Problem with natural nails


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Jan 11, 2003
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Hi all,

I've had acrylic on my nails, and they are sooo week and thin :(
They just tear at the free edge :(

What can I do to keep them healthy and strong, especaily when I keep the acrylic off..

I had to put an overlay on, if not I wouldn't have any nails right now :(

Thanks for any help...

have you seen the nail tek product natural alternative ? if you want to promote natural nails that is.
Good Morning all, :)

No I haven't seen that, I've seen of it in my nail groups,

What is it? Is it expensive?

I'm waiting on a price list from Backscratchers, I've seen them done in a class I had by one of their Reps and they look as tho they wouldn't cause as much harm to the natural nail either, and they look really nice and natural....

Has anyone used them?

Jamie :flower:
I have this exact problem with my nails too!! They've become quite thin. They are growing, but because of my work (v hands on), they chip away AND ITS DRIVING ME MAD! What can i do apart from religously applying SolarOil?!

After enhancements, the nails will always seem thinner as you have got used to slightly thicker and stronger enhancements.

My advice would be to keep your nails shortened and regularly apply your cuticle oil. Also apply a treatment - I personally use the Jessica treatments but I have heard good things about CND Toughen Up and OPI Nail Envy.

There are more varied products in the US which are not available to us - Amera is one which springs to mind.

Keep your nails varnished at all times - even with just a clear treatment which will help to reduce the amount of water they absorb.

It will take time so persevere.

I have some photos on my website of a client called Claire - she was always picking her nails off to the point where they were so damaged that there was not enough keratin for the product to bond with. We gave her manicures for 2 months and her nails improved greatly but she wanted her enhancements put back on. They have now been on for 5 weeks (with regular maintenance) and she has only lost one - accidentally - not picking.

The point being that if the base structure is good then the enhancements will last longer if you want them back on.
I have been using backscratchers products and they are really kind to the natural nail, really good product and excellent service.
Backscratchers product is an EC resin the same as any other company's EC resin and is no kinder to the natural nail than any other nail product.
It is quick and easy to soak off and is light in weight but PICK IT OFF and you will get the same result as with any other product that is treated similarly.

Their customer service may be excellent - congratulations to them for that.
There are no systems that are bad or better for you.............
They are different for sure...................but...................
It's the expertise of the Technician that makes it a good or bad system.......

Unless you use MMA and we know the story on that one lol............

Most nails damage is done by the Tech, over etching the nail plate is the biggest problem.........................
Most nail damage is done by over zealous filing when clients need a maintenance..................
Most nail damage is done by clients picking ................
All damage is done by the human hand not the little molecules, they do their job perfectly well and safe...............

Backscratchers use cyanoacrylate .............
Fabric# uses cyanoacrylate of different viscosity .............
EZFlow Fibreglass system cyanoacrylate ...................
Nailtek Natural alternative.......cyanoacrylate but used in a different way........
So my point is, they all use the same resin, but maybe the trainers are a bit more vigilant in their education in the use of their products, and thats what makes a product save.................

Food for thought.............

Love Ruth xxxx
Now I know I'm relatively new to the game (8 months) but I must admit I've yet to hear of somebody who's had acrylic nails (no matter who they went to) who hasn't had slightly weaker nails after having the enhancements removed :( :( Not saying they've ruined their nails but from what I've seen acrylic does weaken the natural nail to a slight degree. However, since using Bio Sculpture on my clients (but still need to use L&P for some people who are heavier on their hands) I've had fantastic results with clients actually mentioning how much harder an dstronger their nails have become :D not to mention how fast they're growing - I'm sure this is also due to me encouraging them all to use solar oil every day too :D
I don't remove gels very often, but when I do I try to leave a thin layer of gel on the nail. First because I don't want to file it all down anyway, and then because it still protects the nails while the client is getting used to not having enhancements anymore. They need a bit of extra care for a little while not because they are thinner or have been made weaker, but because as the gels are non porous, they are a bit on the "moist" side (the nails I mean!! :D). Once they get to their "normal" state again, I have found that they were usually stronger than they were before.

As for silk/fg wraps... same thing, no damaged nails at all!

Don't do L&P anymore...

Now, I have noticed something lately. I used to give my clients a lil white buffer so they could file their nails if they had a little ridge/chip.... that wasn't serious enough so it could wait until the next fill. Well, I have had to stop doing that. Several reasons:
  • 1. some thought they had to buff their nails every night watching tv... and honest, I don't know where they got that from!! :rolleyes:
    2. I started to notice some nice pink colouring on some clients' regrowth... :evil: they were filing THAT ridge with the EDGE of the buffer :evil: :evil:
    3. in some cases. it was causing lifting from the f/e because they were filing their nails down frequently, thus removing the f/e seal put when capping the edge
    4. some just didn't have a clue and were coming for their fill saying that the buffer I gave them was really "burning" when they filled their nails... :shock:
Anyhow, my point (if I ever had one... :o ) was that when they come out of my room, they don't have weaker nails, with or without enhancements. But sometimes they are their worst own ennemies!! And I am not talking about the picking... :rolleyes:
I really do find it sad that most people have the same perception of what enhancement nail services 'do to the nails' as Nail at Home. AND that they have this perception because it is what they SEE.

