Lifting is the most talked about problem! First, you must remember that many things can cause lifting. Usually it is not any one thing that is causing the problem but a combination.
A) Always have client wash and dry hands prior to sitting down at your table!
This is for your protection as well as there's. After all, you don't want them to give you any germs that can cause illness!
B) Make sure you push back the cuticle and remove any excess pterygium.
Pterygium is the thin, almost invisible layer of cuticle that grows attached to the nail plate.
To remove it use a sterilized metal pusher. If any stubborn pterygium remains remove it with an abrasive when you gently buff the nail plate.
Note: Skin that remains on the nail may be trapped between the overlay and the natural nail. This will prevent the overlay from ever bonding to the very surface you are trying to adhere it to and result in a separation or lift.
C ) Gently buff the surface of the nail.
Do not use anything coarser than a 180-grit abrasive. Buffing gives a texture to the surface of the nail. This enables better gripping. It creates tiny nooks and crannies for the overlay to lock onto.
MYTH: You need to etch the nail with a coarse file to make things stick. THIS IS FALSE! Be gentle. The natural nail is the foundation you are building upon. The more healthy, strong nail you leave in tact the better the foundation. The better the foundation, the better the building. Besides, your clients do not want you do destroy their nails. They want you to enhance them!
D) Remove all dust, oils and moisture from the surface.
To do this brush on or wipe down with a nail prep. Oils left on the nail will physically get in the way of the overlay as it tries to grip the nail and result in lifting. Moisture will do the same however moisture will also retard or prevent the chemical process of polymerization. That means that the overlay will be prevented from ever setting up as hard or as retentive as it could have been.
MYTH: You must use "Nail Prep" to safely do this. THIS IS FALSE! While it is true that we recommend a Prep specifically formulated to 1) Kill Germs, 2) Remove Oils, 3) Remove Moisture, 4) Promote Adhesion through chemical treatment of the nail surface. If this is not available 100% Pure Acetone will do the trick! Acetone does not have any acknowledged antiseptic abilities but it will remove oil and moisture, the two main causes for lifting that we deal with during the preparation process. Do not use alcohol as a prep. It can leave a residue that may actually cause lifting! A 50% / 50% mix of the two make a very good prep but does not chemically enhance the nail. Use a prep if and when possible. But in a pinch the above can be very helpful.
2) Not priming or not priming enough
(this applies only to acrylics unless you are using a gel system that needs primer. All of The Supply Source Gels are "No Primer Needed".)
A) Always prime the natural nail. Let primer dry.
To do this apply a tiny amount of primer to the natural nail only. AVOID SKIN CONTACT! Primer is an acid and will burn. Be careful. Suggestion: Remove brush from bottle, wipe on inside of bottle opening to remove excess primer: Touch brush to a clean tissue to release additional excess. Apply primer to as many nails as possible with just that small amount of primer still in the brush.
B) On clients that have proven themselves to be problem lifters you should prime twice.
1) Prime once, let the primer dry thoroughly.
2) Prime a second time, let the primer dry thoroughly.
Note: Ever wonder why so many companies say that you should let primer dry? Here are the reasons: First, primer is an acid. That means that it is a corrosive. If you apply your wet acrylic on top of a wet acid the acid will seep into the acrylic. When the acrylic sets up it will have a Foreign, corrosive ingredient mixed into it that causes premature product break down. In time the break down will present itself as yellowing, brittleness and eventually lifting. There is another reason why you should allow primer to dry Read on...MYTH: Primer etches the natural nail. THIS IS FALSE! While primer is an acid it does not etch the natural nail. What primer does is to permeate or travel into the natural nail. Once there it needs time to dry and leave behind a chemical residue. This residue will then act as a chemical magnet to attract the molecules of the acrylic overlay and pull it tight against the nail. If you do not let it dry you have not allowed it the time it needs to deposit itself into the nail. This will work against you in the long run. LET YOUR PRIMER DRY!MYTH: You should apply primer to a tip. THIS IS FALSE! Primer is used to enhance the natural nail only Plastic nail tips do not need primer: In fact, primer can cause some nail tips to "craze". This is a chemical reaction that makes the tip shatter with lots of tiny cracks.
3) Temperature too cold
4) Filing too soon
(this applies only to acrylics)
Climate control your environment and your clients hands.
Cold slows down the polymerization (set up) process. If your overlay is not set up within the time frame you are accustomed to, you may accidentally file too soon. By doing this you can actually pull the acrylic away from the nail because it has not had enough time to adhere properly. Make sure your salon is warm enough. Have your client wash hands in warm water. Even offer a hot beverage to warm systemically from within.
DO NOT BRING ANY ELECTRICAL OR FLAME PRODUCING DEVICE TO THE TABLE. THIS CREATES A HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT THAT CAN CAUSE A FIRE!
