Damaged nails, Shellac not lasting


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Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2010
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I had Jessica Geleration on my nails for 2 weeks and stupidly decided to try and remove it myself with acetone nail varnish remover, and damaged my nails in the process. Some parts were soft like paper.

I got Shellac done the next day and the nail tech did warn me it mightn't last the full 14 days as my nails were damaged. She also filed the surface of my nails before applying the Shellac, I'm not sure if this was to even them out as they were uneven and rough from the damage.

Anyway I put on nail varnish over the Shellac (I change colour every couple of days, this was always fine with the Geleration, I use non acetone remover)and noticed tonight that some of the varnish had chipped and noticed the Shellac chipped with it. Now I've noticed a gap between the Shellac and my nail too.
Is this because Shellac isn't as suited to wearing with varnish on top as Geleration is, or is it because of my damaged nails?
I was hoping the Shellac would protect them, I wear the gel polishes in the first place to try and protect against breakages.
I'm no shellac pro or nail pro but I was pretty sure you can't apply varnish on shellac??? I walked round the beauty show with my friend who does my Shellac and she nearly had a moment when some woman tried to put a normal top coat on one of my nails to demonstrate something LOL

I use Nail Rescue I think it it's called between my shellac treatments - it does make a big difference to my nails and I like to give my nails a break between shellacs - I like letting them breathe... :)

I would get her to remove the shellac, treat with nail rescue for a few days and then get a new shellac applied. Repeat every 2 weeks or when first chips start - it might be sooner given the state of your nails :(
It could be a mix of damaged nails and the polish on top. If you're the type to change colours every couple days, but rely on something to keep them protected, why not get a gel overlay? Your nails will stay protected and you can paint over them as much as you like. And in the future, I would not suggest you try removing anything bonded or cured to your nails yourself. You risk damaging your nails and injuring yourself. And with paper thin nails, it's really hard to get anything to stay on them because it's weak foundation. x
You can wear nail polish over Shellac and once you really lightly swipe it with non acetone nail polish remover it should be fine... although doing it for too long or changing the colour on a regular basis may lead to service breakdown.

I'm not sure why your Nail Tech buffed your nails... there is no need to buff nails before Shellac. Were your nails flaking before?... if so, she may have lightly buffed them to remove the delamination, as if your nails flake, the Shellac will flake off with them. They may still chip if the nails are damaged like yours were.

The best thing to do would be to apply solar oil at least twice a day and allow the damage to grow out and you'll find once your nails are healthy again, you won't have any more problems.

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Sorry Chickafish.... took me ages to type that and I crossed posts with you.

That's what happens when you try to do five things at once!! :lol:
Great advice as always from my esteemed colleagues, Chickafish and An*gel.

As a personal note, you mentioned that your nails are weak. My natural nails are, too. Shellac doesn't last on my natural nails because they are so weak and bendy. Shellac separates from my nails within 3 days of application. That's why I opt for an acrylic overlay over my natural nail...no tips...just acrylic over my natural nail.
Awww man it's all my own fault for being so rough getting the Geleration off!!!
My nails were so strong before, I was hoping they'd heal under the Shellac :(
Yeah my nails were flaky. They would never normally be like that except for me being silly :( I take tablets for Skin Hair & Nails so hopefully my nails will heal and I won't have to wait til they grow out?

Gel overlays sound good- is there much filing involved with them?
Lol no worries, An*gel. And thank you Tammy x

Amber, gel overlays involves as much filing as gel polish application. Just a gentle buff to remove shine from your nails. You can probably get gel or acrylic overlay to protect the damage bits til they grow out, or you can continue on with them via infill/backfill. And use your solar oil regularly! x
arrgghh I'm a reformed biter (clean for 6 weeks now!!!) and had been doing so well!! Gel overlays do sound like a better option for me. I was picking pale colours in the Geleration and Shellac anyway so I could paint over them easily cos I can't have the same colour for more than a couple of days, I get so bored!
Congrats on not biting your nails! Yes, I think you should give gel overlays a try and see how you get on with them. Shellac and gel polishes are great products, but unfortunately probably not suited to a client such as yourself because you like changing colours very often (nothing wrong with that). You'd be best suited for something more heavy duty such as gel overlay or acrylic overlay which can withstand the constant colour changes :)
I take tablets for Skin Hair & Nails so hopefully my nails will heal and I won't have to wait til they grow out?

Uhmm.... no... nails don't "heal"... they have to grow back out... But looking after them will define their condition as they regrow.

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