I’ve always had fairly healthy nails, and I’ve taken pretty good care of them all my life. I never did acrylics or any other type of fake nails, and I try to follow all the rules of proper filing and all that. I would sometimes get them manicured at the cheap salons, but more often I did them myself or left them plain. When they would get weak or brittle in the winter, a few coats of Nailtiques usually did the trick.
It wasn’t until I started getting regular gel manicures that I started having a big problem with my nails splitting and breaking. I did gel manicures off and on for a few years, but my nails finally got so bad that I had to give up on the gel and go back to regular nail polish. I even wrote a post on why gel manicures are bad (which still gets a lot of Google traffic and comments, actually!)
It took a few months of regular nail polish (or no nail polish), but eventually my nails started to regained their natural strength.
Then last fall I started going to Eden Day Spa and Salon for facials, and one day I decided to get a manicure while I was there. I haven’t gone anywhere else since. This isn’t your little walk-in joint in the nearest strip mall. This is grown-up spa where they do massages and hair and everything else. I feel like an adult now that I have to make an appointment to get my nails done. Ha!
My nail technician there informed me that gel manicures aren’t necessarily all bad; but some products are superior (they only use the CND brand Shellac), and sometimes it’s actually the removal process that wrecks the most havoc on your nails. She told me that my nails were splitting and breaking because they were so dry, and they needed moisture. (Yes, partially due to the rough handling of my former nail technicians, subpar products, and also just because of wintertime and hand-washing and dry air. And no, the gel nail polish didn’t help; it can be drying too.)
Enter CND SolarOil.
She told me that if I put it on faithfully twice a day, I could probably go back to shellac manicures without any ill effects. That was several months ago, and I have been using the solar oil religiously ever since.
Sure enough, after a few weeks of using the oil, I tried my first shellac in years, and it didn’t ruin my nails. Now I go back every two weeks and have her remove it, and if she approves of my nail health, she puts on another shellac manicure. She definitely takes more care in removing my old polish, and I’ve been diligent about applying the oil, so I’ve been able to wear several shellac manicures in a row with no problem.
In fact, right now my nails are stronger and longer than they’ve been in years, in spite of the shellac. I credit the SolarOil as well as the gentle removal technique of my new nail technician.
I keep a bottle of SolarOil by my bed and one on my desk so I don’t forget to apply it a couple times a day. It’s nothing magical, really. It’s just Vitamin E and other lightweight oils that are good for nail health, but I’m sold hook, line and sinker. If you’ve got weak, brittle nails that like to chip and break, you’ve GOT to try it.