Problem nails - advice needed please

Creative Keren

Creative Nail Studio
I had a new client in for Shellac last week and she said to me that the last two places she had been to had said that her nails were 'oily' and that's why the products never lasted on her.

I explained that nails can not necessarily be 'oily' as they do not have the capabilities of secreting oils. I informed her that perhaps it may be something she used on her hands like a lotion or oil etc or could be down to medication and that's why products were not lasting on her.

I prepped thoroughly as I always do and applied shellac. She came in today for a soak off as 4 of them had cracked/lifted. I never have a problem with any of my other clients shellac doing this so was a little perplexed. She said "I told you it's because my nails are oily"

She said that even polish doesn't last on her (a day or two at most)

All of the other nails were still in perfect condition though?!

With her permission, I took a picture to see if anyone could offer advice on what might be causing it or what else we can try? It might also be worth mentioning that after using scrub fresh her nails didn't seem to dehydrate or even change to a whitish colour like normal? Could she simply be one of these rare cases where this type of product just doesn't suit her?



Well-Known Member
Nail type? Yes, in just the same way that our skin might be classed as dry, oily, sensitive or a combination of two, our nails have a type and will look smoother, more even and glossy if treated accordingly.
'Most people have nails that are similar to their skin type.
'Someone who washes their hands frequently - a new mum, say, or a keen gardener, or a nurse - is more likely to have dry, brittle nails that are prone to splitting.
'People with oily skin will often have an oily, shiny nail plate.
'They are lucky in that their nails will probably be in good condition, but these oils mean that nail varnish won't stay put for long.'

I have come across this once, when the shellac just didn't stay on my clients nails at all. Yes it's a fab product, but it's not for everyone!

Creative Keren

Creative Nail Studio
I am glad you said that as I was thinking along the same lines but her skin is not what I would describe as oily at all. I saw Gigi note on another thread a while back about sweaty hands and 'oily' nails but she didn't have sweaty or oily hands/skin.

I thought I might try l&p and see if that stays put?


Well-Known Member
From experience, it may not last any better. I find gel to last a little better if I'm honest. But with these type of clients it's a bit of trial & error & finding what suits them but I would explain this to her before suggesting to her to try them! X


Well-Known Member
My son's girlfriend can wear Shellac exactly 2 days because her nails are very "oily." In all my years of doing nails, I've never seen anything like it.

No matter how much I dehydrate, Shellac peels off her nails in entire sheets in 2 days from both her fingers AND toes. I've also tried OPI Gelcolor and Gelish on her...with the same disappointing results.

Good luck with l & p. :)


I had a client exactly like this. We gave up in the end but I still do her pedicures. She then one day ventured into a NSS and I don't know what cement they've put on her but for the last year she's been going there for her nails as she says "it lasts" :sad:

I've been past the salon for a nosey and have seen the unlabelled bottles.

I'd hate to think what the state of her natural nail is now like, as before they were really healthy and naturally shiny.

Creative Keren

Creative Nail Studio
I think my plan of action is try l&p if it still doesn't last which to be honest I don't think it will (as I said her nail just seems to not dehydrate AT ALL) then accept that she's just 'one of those' that don't suit :( thanks all for your replies. :hugs:


Have you tried Nail Fresh? This dehydrates the natural nail, this has worked for me in the past.
Failing that try IBX, this makes Shellac adhere to the nail better.