I have proved over 15 years that enhancement nail services DO NOT DAMAGE nails and Doug Schoone (author of Nail Structure and product Chemistry) has done 20 years of research into this with the same results.

The product (doesn't matter what it is) sits on top of the plate just like nail polish does. It stays where it is and 'hitches a ride' as the nail grows out. How can that possibly cause damage?? There are only a few ways that the nail plate can become damaged and that is BEFORE the product is applied, or AFTER the product has been applied. Agreed? Logical?

Why can we not get it into people's heads that over filing, over preparing, improper removal (such as using nippers and clippers) and picking cause the damage that we see. Even calling it 'overzealous' filing is being too kind -- it is criminal damage in my opinion when a nail technician BELIEVES that she has to ETCH the nail plate (nice word for thinning and damaging the nailplate) in order for the product to stick.

One of the main things that led me to Creative was that the prep is SO MINIMAL. There is no etching involved just shine removal with the softest of buffers. I like to think of it, and to get my students to think of it, as a gentle exfoliation process - definitely not ETCHING which is a word I hear used by technicians all too frequently. It tells me they are thinking ETCH (ouch) instead of gently exfoliate (ahh).

When a person like myself can wear nail enhancements for 20 years (of all different types) and on removal see the same old nails she started with 20 years ago I KNOW that no product has caused any damage.

Sure they FEEL different when removed - anything that has had the protection of a covering for any length of time will feel it when the covering is removed. I have heard women say that their nails are sore when they remove enamel after a long period of wear!

Yes they are dehydrated to some extent which would make them break more easily if the moisture and oil level is not restored. MY hair is drier when I have it bleached with highlights too AND more porous, but it's not ruined and I apply a conditioner to counteract the dryness. Similarly I apply a cuticle oil to my nails (no guesses as to which one I use) and TOUGHEN UP nail strengthener, for a little protection, if I am not going to be weraing enhancements for a period of time (but this is RARE). I have pretty much worn nail enhancements for 20 years non stop like many other women.
Hi all,

Ok, I'm a bit confused here, excuse my ignorance :oops:

When I first went to school around 95, I was taught that you had to etch with a 100 grit file. As well as, the school I just got done doing a refresher coarse at, they use Creative as well, and she said to use a 100 grit file and to make sure it's well etched to prevent any lifting.. :?

I use both Tammy Taylor and Creative and have been told by the Reps that 100 grit files are the way to do it... I was told to pay special attention to the cuticle area and the tip, that they will lift if not prep correctly....

I do believe that I was taken for 125.00( for 20 hrs) for my refresher coarse , all I did was apply acrylic to tips, I had no coarse in wraps or gels, manicures or pedicures I have not done them since 95!

Now, when they had a class with a Rep from Backscratchers (about 3 wks ago) she only used a 180 or 250?) file to etch, that's one reason I was soo impressed by them there was hardly any filing to that nail and she said they don't lift.....

I feel soo bad, b/c I was only doing what I was taught to do, and it's turning out I'm causing the nails to be thin and weak :(
Not only to those I am doing nails to, but to my own nails as well..

I've just put on an overlay of TT ( clear pink) with a form and I already have one that has lifted at the tip, and they're not too thin either :(
What I'm goin to do is let them just grow out and treat them for a while without anything on them, (i know they will break and peel)..

I saw something from IBD, it's a polish of sorts, it helps with damage nails from bitting and weaking from extensions. Right now I don't have a good base for nat nails, except for Sally's Hanson.....

Why are schools teaching this stuff??? I'm soo upset over my own experince from the school I just finished with, but they are the only other school here besides the college, now I'm wondering if I should've just taken the full coarse over again...We do have another nail school,but they arereally bad I went one day and that was enuff for me not to go back :evil: They're teachings were totaly awful, they got their credits from doing everything else but nails and services... I worked hard to get my license, took the tests and everything! There, they cheated on the testes :twisted: .. NO THANKS!

I feel as tho I'm a bad nail tech, it's not bad enuff I have a lot of moments where frustrations take over, but I keep on trying!!
I guess that's all I can do :(

I really feel for you Jamie, that was obviously a really bad experience but don`t let it get you down. We all carry on learning all the time and as long as you do learn from your mistakes you`ll do fine.
I must say I have never in all the training I`ve done (and I`ve had some bad training) never been told to use anything less than 240 grit on the natural nail. Backscratchers even use 600.
All schools seem to train differently and I`m just glad I found creative when I did. I am on the right road now and i won`t be looking back
It's funny how people complain about company training, BUT who knows better about a product and how it works than the company who manufactures it and Creative DOES manufacture ... most nail companies do not? They buy L&P from a polymer company and bottle it up and that's it.

