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Lifting problem with gel nails

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rowjam

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I have a client whose gel polish seems to always lift off early (within a week). I always remove cuticles, remove shine, sanitise with cleanser on lint free wipes, dehydrate with prep fluid and cap off each coat. I can tell she’s not a biter. I’m always careful not to get anything on her skin obviously. It’s not just me. No one can get her gel polish to last. She doesn’t want us to use primer. Is there anything else we can do? She doesn’t complain (She’s lovely) but I just want to help her get a bit longer out of her manicure.
 

Trinity

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Lifting ftom where? Cuticle or free edge?
 

MissJulesBeauty

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If you use a brand with a rubber base coat then I would give this a go. Are her nails weak as this can be the cause of lifting. If they are lifting at the cuticle then I would be inclined to say the prep method is not working for her, if the edges are chipping then it maybe something she is doing, opening cans with her nails and using them as tools. Hope this helps x
 

rowjam

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Lifting ftom where? Cuticle or free edge?
Mainly cuticle and sides not free edge, even with a 2/3mm margin between cuticle and gel.

If you use a brand with a rubber base coat then I would give this a go. Are her nails weak as this can be the cause of lifting. If they are lifting at the cuticle then I would be inclined to say the prep method is not working for her, if the edges are chipping then it maybe something she is doing, opening cans with her nails and using them as tools. Hope this helps x
Mainly lifting from cuticle edge and sides. Her nails aren’t thin but she says she can’t grow them long. She has slightly short nail beds. Could perhaps be weak nails? Can you rec a decent rubber base coat?
 

Trinity

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Mainly cuticle and sides not free edge, even with a 2/3mm margin between cuticle and gel.
I agree with @MissJulesBeauty - cuticle lifting, and side walls, implies incorrect prep. I'm not convinced a change of base will resolve it.

What is your prep routine in detail?
 

rowjam

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Shape nails with OPI 180 and finish edge with 250. Clean nails with RC gel polish prep cleanser. Apply cuticle remover. Push back cuticles. Remove shine from nails with OPI 200 flexi. Brush off dust. Clean nails with cleanser on lint free wipe. Dehydrate nails with RC gel prep solution (acetone free obs). Apply base coat (RC or Gelish). Cure. Apply colour (usually Gelish). Cure (LED 45 Second lamp). Apply colour. Cure. Apply top coat (RC or Gelish). Cure. Remove excess with cleanser on lint free wipe. Give them some oil to use later on cuticles themselves (RC or OPI) or wait 10 mins then apply oil for them. Every other clients nails last at least 2-3 weeks. Some even get a month.
 

Trinity

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Shape nails with OPI 180 and finish edge with 250. Clean nails with RC gel polish prep cleanser. Apply cuticle remover. Push back cuticles. Remove shine from nails with OPI 200 flexi. Brush off dust. Clean nails with cleanser on lint free wipe. Dehydrate nails with RC gel prep solution (acetone free obs). Apply base coat (RC or Gelish). Cure. Apply colour (usually Gelish). Cure (LED 45 Second lamp). Apply colour. Cure. Apply top coat (RC or Gelish). Cure. Remove excess with cleanser on lint free wipe. Give them some oil to use later on cuticles themselves (RC or OPI) or wait 10 mins then apply oil for them. Every other clients nails last at least 2-3 weeks. Some even get a month.
I suspect this is where your issue is. Pushing back the cuticles is not enough to fully prepare the nail plate for gel application. All the non-living tissue needs to be removed, pushing the cuticles back is not enough, that just released the skin from the nail surface, it's then exposing the debris that needs removing. You may not have an issue with other clients because they have less debris to remove, but for this particular client you need to be more through. Cuticle work twice if necessary. Also how is your cuticle remover product removed? Some need removing with water rather than just wiping off.

What is RC? do you mean Red Carpet? Thats also probably part of the issue, it's not a pro brand it's a DIY brand so you won't get as long out of it a pro products. Also consider not all products work for all clients.
 

rowjam

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I suspect this is where your issue is. Pushing back the cuticles is not enough to fully prepare the nail plate for gel application. All the non-living tissue needs to be removed, pushing the cuticles back is not enough, that just released the skin from the nail surface, it's then exposing the debris that needs removing. You may not have an issue with other clients because they have less debris to remove, but for this particular client you need to be more through. Cuticle work twice if necessary. Also how is your cuticle remover product removed? Some need removing with water rather than just wiping off.

