When you leave the nail salon, what are your first thoughts? If you’re anything like me, they’re probably akin to something like, “Okay, now I can’t touch anything,” because really, it’s so hard to know when your nails are actually dry. But do you ever think about taking care of your nails afterwards? The term is aftercare, and it’s a blanket definition to describe the process of leading recovery.
In that sense, beauty aftercare would be any steps you take after leaving the shop or salon to ensure your service lasts.
Aftercare is important, especially in beauty, So, let’s talk nail aftercare. What to do after a manicure, whether it be a natural style or a nail enhancement, to keep your nails healthy and polish lasting.
If you don’t have a set aftercare routine for your nails, don’t worry. You don’t need to establish one, or go out and buy a handful of products. Essentially, as long as you keep a few simple rules in mind, you’ll have a solid way to take care of and preserve your nails.
Of course, if you’re ready to book your next manicure, don’t hesitate to head over to Booksy to get started.
1. Avoid intense hydration after leaving the salon.
When you have any type of nail enhancements, try your best to avoid intense hydration, like long baths and saunas, for at least 24 hours. While the polish may be dry enough when you leave the salon, it might not be set yet. Remember, nail enhancements use a stronger formula than regular polish, so it’ll take a while to fully dry.
If you use too much water on your hands right after your manicure, you might warp or damage the polish. It also might separate from the nail. Additionally, the color can fade prematurely. If your hands are going to be interacting with harsh chemicals after the salon, try using gloves to protect your nails.
In a nutshell, treat your manicured nails delicately when you first get them done, and you’ll have a longer, healthier wear.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Make it an important part of your aftercare routine that you’re moisturizing your hands and cuticles. Cuticles inspire nail growth, so keeping them healthy is a must. A great way to do that is to regularly apply lotion or cream to your hands. That’s it! While it’s an easy step to perform, it’s critical you don’t miss it.
Massaging moisturizer into your cuticles will keep them healthy. In addition, cuticle oil will help lock in moisture and promote growth. Keeping your hands moisturized will help your nail beds. Plus, when you use nail polish removers like acetone, it can make your hands very dry. If they’re properly moisturized, this won’t affect your hands as much.
You’ll see throughout the rest of this post that moisture is a must, no matter what other aftercare steps you’re fitting into your routine. A lot of nail care products tend to dry out the skin with their strong formulas. Don’t let your actual nails follow suit—they’ll only become more tedious to maintain with no moisture.
3. Take manicure breaks to allow time for regrowth.
When you wear gel nails, or any fake nails, you’re wearing a powerful nail enhancing treatment. That mentioned, it’s important to take breaks in between manicures. Nail enhancements weaken nail beds, so taking breaks gives them time to heal.
Sometimes, the best form of care is to do nothing at all. In this scenario, doing nothing is going to lead you to having healthier nails and more sustained manicures. It’s important for fake nails, but all types of manicures fall under this category.
Allow your nails at least one week, every couple of months, so the nail plates can restructure and repair themselves. You’ll also give them time to rehydrate, which is a must for proper gel application. Then, your nails will be prepped for another set.
4. Remove nails and polish properly.
When it comes time to remove your polish, be careful if you’re not going to a nail tech. If you remove them improperly, you can damage your nails. Don’t peel or rip your nail off because you can accidentally rip off part of your actual nail.
Let’s talk a little about taking off gel polish; It can be a slightly different process than other nail polish. The key to removing gel nails is to soak them in acetone remover. You can do it with a small bowl, cotton rounds, or a jar of polish remover with a sponge lining. They can be found at most drugstores. These removers work when you stick your finger into the sponge, soaked with acetone and remover.
If you don’t have acetone, try a homemade remedy. Make a solution of warm water, sea salt, and a drop or two of dish soap. This liquid will loosen the gel so you won’t break your nail as you peel them off. Soak your nails for about 15 minutes before peeling off the nail carefully.
Overall, the two biggest things to remember when removing any kind of polish are to do it safely and moisturize afterwards.
5. Always check for nail lifting when you have bare nails.
This is an important aftercare step: Be sure to inspect your nails periodically. After you leave the salon, with any type of manicure, nail lifting can happen. This is a random occurrence, when the nail lifts. They usually resemble a half moon shape at the base of your nail.
I have a nail lifting right now on my thumb. Why this is a cause of concern (and why I’m going to my nail tech ASAP), is because nail lifting can lead to a bacterial infection. If you’re weighing down nails with something like polish, that bacteria will get trapped.
When your nail tech pushes on cuticles during the manicure, they’re ensuring that your nail plates aren’t lifting. So, when you leave the shop and take your polish off, be sure to look out for lifting. If you find that your nails are, a quick visit to your nail tech or refresh of cuticle care should take care of it.
6. Use cuticle oil in your aftercare routine.
Cuticle oil is a great way to ensure nail health. It’s a product that stimulates nail growth and enforces long lasting polish. You’re going to want cuticle oil in your after care routine because you can conquer moisturizing and repairing your nails with one item.
To use cuticle oil, you simply apply a few drops to the base of your nail, where the cuticles are, and massage it in. Because of the moisturizing, thin formula, cuticle oil will fight against your nails becoming dry and brittle. Use cuticle oil at least once a day to ensure your nail’s top health. It can be found in most drugstores.
After care is a great form of self care. If you love getting your nails done, take a little more time to make sure they’re healthy. If you’re ready to book your next manicure, be sure to check out Booksy for talented nail techs in your area.