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Advice from Spa Maxx: Cuticle care

We’ve all heard the importance of drinking eight glasses of water a day for optimal health, and most of us know it’s a good idea to use chapstick on our lips and conditioner on our hair. But did you know your nails need moisture, too?

Katie, our awesome nail technician at Spa Maxx, explains that your nails grow from the cuticle (the part at the bottom of your nail), and if your cuticle is too dry, it can’t grow healthy nails. When nails are too dry, they become brittle and chip, peel, or separate more easily.

Fortunately, dry cuticles are easily prevented. To keep your nails healthy, Katie recommends applying oil to your cuticles every day. Cuticle oil is inexpensive and takes just a few seconds to apply; simply brush it across each cuticle and rub it in after your shower. This is especially important if you use treatments such as shellac polish, which can dry out the nail bed.

Here is a before-and-after example in one shot:

See the small white streaks toward the end of this client’s nail? That’s the oldest part of the nail. The white streaks are evidence of damage. The ends of the nails are weak and tend to peel, chip and break easily.

Look closely at the nail, and you’ll be able to tell when the client learned about cuticle oil. See the smooth, pink surface toward the bottom two-thirds of the nail? That’s the part that’s grown out since she began oiling her cuticles. Adding moisture strengthened the nail and protected it from damage. A little oil and a minute’s worth of daily maintenance make a big difference.

Two more tips for keeping your nails healthy:

1. Never peel off old polish, shellac, gel, or acrylics. These substances tend to adhere very tightly to the surface of the nail, and when you peel them off, you can remove part of the nail with them. Instead, either soak your nails in acetone to dissolve polish and adhesives, or come in and have Katie soak them and prepare them for a new treatment.

2. Avoid treatments that involve “roughing up” the surface of your nail prior to application. Some nail salons use a file or dremel tool to abrade the nail bed before applying acrylics or other treatments. This improves adhesion, but it also damages the nail bed.

If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your nails in top condition, call Spa Maxx at (918) 744-5500 and make an appointment to see what Katie can do for you!

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