What is RC? do you mean Red Carpet? Thats also probably part of the issue, it's not a pro brand it's a DIY brand so you won't get as long out of it a pro products. Also consider not all products work for all clients.
This is great. Thank you so much. I was told you only need to push back the cuticle in my gel training. I wash off the cuticle remover with cotton wool in soapy water then apply cleanser with a wipe when doing gel nails. I only get the client to wash their hands when fully removing the cuticle.
As for RC stuff I don’t like it (the colour coverage is poor and too thin imho) but that’s what they have at that salon because they sell the kits. I prefer Gelish or the new OPI. I’m open to recommendations on new products though I’m building up my own personal gel kit.
 
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njulyp

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Agree w all previous suggestions with a few more (some of these may be more or less applicable since you have success with other clients, my last point is my hunch for that specific client):

-All brands do have slightly different formulas and I've historically been pretty skeptical that that realllllly could make a difference functionally, however I've worked w chemists quite a bit (due to a personal gel allergy), and learned that it can/does. For instance, most "soak-off" gels are intentionally slightly undercured in their protocols to aid in easier removals, some more than others (Shellac vs Gelish for instance); also, curing times are important to follow, and Gelish specifically has a 5 second base cure (or slightly longer depending on your lamp). Over-curing believe it or not can be a problem...it's a bit odd to conceptualize, but that may be an issue.

-Which brings us to lamps. This may be controversial and isn't what manufacturers claim, but over 5 years of only using LED, incl branded professional lamps (cnd, gelish, and biosculpture gel) as well as back-up lamps from several manufacturers and cheapo ones, I firmly believe that even though the lights themselves look all functional, we really noticed they seemed to wear out a bit, needing a bit longer to cure than previously. We noticed this around the 1-yr-ish point with heavy use. I still don't know if it's in our head, but it happened with 3 of our professional lamps, which were all then replaced and seemed to fix the softness we'd experienced.

-Finally, and I swear I'd never even heard of this, but now I'm so confident of this as a possibility I ask the client almost immediately, and 9 times out of ten, clients w lifting issues answer with a "yes:"

Do they have any thyroid conditions, are in the midst of any major hormonal shifts (entering or ending menstruation, pregnant/nursing, or on hormone therapies), and/or have any auto-immune or cancer conditions or medications?

We have an incredibly loyal clientele that we've been able to service before, during, and sometimes after some of those conditions, and it really does seem to impact adhesion/longevity with gels specifically. I have zero explanation, but this is my hunch. For clients who are willing to experiment we found that different brands and combos of base/vs color helped ea of them differently, and every once in awhile nothing ended up working.

I hope some of these help! Xxo
 

sarita

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If she has weak nails then gel or acrylic will be problematic. The fact she says she doesn’t want nail primer Is a bit strange, you’re the nail professional and you should use it if it’s part of your nail system. A photo of her nails would be helpful also to give more advice
 

fab fingers

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Agree w all previous suggestions with a few more (some of these may be more or less applicable since you have success with other clients, my last point is my hunch for that specific client):

-All brands do have slightly different formulas and I've historically been pretty skeptical that that realllllly could make a difference functionally, however I've worked w chemists quite a bit (due to a personal gel allergy), and learned that it can/does. For instance, most "soak-off" gels are intentionally slightly undercured in their protocols to aid in easier removals, some more than others (Shellac vs Gelish for instance); also, curing times are important to follow, and Gelish specifically has a 5 second base cure (or slightly longer depending on your lamp). Over-curing believe it or not can be a problem...it's a bit odd to conceptualize, but that may be an issue.

-Which brings us to lamps. This may be controversial and isn't what manufacturers claim, but over 5 years of only using LED, incl branded professional lamps (cnd, gelish, and biosculpture gel) as well as back-up lamps from several manufacturers and cheapo ones, I firmly believe that even though the lights themselves look all functional, we really noticed they seemed to wear out a bit, needing a bit longer to cure than previously. We noticed this around the 1-yr-ish point with heavy use. I still don't know if it's in our head, but it happened with 3 of our professional lamps, which were all then replaced and seemed to fix the softness we'd experienced.

-Finally, and I swear I'd never even heard of this, but now I'm so confident of this as a possibility I ask the client almost immediately, and 9 times out of ten, clients w lifting issues answer with a "yes:"

Do they have any thyroid conditions, are in the midst of any major hormonal shifts (entering or ending menstruation, pregnant/nursing, or on hormone therapies), and/or have any auto-immune or cancer conditions or medications?

We have an incredibly loyal clientele that we've been able to service before, during, and sometimes after some of those conditions, and it really does seem to impact adhesion/longevity with gels specifically. I have zero explanation, but this is my hunch. For clients who are willing to experiment we found that different brands and combos of base/vs color helped ea of them differently, and every once in awhile nothing ended up working.

