• Young Nails South Africa

Let’s get these right: 10 Common Nail Myths and the truth behind them


1. Removing/cutting cuticles is good for your manicure

The reason some of your clients’ cuticles are overgrown and thick, is due to you cutting the cuticles.

Remember, the cuticle is the most important indicator of your overall nail health. Cuticles are responsible for helping you keep your nails healthy and strong. It’s the cuticle’s job to protect the matrix and prevent any infection.[1] It’s what ultimately protects the nail from bacteria entering the nail matrix. The matrix is below the cuticle and produces the nail plate. Damaging the cuticle can lead to damage in the matrix itself, which can lead to your nail bed growing out distorted. Removing the cuticle, leaves the area exposed and unprotected from bacteria and fungus.[2]

Think of it like a scab on your skin. A scab is there for protection and if you remove it, it gets bigger and thicker. When cutting the cuticle, the body may over compensate by forming more skin to protect the area. Therefore, if you cut the cuticle, it will grow out thicker and quicker in order to try and protect the area, just like a scab would.

TRUTH: An educated nail tech would never cut a client’s cuticle but instead, only lightly push them back.


2. You have to allow your nails to rest/breathe a bit from artificial nail enhancements

TRUTH: For this myth, I have no words. Nails are formed from DEAD keratin cells. They do not breathe, eat or drink. Your nails are already resting, in peace, because they’re dead!

This means that there is no need to take a break from artificial nails. “100% of the oxygen needed by the nail matrix to create a new nail plate comes from the bloodstream and 0% comes from the outside world” says Doug Schoon, scientist, researcher, and nail-industry educator.[3] He further explains that, “Nothing is gained by removing artificial nail enhancements or coatings for a few months before reapplying them.”

Additionally, according to board certified dermatologist and nail specialist, Dr. Dana Stern, the reality is that nails do not actually “breathe” because they receive their nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream and not the air.

So don’t worry about your nails “suffocating” and go get them done!


3. Applying oil to my nails will cause lifting of nail enhancements


TRUTH: In the contrary, your product will grow out even better. The only time the oil will cause your enhancements to lift, is when it isn’t applied properly and the oil gets into underneath the enhancement.

When you apply a penetrating cuticle oil like Young Nails Rose Oil, it will nourish and protect the cuticle and with daily use, it will keep natural nails and artificial enhancements pliable to reduce cracking, lifting and separating.

“Oils on the nail plate can block adhesion, but they cannot dissolve the product once it has bonded to the nail plate. Even small amounts of oil on the nail plate will block areas where the product will normally adhere. But once product adhesion to the plate is established, oils will not break this bond. Applying a penetrating oil to an enhancement surface can be very useful. Penetrating oils, such as jojoba, can add flexibility and toughness to the enhancement. (An oil that won’t penetrate the skin, such as mineral oil, probably won’t penetrate enhancements or nail plates.) In short, remove oils from the nail plate to prevent lifting, add penetrating oils to the enhancement to increase product longevity. It is a tried-and-true combination that really works.” – Doug Schoon

4. That green spot on your nail is a fungus


TRUTH: If you are a nail tech, it’s important to know your nail anatomy and deceases. A green spot on your nail plate is most likely caused by pseudomonas, bacteria that stains the nail.[4] This can be either due to the product lifting or due to the therapist not filing all the lifted product before a fill. When you remove the enhancement, the bacteria will be exposed to air and die. Put some thymol on for 1 minute. It will leave a stain on the natural nail but it will grow out.

Schoon reminds us that green spots are not caused by moisture. “That’s like saying a flower will grow because you watered the ground every day. Of course that won’t happen unless flower seeds were in the ground”, he says.

So in the case of the pseudomonas bacteria causing green spots underneath nail products, the cause will always be one of two things:

  1. Either these bacteria were on the nail plate when the product was applied (due to dirty implements or poor prep).

  2. Product adhesion was insufficient. When adhesion is insufficient, pseudomonas bacteria can find their way under the product through a chip, crack or lift. Even the most experienced tech can be counted among pseudomonas victims. The reason for this is that even after careful preparation, clients can be exposed to these bacteria while sitting in the salon.

Educate your clients about how often to come for a fill and what they should do if lifting occurred.


5. Tips are stronger than sculpture

Wait, what? People still use tips?


It’s important that you stay educated and stay up to date with the growing trends and

advancements in the industry.


TRUTH: Sculpture is more cost effective AND faster than doing tips. If your sculpture is built correctly, those babies won't go anywhere.

I can't stress the importance of staying educated enough. If you're struggling with sculptures, your form, application and adjustments are wrong. If you’re sculptures don't last, then you’re doing it wrong.