5) Wearing nails too long
Make nails appropriate length.
Face it, long nails just do not hold up as well on most people. A reasonable length is gauged by following what we call the "5/3rd's rule": The length of the free edge should not be any longer than 2/3rd's of the length of the nail bed.
Example: If the nail bed measures 1 inch (That's 3/3rd's) Then the total length of the nail from cuticle to free edge will be 1 inch and 2/3rd's long. (3/3 + 2/3 = 5/3rd's)
If the client really wants longer nails than go a maximum of two times the length of the nail bed.
Remember: Be proportionate. Be reasonable. The less lifting and breaking the happier the client will be and the less work you will have during fill-in maintenance!
6) Bad powder to liquid ratio
(this applies only to acrylics)
Use the correct ratio to achieve the best chemical performance.
Chemical performance will be the most significant single factor in getting good results. It will effect lifting, cracking, breaking and longevity of the overlay. You must remember that:
A) depending on which powder and liquid combination you are using and
B) whether you are doing a tip overlay, sculptured nail or a fill-in
you will have to tailor your ratios accordingly. Usually, if you use a lot of liquid the nail will not lift but may not be strong enough. if you use too little liquid the nail will be very dense and strong but may lift. There is a balance that will deliver good results. Here is how you find that balance:
Always start your assessment with the liquid you are using. Here are 3 examples:
The Supply Source Violet Acrylic Liquid Monomer is a Low Odor; Low Evaporation, Non Crystallizing, High Retention nail liquid. It is to be used with enough powder to get a true MEDIUM consistency ratio no matter what you are doing. You can use this liquid with ANY powder. If you are using this liquid to sculpt, overlay or fill in make sure that the ball of powder and liquid you pick up and place on the nail does not run or move on its own. It should yield easily under the hairs of your brush but it should not move or run on its own. This will give you a controlled application with enough strength and retention for awesome results. The reason you must not work too wet with this liquid is related to its low evaporation rate. Less liquid leaves the mix through evaporation during set up. That means more of the liquid stays in the mix. Once you understand this you realize that you should not use too much liquid. Too much liquid can also lead to chemical sensitivity. This is when you or your client develops an irritation from the nail liquid. It is characterized by itchy, puffy, swollen cuticles. The intensity of this reaction increases each time you expose yourself or your client to the liquid. We talk more about this under chemical sensitive.
Form Fast Liquid is a fast setting monomer. It should be used with Form Fast Powders. You should work in a MEDIUM consistency at the FREE EDGE for a mix that delivers strength combined with flex for a resilient extension. You should use a MEDIUM consistency at the ARCH for a mix that delivers strength, flex (and in this area, retention to the natural nail). You should use a WET consistency at the cuticle area for a mix that will be very retentive and flexible (and thin in the area that should be flush to the nail)
Acrylic Basics Liquid is a standard setting monomer. It should be used with Acrylic Basics Powders. You should work in a
MEDIUM DRY consistency at the FREE EDGE for a mix that delivers strength combined with flex for a resilient extension. Use a
MEDIUM consistency at the ARCH for a mix that delivers strength, flex (and in this area, retention to the natural nail). You should use a
WET consistency at the cuticle area for a mix that will be very retentive and flexible (and thin in the area that should be flush to the natural nail.
7) Allowing overlay material to touch cuticle
A) Apply to the natural nail only. Avoid skin contact.
Overlays applied and allowed to overlap onto the skin is in fact already lifted. It is not in contact with the natural nail so it is already coming away from it! Picture the coating as you would nail polish... Up to the cuticle but not touching it. Leave a thin margin of space between the two.
B) Make the overlay flush with the natural nail.
File the overlay ultra thin and completely flush with the natural nail. By leaving a space between the cuticle and free edge you have the room to get between the two and file the overlay completely flush and paper thin where it meets the natural nail. You should not be able to feel any lip or line. This lip, if left can catch and start a lift that will spread.
8) Client Abuse
9) Client on medication
Educate your clients
A) Your nails are jewels not tools. You are a beautician not a magician. We have all heard those cute little sayings. They're true! No matter what you do, if your client is a monster with her nails she will have monstrous nails! Educate your clients regarding at home care. (Retail some "Light Seal" fast drying top coat - polish dryer, an orangewood cuticle stick, Peach Oil, and a 3 way buffer) Get them involved and they are more likely to take better care and come back in for fill-in maintenance with fewer problems.
B) Some medications can severely effect artificial nails and the ability to retain against the natural nail plate. These same medications are also known to cause hair color and permanent waves to fail. Try everything you can to safely provide a successful experience. (Try wraps vs. gels vs. acrylic. More thoroughly examine different products and product mixes) However, remember that there are some things we have no control over. Certain people may be better off with a natural nail care program.