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    ANATOMY OF THE NAIL

    Just like our skin and hair, our nails are made up of tiny creatine cells. The creatine cells are produced in the Matrix, which lies just under the skin behind the cuticle.

    In front of the matrix and the cuticle lies what is called the lunula. The lunula is the area that most people know as the "little white crescent". In the lunula, the creatine cells are compressed, so that they go from being white and uncompressed to being flat and transparent. This is why you have the small white semi-arch that merges into the pink nail plate.

    After the creatine cells have been compressed in the lunula, they grow out and form the nail plate that adheres to the skin. The next part of the nail, which is no longer attached to the skin, is called the free edge.

    The precise point where the nail plate leaves the skin is called the hyponychium. A normal hyponychium will release the nail without problems, while an overproduced hyponychium will grow out a bit with the nail, thereby forming a thin layer of sensitive skin under the free edge.

    The lateral folds are on the sides of the nail. It is really just the folds of skin that easily protect the sides of the nail with skin.


    The "invisible" cuticle
    It is important to know something about the cuticle when working with nail products. The cuticle consists of living skin cells that adhere to the nail plate and protect the matrix against bacteria. It is therefore living skin with nerves and blood vessels that you have to be careful with.

    Many do not know that you also have a cuticle, which is called the "invisible cuticle". When the cuticle is gently pushed back, the invisible cuticle becomes visible as an extremely thin membrane that sits very close and firmly on the nail plate. With some it is relatively obvious, and with others it is not noticeable at all. It is very important that you remove all the invisible cuticle before applying product. If not everything is removed, it will lie as a thin film between the product and the nail plate. As a result, the product will not adhere properly to the nail, and there will be a high risk of the product lifting from the nail within a short time.

    Hyponychium
    As previously mentioned, the hyponychium is found exactly where the nail plate leaves the skin. Most people will have a normal growing hyponychium which will shed the nail without any problems. However, a few individuals will have an overproduced hyponychium, which means that the skin grows out with the nail, forming a thin layer of sensitive skin under the free edge. The hyponychium has the task of protecting the nail from external infection, and this is done by the nail attaching to the area. You must therefore not remove the skin or try to push it down with a sharp object - even though the skin can be bothersome. It is best to leave the skin alone and gently remove dirt and grime with a soft
    nail brush. With an overproduced hyponychium, it can be challenging to
    make extensions with a template, since the template is placed under the nail. IN
    in these cases, the template can be cut so that it can be placed underneath
    the free edge – around the grown hyponychium. Alternatively, tips can be chosen instead.

    THE FACTS
    The growth rate of natural nails depends on several factors, and it is different from person to person how fast they grow. It is said that the average growth rate for an adult person is approx. 3-4 mm per month on the fingers and 1 mm per month on the toes. In the summer months, nails grow faster, just as hormone balance and other changes in the body can affect the rate of growth.

    Nail types
    When applying product to the nail, it is important to pay attention to the type of nail you have. The reason is that it will provide a better adhesion if you use products that are adapted to the nail type in question. There are three main categories of nail types; dry, normal and oiled. In addition, there is the fourth nail type, the thin and porous nail type, which can occur in combination with either the dry, normal or oily nail type.

    The dry nail type
    A dry nail is often dull and dull with shallow, vertical lines. The skin around the nail will often also appear dry. Dry nails appear either hard or porous, which means that they either feel super strong and never break (this is especially seen in the elderly), or that the nails are porous and break or split easily.

    Dry nails can be caused by many factors. The most common factor is old age because our natural oil production decreases as we age. Some people are born with a lower oil production, while others develop dry nails later in life. This can happen, for example, due to illness, allergies, eczema, lack of nutrients, medication, a job with a lot of hands in water, regular use of hand sanitizer, various chemicals, etc.

    The dry nail type should pay attention to:

    1. Be careful with nail care and oil: People with dry nails can easily find that the natural nail separates from the applied product if nail oil is not used daily. The reason is that the natural nails are no longer enriched with any types of oils, vitamins and minerals, whereby they dry out even more and become discolored and brittle. Therefore, it is extra important for good durability that people with dry nails are very careful to use nail oil often - preferably several times a day.

    2. Be careful about drying out the nails: If you have dry nails, a completely normal prep must be done. However, be careful not to dry out the nails further in connection with this. For example, it is not appropriate to use a dehydrator, just as it is also not appropriate to clean with anything other than Cleaner+ (such as cleaning with Fast Acetone Remover or pure alcohol).

    3. Do not wash your hands before your nail treatment: Imagine that the nail is like a sponge. If the sponge is completely dry, it will have a high absorbency. Therefore, it will expand and become larger as soon as it comes into contact with water. The same applies to the nail. If the nail gets wet before a nail treatment, the nail will absorb the water quickly and expand. When you have applied a nail product and the nail slowly begins to dry, the nail will contract again and become smaller. If, during this process, there is a nail product on top of a nail that suddenly shrinks and becomes smaller, the product will come off the nail. Of course, it is not a process that can be seen with the naked eye, but even small changes in the surface of the nail will affect the product that lies on top.

    The normal nail type
    The vast majority have a normal nail type. Normal nails are firm, flexible and shiny. The color is whitish/transparent, where the pink color of the nail bed can be seen through. The surface of a healthy natural nail is smooth and without spots, waves, grooves and/or discoloration. Cuticles and skin around the nail are oiled, but not greasy, and a natural production of cuticles occurs. Normal nail types rarely experience lifting if the nail is built correctly. There are no special instructions for this type of nail, but of course you still need to make sure to use nail oil often to maintain a healthy nail and healthy cuticles.

    The oiled nail type
    People with oily nails are often characterized by very smooth and shiny nail plates. The typical vertical lines seen on especially dry nail types are almost non-existent in the oiled ones. In addition, people with oily nails often tend to have a lot of cuticle growth and one or more bent nails. Oily nails are most often found in people who are younger, people with sweaty hands or people who are in hormonal imbalance - for example during puberty, menopause or in connection with pregnancy.

    The oiled nail type should pay attention to:

    1. Be extremely careful with prep: Prep is extra important in people with oily nails. Feel free to clean the nails an extra time with Cleaner+ and make sure to clean the cuticles and the sides of the nails well. In addition, always remember to use Prep&Prime, which will temporarily dehydrate the nails and remove all excess fats from the nail plate.

    2. Apply and harden the Base Coat quickly: Oiled nails are a challenge to work on, as the nail often releases many natural oils in the time between the prep being done and the Base Coat being applied to the nail. If too many oils manage to get out on the nail before it is sealed by the Base Coat, the product will not adhere optimally. With oiled nails, it is therefore an advantage to have Base Coat applied quickly.

    TIP
    For the oiled nail type, a good tip is to only work on 1-2 fingers at a time until the Base Coat is applied and fully cured. In this way, you ensure that the nails do not have time to give off very much liquid and oil before the Base Coat has hardened on each individual finger.

    The distal nail type: The thin and porous nail
    In addition to the classic three nail types, there are some who experience having thin, fragile or porous nails. Some people form a lot of keratin in the matrix and are therefore known to have long and strong natural nails, while other people form less keratin and are therefore known to have thin and fragile nails. Unfortunately, it is also seen that thin, fragile and porous nails are self-created because too harsh a nail technique has been practiced. This happens e.g. by over-filing (if too much is filed on the natural nail) or if a nail product is removed incorrectly.

    Regardless of the cause of thin, fragile and porous nails, it is often a good idea to use a strengthening product such as Builder Gel. Thin nails will bend so easily that Gel Polish alone will be very exposed to knocks, shocks and breaks.