Things to know about Shellac nails

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The manicure industry is abuzz about a more durable option: shellac nails. This nail treatment promises to last as long as a full month without chips, breaks or the need for extra coats. If this sounds like your manicure dream coming true, be aware that this nail treatment has drawbacks. Weigh the pros and cons before heading to the salon, and make sure you visit a facility that provides hygienic facilities and is properly licensed.

Healthy nail bed

Shellac nail polish is an excellent choice for durable nails, but it's not for everyone. It requires a healthy nail bed. If your cuticles and nail bed are peeling, damaged or splitting, you should not have this treatment. These problems will affect the durability of your finished nails, so it is best to fix the problems before having the treatment. Also, the removal process could further damage your cuticles.
Lasts up to a month

The longevity of shellac nail treatment is its main benefit. Almost every shellac nail treatment will last 14 days. Most people find that the nail polish stays in place for a full month, but new nail growth may send them back to the salon for a touch-up. Be aware that shellac is porous, and cleaning products, pool chemicals and other chemicals can cause it to peel or chip.

Home care

While shellac will last longer than traditional treatments, it does require home care to keep the nail healthy and the polish looking good. You should apply cuticle oil to your nails twice per day. This will penetrate the porous polish and nourish the nail bed, keeping your nails healthy underneath the pretty colors. Wear gloves when using strong chemicals, lotions or tanning oils.

Special removal

Shellac can't be removed with the nail polish remover you probably use at home. The treatment requires a specialized removal process to protect nails and cuticles. You'll need to return to the salon to have your nails soaked in a special acetone and wrapped. The wrapping uses your body heat to remove the nail polish.
Specific limitations

While durable and beautiful, shellac treatment has some limitations. First, it is not a nail strengthener. Second, it cannot be used to lengthen the nails, so people who opt for this treatment should have nails at the length they like.  
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