Nail strengthener over Shellac?


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Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2008
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Morning Geeks,
I have a client who has very badly damaged nails from taking off her enhancements,I persuaded her to have Shellac to help with the appearance of her nails while she is growing her own but even now, 8 weeks on from using Shellac/solar oil her nails are very dry and flaky on the surface. This lady has asked this question...Can I use a nail strenthener over shellac or will it make it lift?

I have said I would ask you Guys what you think, personally I cannot see the point of this as the solar oil helps with the new nail growth and I was told penetrates the shellac to make it more flexible?
Looking forward to some advicce please. Thank you in advance. kx
I also don't see the point as surely for the nail strengthener to work it needs to be applied to the nail, most nail strengtheners work by adding crosslinks to the nailplate. Therefore having Shellac on the nail and then adding nail stengthener on top would defeat the purpose.
She should persevere with the Solar oil, and 8 weeks isn't long enough for major damage to have grown out, if she picked off her enhancements taking away layers of her own nail with them the damage could be 3/4s of the way down her nail...and a full nail takes approx 6 months to grow from matrix to free edge :eek:!!!
As Izzie said there is not much point.
Also another thing to be aware of is if the strengthener or hardener is quite thick it can create a crackle glaze over the top of the shellac where micro cracks will appear.
I used a generic gel top coat once over the top of nail art on shellac and 3 days in there were minute cracks all over the whole nail due to shellac being flexible but the gel topcoat not being.
So dont ever put a generic gel or thick polish over the top of shellac.
I now do my nail art before applying shellac topcoat and it still works.
Jen xxx
Thank you so much for the replies, much appreciated and I feel a lot better for knowing my thinking was along the same lines as yours. I know it takes months for the nails to grow damage out, even longer when we are waiting for it, long slow process I think but the nails have at least GOT a free edge this time when I re did them :)
I was under the impression that nail strengtheners did not "strengthen" the nail as they can't change the actual condition (they can't add plate layers removed?). Just as you can't repair split ends in hair, you have to cut them off.

I 'thought' I had learned that they only dehydrate the nail, making it 'seem' harder when in fact they became more brittle due to being too dehydrated.
I also thought it was simply better just to oil them religiously to keep them well hydrated to prevent further peeling or tearing, and to promote flexibility until such time as the damage has grown out?

That's what I've said to my clients, and I've discouraged them from using "nail strengtheners" from the pharmacy.

Any science available on this? (yes, I'm a science nut these days.... lol Note to self: don't lend out Doug's book anymore LOL)

IMO, I would simply keep up with the Shellac or similar to protect the nail plate until the damage grows out, and keep oiling.

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