I hope some of these help! Xxo
I agree.....I definitely think medical issues can cause problems. They don't always tell you much, unless you begin to mention some suggestions, then they open up about meds, etc. I often do shellac on one of my daughters and some of her friends and think hormones cause issues with these kinda pre teens too.....they don't complain, as I'm usually doing them for a wee treat!....but I see them a week later, and can see lifting!
 

rowjam

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I checked her notes. She has under active thyroid, acne and menoraghia. All are hormonal conditions. I've read that hormone conditions can affect manicures. That issue combined with me not fully removing her cuticles (she hardly has any cuticle to remove) might be the cause of the problem.

If she has weak nails then gel or acrylic will be problematic. The fact she says she doesn’t want nail primer Is a bit strange, you’re the nail professional and you should use it if it’s part of your nail system. A photo of her nails would be helpful also to give more advice
Acid primer isn't usually part of the gel prep process we follow. It isn't normally needed. I recommended it to her as I thought it might help. If you guys think it might really help I could ask again.
I don't think she would be happy with me taking photos. She doesn't know I'm trying to research a solution for her. Tbh she seems pretty happy with her manicure I'm just a bit of a perfectionist and this is a great place to get advice.
 

Kysmet

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This is great. Thank you so much. I was told you only need to push back the cuticle in my gel training. I wash off the cuticle remover with cotton wool in soapy water then apply cleanser with a wipe when doing gel nails. I only get the client to wash their hands when fully removing the cuticle.
As for RC stuff I don’t like it (the colour coverage is poor and too thin imho) but that’s what they have at that salon because they sell the kits. I prefer Gelish or the new Orly. I’m open to recommendations on new products though I’m building up my own personal gel kit.
I would not suggest using cuticle remover/washing while prepping. You need the nail to be dehydrated completely before applying enhancements such as gel and acrylic. Try doing a dry prep instead and pay more attention that the cuticle is completely clear of all layers/dust etc before you start applying gel.
 

rowjam

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I would not suggest using cuticle remover/washing while prepping. You need the nail to be dehydrated completely before applying enhancements such as gel and acrylic. Try doing a dry prep instead and pay more attention that the cuticle is completely clear of all layers/dust etc before you start applying gel.
So dehydrating after cleansing off cuticle remover wouldn’t properly dehydrate the nail?
 

fab fingers

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I would not use cuticle remover if ur having lifting.
 

rowjam

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I'll try a totally dry prep with no cuticle remover next time she's in.
 

Haircutz

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I often do shellac on one of my daughters and some of her friends and think hormones cause issues with these kinda pre teens too.....they don't complain, as I'm usually doing them for a wee treat!....but I see them a week later, and can see lifting!
Please don’t do this. You're not insured to perform gel services on anyone under 16 for a good reason.
Research has shown that as a group, they’re the most likely to develop life long allergies to nail enhancements particularly due to their changing hormones. :(
 

rowjam

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Just a quick update. I changed the prep routine to totally dry and unfortunately it didn’t make much difference. Tbh I am pretty scrupulous about cuticle removal, drying and dehydrating anyway. I do think the slightly drier routine has improved application wear times for a number of other clients though so thank you very much for all the advice.
Anyway as a last ditch I decided to try a different base coat (Gelish) on the lady with lifting problems and hey presto 2 weeks wear and still no lifting!
A few of us have been lobbying to ditch Red Carpet for a while now so the boss has agreed to let us try some different systems. Currently on the list are Gelish and CND. I’ve also used OPI. Has anyone used DND? Any other recommendations would be appreciated. And once again thank you all for your advice. I even more confident doing gel now!
 

jlsdds

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Clients with heavy cuticle need gentle scraping to release and remove the debris. On some, it it’s almost invisible and on others it is quite built up. It has to be completely removed to ensure adhesion.
These pictures are of a client with the worst ever overgrowth.
I do a dry prep. Loosening the cuticle and clipping away the debris. I almost never clip living skin. Not the way to treat this. 6B97A076-2D91-416E-A043-E368E6008AAD.jpeg724F4B59-6FCC-4F5E-BF04-8FFBF93BA2D0.jpegC7420BC5-D322-45A1-A3CF-FD2ABA7F4BFB.jpeg98B4F616-493B-43B2-AE62-9B041639514D.jpeg
 
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Sam@mps

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I had this same issue and it drove me crazy no matter what I did! I was using Jessica Geleration and the results were so varied, with some lasting more than 3 weeks and others less than one. The only way I resolved it was change brand. Ive used IBD just gel for 3 years now, it's half the price of Geleration and the results are consistent and lasts ages, happy days!
 

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