Sculptures are amazing and the most effective method because you can adjust the form according to your client’s nails, which is especially handy for those with extended hyponychium (otherwise known as nail biters).


6. I can use Brand A's powder with Brand B's liquid


Thank you for the allergic reaction you are going to give your clients.

TRUTH: The interesting thing about nail allergies is that it sometimes takes months to develop. This means you won't notice it right away. By mixing your brands you could cause an allergic reaction to develop.[5]

OK, let’s get this straight: YOU SHOULD NEVER MIX BRANDS.


The chemical components of different products simply can't mix. Each brand’s chemical components are different and only work safely and effectively with each other. I'm not going to get all 'sciency' on all the aspects of it, but when you study the brand (or in this case, multiple brands), you'll notice that the in the chemical structure of your monomers and polymers, the stands differ.

On a practical level, if and when you have problems with your product like for example lifting, breakage or discolouring, you can troubleshoot with your manufacturer.

The important thing to remember is that YOU CAN’T MIX CHEMICALS! Take care of your clients nails!


7. Acid primers are stronger than acid free primers


Do yourself a favor and type into google what an acid primer actually does to the natural nail.

Shocker! It actually eats little holes into your nail causing the product to flow into those holes and that's how it adheres to the nail.

Wondering why your clients’ nails were getting so weak? Well, now you know!

TRUTH: An acid free primer acts as double sided sticky tape – making it super strong. It bonds to the keratin structure of the nail and the product adheres to the primer.

And remember, when you're searching for a quality product, always do your research and make sure it's FDA approved.


8. MMA sticks better than EMA


(HONEST) TRUTH: That's bull$#!%


When EMA acrylic products are applied properly, they should adhere just as well (if not better) than MMA products. [6]

With MMA acrylics, the nail plate is filed with a very course file and this is what cause superior adhesion (and ultimate nail plate damage). Actually, MMA acrylic would not adhere to the nail if it were to be applied the same way that we apply traditional acrylics.


Here’s some health risks associated with MMA products:


  • Nail infections

  • Respiratory problems including eye, nose and throat irritations

  • Permanent nail deformities

  • Severe allergic reactions

9. I've been doing nails for XYZ years and know it all


TRUTH: This is not an actual myth but in our industry, this way of thinking is a ticket to a slow, unenjoyable ride to the end of your career. As the industry grows, you should grow with it and in doing so, you should educate your clients and convert them to the new techniques you’re learning. For example, just look at applications. They’re getting more effective by the day:


Electric file:


Why soak off your clients nails if you can remove them with an electric file? Here are some benefits:

  • You’ll save a lot of time on your booking.

  • You won’t be doing damage to your client’s nails (if done correctly).

  • You’ll be protecting your wrists from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Remember that trends change every day and you’ll want to be able to do that new thing your client is asking for.

Why still stick on tips if you can save money, time and build the perfect free edge with sculptures?

Why do a French manicure 'the old way' when you can do a reverse French and get the perfect crisp smile line?

Why cure nails in a UV lamp for 2 minutes when you can do it in 30 seconds in a LED lamp?

Stickers? Oh no you don't! There are so many new products for better results when it comes to doing nail art. I can’t even imagine putting on a flower sticker when I can paint it, stamp it or use a nail slider!

I think I’ve made my point, stay up to date!


10. I'm losing clients because of cheaper competitors


(REAL) TRUTH: Studies have shown that only 9% of your clients are lured away by competitors.

Here’s why your clients are really leaving your salon:

1% die

3% move away

5% form other friendships which take them to another salon

9% are lured away by competitors

14% leave as a result in product dissatisfaction

68% leave because of YOU or an attitude indifference by an employee


Now that’s shocking! The main reason for 68% of your clients leaving your salon is due to the nail tech themselves! This just reinforces how important it is to always make sure you stay professional in your salon. Give your clients advice and good home care. Make sure you always look neat and professional and have your station neat, clean and ready for every single one of clients.

Also, make sure to listen to your client and have a conversation with them if they seem in the mood for a chat. Most importantly, make sure your client is satisfied with the end result and leaves your salon with a smile!


On a personal note, I’d like to thank you for reading this blogpost!

I truly hope that everyone in this industry and everyone reading here today, will make a success out of their business!





For more information, you can visit these links:

[1] https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/how-to/a4797/why-you-should-never-ever-cut-your-cuticles/

[2] https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/how-to/a4797/why-you-should-never-ever-cut-your-cuticles/

[3] http://www.schoonscientific.com/2013/ten-top-myths-related-artificial-nails/

[4] http://m.nailsmag.com/article/40049/pseudomonas

[5] http://www.nailpro.com/mixing-monomers/

[6] http://www.beautyweb.com/consumer_alert_mma.htm

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