How to recognize and recover from damage on the nail plate.
As much as we wish the care of our clients nails was solely in our hands, sometimes the sh@t just hits the fan. So you haven’t seen a client in a few months. Your schedule was too busy and they couldn’t get in or maybe they were out-of-town. But the dreaded thing happened, they saw another nail technician who ruined their nails. How in the world could a nail technician ruin someone’s nails by giving them a manicure you ask? Well I am glad you asked. Take a look at the picture
here on the right. Tell me what you see. What color do you see in her nail that should not be there? Let’s start at the bottom and work our way to the tip. We see her healthy looking Lunula, the flesh-colored nail and then wham dark pinky red color followed by a peeling thinned out free edge. Someone filed the top of her nail plate with something other than a 240 grit buffer! That dark pink color is a thinned out section of her nail. The surface of the nail plate has been removed and we are super close to the nail bed. File a few more layers off and she will have a hole in her nail! Her nails feel vulnerable when you touch them, so let’s not touch that area at all.
Who knows how long this is going to take to grow out? If a nail grows 1/8″ every couple of weeks this is going to take about 4 months to grow out and become strong again. Here is a photo of the pinky on the right hand. You can see the color change in this nail plate as well.
I would normally suggest having a thin layer of acrylic applied just over the damaged area and let it grow up and off. But she is an artist who works in too many solvents. The acrylic would never last. I don’t want to apply gel polish because I don’t want to take the chance of those paint solvents lifting that off her nail plate and her being tempted to pull it off causing more damage. So we are just going to have to baby these nails. Lots of protein to help make them harder and not bend so easily. Keep them polished and protected. Keep them short, because everything she bumps them into is going to make them split, crack and peel.
So new and old nail technicians alike, let’s learn a lesson from the clients unfortunate experience. Be careful to never apply too much pressure with the buffer block, never use an electric file on the natural nail and never file the top of the nail plate with a nail file. I don’t know for sure what the person that caused this damage used, but I do know it was something stronger than a 240 grit buffer.
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