All About Artificial Nails-Sassy, Classy, or Risky?


All About Artificial Nails: Sassy, Classy, or Risky? By Christine Wheaton, writer for Sassable

I watch in amazement as the famous Dolly Parton expertly strums her guitar with these insanely long acrylic nails. How does she DO that? Well for one thing, despite that blonde country Barbie doll appearance, she is incredibly talented. But another factor that might come into play are those artificial nails she rocks. 

Artificial nails are very strong. Much stronger than your natural nail. I am always asking my avid acrylic nail wearing friend to open, pry, and pick various things that my weak by comparison nails cannot handle. If you are on the fritz about whether or not to get artificial nails, here are some pros and cons as well as tips for fake nails. 

First off, when you imagine artificial nails, images like Dolly’s or similar might come to mind. But they’ve come a long way baby, and a good nail technician can really file and shape them to look as real as possible. Sure they will be a little more raised then a natural nail since they are sitting on top of your actual nail, but the result of a well applied artificial will be minimally detectable.  

Some Pros about artificial nails are again, strength, durability, and of course they are good looking. If you are one of those people who’s nails consistently  break but you love the look of a well manicured nail, then artificial nails might be for you. If you hate the “yellowing” a natural nail can get from applying nail polish, then this might be a good alternative. Artificial nails are most popular when going to a special event such as a wedding, prom, reunion, etc. But remember that proper artificial nail removal is key by a professional nail technician. They are bonded to your natural nail and you could risk the removal of both if you attempt it yourself. 

Lil’ Tid Bits and Tips.

-according to a Yahoo poll, men find longer manicured nails sexy and attractive. The whole scratching down the back thing seems to resinate with the average guy as a turn on. 

-acrylic nails will hold nail polish chip free for 2-3 weeks, at which time you will need to go back to the salon to get a “fill-in” where they close the growth gap. 

-artificial nails can aid in kicking a nasty nail biting habit, you could chip a tooth trying to bite one of these things! 

-added bonus: your natural nail will grow undisturbed under the artificial nail and when you remove the artificial nail, you could have a long, heathy natural nail. 

-get recommendations for a good salon with talented technicians. Ask around, many people go to several places before finding the one that suits them.

-other methods besides acrylic are available such as gels and fiber wraps (very natural look and feel, great for someone who can grow a good natural nail and then wants to preserve them) but these are generally more expensive and harder to find in salons therefore making traveling a bit of an issue if you are in need of an on the spot appointment. 

-Since the mid 1970's the FDA banned the use of Methyl Methacrylate or MMA in the process of creating acrylic nails deeming it extremely toxic. Most places use the better for you, yet more expensive component known as Ethyl Methacrylate, also called EMA. Because the dangerous MMA is much more cost effective, some salons still use it even against the FDA's orders. Double check with the salon you choose to make sure they have switched over to EMA before committing to them. Check out this article for more information on MMA vs. EMA.

Some Cons of artificial nails are that it IS basically a chemical being applied to your porous nail. But hey, so is nail polish. It requires an average upkeep of every 2-3 weeks. It can get pricey depending on where you go. For the initial visit it could range anywhere from $30-60, with follow up fill-ins and repainting around $20 a pop. Also, you need to be aware of the possible threat of fungus using artificial nails. Make sure the manicurist is always using sterile instruments especially when dealing with the cuticle. Under the cuticle is easily vulnerable to germs, fungus, and disease. Also a good thing to watch out for is to make sure the artificial nail does not go all the way down each side of the natural nail. This can cause a trap for water logging, mildew, and infection-yuck! Don’t be afraid to ask to see them sterilize the goods, your nails will thank you.

Bottom line. Artificial nails can be a super glamourous and fun way to update your look. Follow the guidelines, find a highly recommended salon, and go for it! Maybe you want to get artificial nails to wear on a regular basis, or perhaps just for a special occasion, either way, this is not something you should do yourself. You can get an array of cool designs like brilliant metallic silver, cheetah print, or just keep it to a simple french manicure. The always fierce and fashionable Gwen Stefani rocks artificial nails on a regular basis to add a polished edge to her look. Have any of you tried artificial nails? What type? We would love to hear some feedback on your experiences!