The Creative Master Classes would teach you all you need to know about Creative because they are taught by Creative ambassadors who know the products inside and out and whos mission is to help you do well with the system.

Colleges don't care what you use or whether it is right or wrong for your chosen system so they teach generically (spl?) ... In this case they were wrong. Gentle Gentle is all you have to be with Creative.

If you have any questions ... ask on this board ... you will get quality answers.
I would love to be able to take a Master Class,I've been offered to go to Tammy Taylor's classes...but for right now it's all up to me to learn it on my own....

With no incom right now and having a family of 4, it's not very easy right now to take anything extra, that's why I do belong to a few nail groups to help me out with stuff, such as products I've never heard of.. etc....

I've never complained about the companies, just going by what I was told from the reps, and so forth... I, myself love Creative.... My questions regarding education is in regards to these small nail schools that open, they don't have proper education ( not meaning all of them)..I went to one in Daytona Beach it was a nail and facial school, where she held real classes and showed you everything, but here( Ocala) you don't get that unless you went to one of the colleges.. Florida is soo backwards in their education in general.. It's all basicaly, open your book and read and take the testes...

When I went to this refresher coarse, the girl who was goin for the full nail coarse was just gettin into acrylic applications, now the teacher showed her once how to do it, never sat down and explained anything, just said here this is what you do, soak your brush wipe it, bring your brush through 2 short strokes and apply... :?

When I went to school, the full coarse consisited of, a teacher sitting down with everyone and goin around the room to make sure you understood everything and understood the application, and one their refresher coarses, they offered everything, manicures, pedicures, gels...etc... and a small kit..... I just feel the people who open a school, should understand what they are doing and teaching, it's not about money , it should be about giving people the proper education and the right know how....

I, myself am out to learn everything I can to better myself, which thankfully they have sites like these to help out where the schools never did give the right information.....

Thnks for all the information...

Sorry, just joined and I love healthy discussion.

Agree with the real Pro's here, systems do not damage nails, bad nail techs damage nails!!!
If natural nails are thinning under any system potential causes could also be over etching or buffing, so many nail techs heavily etch the nail and therefore thin it out... if you use a good NON-Acidic primer etching should not be necessary, as our many clients will testify.. we just lighlty buff each nail for 5 seconds max.

Also many techs over soak nails in Acetone or over file nails when removing nails, the lint and foil wrap system may lessen the effects of this.

Being an OPI freak I agree that Nail Envy is fantastic and the new soft and Thin formula is working miracles on over 10 hairdresser clients I have currently..., this together with a good 'cuticle and nail oil' will help nails over time recover.

Sorry to waffle on, and sorry if I have offended anyone.


Hey Tek chick.

One of the bummers about a government regulated qualification like in the states is that the schooling suffers big time.
There get to be so many silly generic restrictions in place, and you can't really teach too far outside the specifications, the schools all become generically sucky.

Once regulation hits...
1- All schools must teach to a specific guideline.
2- This means there isn’t a great deal of diff between one school and the next (though there are occasional exceptions)
3- Because of this, schools have a very hard time nailing down great teachers... the schools have no edge on the other schools and therefore cant afford the $$$ for top teachers.

the result is usually unsatisfied students.

Sales reps in the states generally rep several product lines and their main priority is: Buy something from me.... Doesn’t matter what brand... What price... I have quotas and targets to hit... You're not happy with brand A? Ya... I think it sucks too... here... take brand B... Just help me meet my target.

I know that’s all a bit harsh... Most don't come across so blatantly... But most reps primary motivator is to sell you whatever you are willing to buy.

This said, my suggestion to you would be:

Focus on whatever particular line you believe in.

Don't jump ship just because a rep or other said 'this one is the greatest thing since waffles'.
You will never get 1/10th of the performance out of any line you use if you do not persevere.
The more time you float from system to system is less time you spend perfecting your art with one system.

Anyhooo... I'm really waffling on myself ;)

Remember... no system is bad for the nail plate... sure, some things are a bit sucky (MMA or formaldehyde come to mind)... but its more of the technique of the user that screws up the natural nail plate... not the system.

There are only 3 things that screw up the plate (in regards to nail techs):
Improper application (i.e. etching)
Improper removal (i.e. the tooth removal method)
A fungal infection

:!:Dermatologists are starting to recommend that the nail plate be properly coated to prevent nail plate damage :!:

nJoy and good luck :)
Backscratchers product is an EC resin the same as any other company's EC resin and is no kinder to the natural nail than any other nail product.
It is quick and easy to soak off and is light in weight but PICK IT OFF and you will get the same result as with any other product that is treated similarly.

Their customer service may be excellent - congratulations to them for that.
Just came across this thread.. excellent! Thank you for stating the facts Mrs G..geeg.. Fiberglass, linen, silk etc are just as damaging as any other enchansement.
Alot has to do with the nail tech themselves.
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