When you think of extending your toenails, the first thing that comes to mind might be to use acrylics. However, many people are not aware that there is another safer option for extending your toenails without the use of acrylics.
In this post, I reached out to experts in the industry and asked them to provide for me their best tips to deal with this issue.
Here are some things you can do to extending your toenails without the use of acrylics:
Try a Professional Toenail Kit
Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a Board-certified NYC podiatrist and founder of StepupFootCare mentions that a great option to extend short, broken, chipped, damaged, or discolored toenails or toenails with a fungal infection is to use the Keryflex Nail Restoration System. This option is recommended by medical doctors.
The Keryflex Nail Restoration System involves applying a flexible, light-weight resin or gel that binds to the nail and provides a clean, natural and polishable surface.
On the other hand, Acrylic nails are rigid and do not bend with the natural movement of the toes. Thus, acrylic nails can cause permanent damage to the nail bed, which is the layer of tissue under the hard part of the toenail. The Acrylic for nails is applied using strong acids which irritate the skin around the nail and the nail bed itself.
The Keryflex Nail Restoration System is performed in the office by a medical professional or certified nail technician.
KeryFlex is durable and in fact, binds permanently to the nail unless removed with an electric file in the office. Application of keryflex is free of harsh acids used in salons. Keryflex is also non-porous and will not allow moisture to penetrate the layer in between the natural and prosthetic nails. Finally, the resin is impregnated with an antifungal agent that prophylactically prevents infections.
Here’s how a certified nail technician would use the system:
- The first step is to apply a Bonding Agent to optimize bonding of the resin to the natural nail.
- Next, the resin is placed on the nail. It’s flexible nature allows for sculpting and contouring to the desired shape and length of nail.
- The last step involves applying a UV cured top coat called Sealant which makes the non-porous and polishable. This final step also makes the nail smooth and glisten as a natural nail would.
Dr. Lobkova recommends using the Natural type for nails that are not discolored and healthy but short and need elongating. She also recommends using Opaque type for discolored toenails as this would help cover imperfections and impurities in the toenails.
What Else You Need to know:
- The Keryflex Nail Restoration System is primarly used on toenails and is not recommended for the nails on your hands.
- You can use nail polish on top after the treatment. You can polish your toenails right after the application.
- This is a professional toenail restoration system that should only be used by a trained professional and it’s not for home use.
Try Gel Nails
Ren Wu, Co-Founder of Maniology, a company that provides innovative nail stamping products, suggests that An excellent alternative for acrylic nail extensions is gel nails. They can easily be applied directly onto the natural nail bed to strengthen the nail and promote natural growth.
Typically, they’re applied in very fine layers, and more gel can be applied on top of an artificial extension to add even more length. On top of that, gel extensions don’t cause any damage to the natural nail and can actually be used to strengthen and to protect growth in the natural nail. Gel extensions are also odorless and are considered to be more environmentally friendly compared to acrylics.
How to Use Gel Nails:
- The first step is to prep your nails. You want to make sure your nails are completely blank — cut, filed and shaped to how you like.
- After that, make sure you push back any skin off your nail plate. You can just use a cuticle for this step.
- Next, it’s time to apply your base layer. However, keep in mind that when you’re using gel nails, it’s a much thinner base than with standard nails. Once you’re done, let the base dry for a considerable amount of time.
- Once dried, you can then start applying your colour with another thin layer. If it looks slightly sticky, don’t panic — that’s how it should look. Also, make sure you’re now painting over your nails’ surfaces and tips, as this will prevent them from curling later on.
- Next, apply your top and final gel and put your nails under a UV light for two minutes. Once that time is up, you’ll have the beautiful gel nails you’ve been craving.