“Will Gel nails damage my natural nails?”

This is a question that we regularly are asked at Mooeys. Clients come in and are eagerly awaiting a fresh set of gel nails in their chosen colour, and one of the first things that is asked is “will gel nails damage my own nails?

We pride ourselves at Mooeys on providing professional treatments with high standards in both treatments and hygiene, and caring for our clients. Which includes, of course, caring for their nails. We would hate to think that any treatment we provide would put their nails at risk or jeopardise the healthy growth of their nails.

We’ve all seen the nail bars that adorn most High Streets, called jazzy names like ‘[insert famous American city] Nails’ and the such like. In these joints you walk in; you’re ordered to sit down by a pointy finger from a nail technician, and you wait your turn. All the while, you are inhaling the heady aroma and dust of powdered plastic, which is what acrylic is. These bars generally offer a walk-in service that dishes out a quick application of acrylic or ‘gel’ (notice I don’t use the word ‘treatment’ here,) and be in and out in 30 mins with a set of talons that could take someone’s eye out, or possibly yours.

Most of us (both clients and therapists) have visited a nail bar at some point, and for those who have no clue where to start it seems an obvious place to go and ‘get your nails done’. But the thing most people don’t know is that these establishments don’t promote any aspect of nail care and they don’t practice good hygiene at all, just notice how often they clean their brushes between clients (they don’t). High street nail bars are really just a conveyor belt of bums on seats and how many sets they can get done in a day. Which is all very well, but almost always the clients own natural nails are compromised time and time again. With every visit, your own nails are either filed down leaving them paper-thin before the actual application of acrylic or it’s removed in the shop with boiling hot acetone and said electric drill leaving your nails even thinner, and increasingly sensitive. All too often the technicians are self-taught or in-house trained, which sadly leaves too many clients with painfully grazed cuticles and sore surrounding skin as a result of poor training. Let’s not get started on the cases of fungal infections that clients have picked up at these nail shops!

It’s following these experiences that clients (not wanted to go through this painful process again,) turn to Mooeys for help; and yes, we have had people come to us in absolute despair because they just can’t go through the whole ‘nail bar’ experience again. They want long, healthy nails yes, but their nails have been left so ridged, paper-thin and painful that they just don’t know what to do with them.

Because of the embedded belief that this cuticle torture is the norm for nail treatments, we find ourselves having to constantly reassure clients that the products and methods of gel application and removal that we use are kind to your nails. We don’t use electric drills (although in the right hands these can be useful in removing thick gel or acrylic) and we may take a little longer in our application or removal. But you can be sure that we apply our gel without any initial damage to your own nail, and we can remove it with the guarantee that your nails will look and feel just as they did prior to your initial application.

Obviously, it goes without saying that in Mooeys salons everything is constantly maintained, sterilised, treated with anti-bacterial solutions and CLEAN.

I could have said this without mentioning the nail bars, and while this service suits some clients (and that is fair enough), we find we are very often picking up the pieces of damaged nails that these bars leave you with, so I felt it fair to mention them. I guess my point overall is that these bars give our industry and salons such a difficult task in rescuing client confidence where nail treatments are concerned, because they instantly think a gel manicure or a set of nail extensions will ‘wreck my nails’.

So rest assured, we apply our gel (The Gel Bottle is the brand we use) with no damage to your nail, we prep your cuticles and give you a decent manicure, and if you are having extensions; we use tips or form the extension out of the gel to leave you with nails that you know are healthy underneath. Our treatments are finished off with a lovely hand massage with our gorgeous Moo Soothe lotion.

The removal process of our gel is just as kind, we will file/soak your gel/tips off, but note we don’t file your actual nail plate as this will thin it out and make it painful. We will tidy your cuticles for you, file the nail to a neat and tidy shape, and apply oil for nourishment but not without giving our recommendation on how you can look after your nails yourself at home between appointments. The ONLY time gel nails damage your own nails is when you PICK THEM OFF YOURSELF!!! DON’T DO IT!!! This peels away layers of your nail plate and leaves you with the paper-thin, painful nails that we are working so hard to avoid. If your gel has lifted or chipped, give us a call and we will do our best to slot you in for a repair.

This is all part of our service as we see it, and the main thing is that we nurture your natural nails, leave you feeling satisfied that the treatment you have received is clean, careful and competent.

And with a banging set of nails!