Wrecked Your Nails With Acrylics? Here’s Your SOS Guide

Photographed by Dan McCoy.
False eyelashes, hair extensions and nail acrylics – the fun additions to a beauty regime that are in reality, maybe not the best things to be gluing to our bodies. Nonetheless, advancements within the beauty industry mean that things have come on leaps and bounds, and within reason we can carry on doing all of the above while protecting our natural assets.
Post the WAH Nails boom circa 2012 the UK went mad for nail art. All of a sudden a bare nail just wouldn't cut it. And if our Physics lessons at school taught us anything, it's that a larger surface area = more possibilities for your nail art and so the trend for nail extensions ensued. Problem is they're not without downsides; glues, gels and electric drills – well they don't exactly spell out healthy nail beds now, do they? After months and sometimes even years of infills and extensions, your nails can be left looking and feeling damaged and weak.
We spoke to Izabelle Bellamy who filed her way through the ranks at WAH Nails and is now the resident technician at East London' s Stunt Dolly salon about how to resuscitate nails that have passed over to the other side.
Izzy explained that "acrylic nail extensions shouldn't really damage your nails, provided the correct preparation, maintenance (every 2-3 weeks), aftercare, and removal procedures are followed. The real damage is caused by heavy-handed nail technicians. Be weary of over-filing and drilling, this will cause weak, peeling and painful nails. You should always visit a qualified and insured nail tech. Over time the acrylic begins to lose adhesion to the nail, lifting and if air pockets start to be common this should be a warning sign. Acrylics should be removed and replaced every 6-12 months, although a person's daily routine and home care plus how often they have infills does determine time too."
Okay, so obviously those are all wise rules to follow, but Izzy accepts we can't always chose our nail technician and well, life sometimes just gets in the way of perfect nails. Here's Izzy's top tips and products for nails that really need some TLC, post-acrylics.

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