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The State of Nails: Part I

My significant other will tell me in a heartbeat that my nail care is a huge turn on. I religiously go to the nail salon and get my manicure and pedicure of choice. I love nudes, colors, dark, you name it. I switch the color based on mood, weather and upcoming events. I think we all agree that a part of our 21st Century Womanhood lies in the care of our nail technician. To what cost, I ask.

Last Fall, a group of us girls took a trip to Costa Rica (traveling has become our ritual birthday move). During this trip not one, not two, but three of us shared the need to find a local nail technician because our recent Gel Manicure failed us. All of us had chips and breaks in our fairly freshly painted nails. It was around this time that I realized that the gel manicures of 2012 were not the same. My 2-3 week nail routine now has me running back in 1.5 weeks to get nails “fixed.”

Of course there is always a recommended solution offered by the salon. “Get the Dip, Dip is better,” my technician exclaimed. Point taken and I am introduced to the SnS “dip” technology. It's slightly more expensive but the process seems cool enough to try. HOOKED! My nails are stronger and my manicures are lasting as long as they once did with gel. Fast forward 6 months later, here we are again. My nails are chipping but this time more aggressively than before. My nails are breaking down the middle and up the sides. Literally, I am mortified. Each week, I am getting a fix. A little nail glue here, some acrylic there, and a lot of F*** it all around. What is going on?

At this point, I reflect back to a cookout conversation, I had earlier this Spring. “Genocide by Nails”, we jokingly shared our concerns of the UV lights we had constantly exposed ourselves too with Gel Manicures. Had companies realized their hazardous error and tried to transition everyone to the Dip Powder technique? Is SnS dip powder any healthier? What are the active ingredients to the instantly drying solution?

All I know is, none of it is currently working for me. My nails need a break. “Take it all off,” I exclaimed as I temperamentally walked into the salon. I’ve had enough; at least for now. Something is just not right. As I sat there waiting to get the SnS removed semi-permanently from my life, the ladies in the salon tried their best to push their chemicals back on me. They claimed that I need to continue a consistent routine and any breaks would cause further damage. But I have always had long strong nails as early as I can remember. Why are my nails now dependent on toxic chemical packaged as the fountain of beauty. Why am I getting flashbacks to my journey with the creamy crack lye relaxers?

Anyway, it was too late. My mind was made on taking a much needed break. As I examined my naked nails for the first time in years. I realized they were paper thin. There was no integrity left. They were literally flaking off to the touch. A week later I am still looking at my nails in a slightly better but weakened state. “What are we doing to ourselves,” I asked.

There is more here than meets the eye.

Stay tuned.

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