialty is acrylic or gel overlays and breakage is still causing you grief, it might be a lifestyle mismatch. Acrylic isn’t going to perform well when exposed to water or chemicals. Go with gel if that’s part of your client’s daily routine. Experiment and note what yields better results. Work with a light touch to sculpt a good looking nail. Build and adjust for more support and performance. We try to get a natural look but a flat nail without structure is a recipe for breakage. You need an arch. There are those of you who use nail tips. Beware of the air pocket in the middle. Flat natural nail beds, a curved nail tip, a drop of glue are only going to stay on with a wing and a prayer. A straight on hit will do damage.

We urge you to continue to investigate. Sometimes it's the client and what they are doing. We want you to remember the 99% of the clients whose nails are phenomenal because you’re phenomenal. Don’t be the nail tech who obsesses about the problematic 1% fail. You’ve totally got this!

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, BIZ TALK: WHY DO MY NAILS KEEP BREAKING?

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion: