Press | The unvarnished truth: How to repair your nails at home after they've been damaged by shellac, SNS and acrylics

Founder Iman sat down with FEMAIL to give her top tips on nail heath post popular manicure treatments

In recent years, manicures have come to include a whole range of options for those wanting perfect nails.

And shellac, SNS and acrylics are among some of the most popular treatments on offer at many salons.

But because these processes often use strong chemicals, over time your nails can become damaged, brittle and weak - and look much worse for wear.

Sydney-based nail expert Iman Davamoni of Purely Polished spoke to FEMAIL about each of these styles of manicures and how to treat nails at home if they no longer look their best.

  Iman Davomoni of Purely Polished (pictured) explains how to treat nails that have become damaged shellac, SNS and acrylics

Iman Davomoni of Purely Polished (pictured) explains how to treat nails that have become damaged shellac, SNS and acrylics

HOW TO FIX NAILS DAMAGED BY SNS

What is SNS? 

  • SNS stands for Signature Nail Systems - and it is a salon brand name like O.P.I, CND Shellac or Kerastase.

  • SNS is a nail dipping system that uses a brush-on gel base on the nail, which is then dipped in a powder.

  • The difference between traditional acrylic nails and SNS is the bonding agent

  • Traditional acrylics harden by creating a chemical reaction between the liquid and the powder

The process of applying and removing SNS (Signature Nail Systems) can cause natural nails to become extremely damaged over a long period of time.

'This is why your technician will advise you not to pick at or peel off your gel or acrylic,' Ms Davomoni said.

The expert explained the only way proven way of maintaining the strength of nails is through regular use of cuticle oils and creams.

'There's little evidence SNS is any better or worse for your nails than gel polish, hard gel or acrylic,' she added. 

In her tool kit, Ms Davomoni recommends Faby Cuticle Fitness Oil, Dadi Oil, Eve Lom Cuticle Cream and Salus Lavender and Mandarin Hand and Cuticle Cream.

  According to Ms Davamoni, there's little evidence that SNS is any better or worse for your nails than gel polish, hard gel or acrylic (stock image)

According to Ms Davamoni, there's little evidence that SNS is any better or worse for your nails than gel polish, hard gel or acrylic (stock image)

HOW TO FIX NAILS DAMAGED BY SHELLAC 

What is Shellac? 

  • Shellac is a brand of gel polish, not a type of nail. Because it is like a polish, it can’t be used to extend your nail 

  • Because it is like a gel, however, it does add strength and durability 

'Gel polish is a great pop of colour that is longer lasting than regular nail polish and maintains a protective layer on the surface of your nails which is done through a LED-light curing process,' Ms Davamoni said.

However, the expert said similarly to SNS, it's not the polish that weakens the nail, but the removal process.

'When you start to see the edges around your cuticles start to lift, it is a test of self-control not to rip them off!

'This is what can cause major damage to your natural nail bed,' she explained. 

  It's not the polish that weakens the nail, more it's the removal process, the nail expert explained (stock image)

It's not the polish that weakens the nail, more it's the removal process, the nail expert explained (stock image)

Salon removal of shellac can include wrapping each finger with an acetone-soaked cotton and a small piece of foil for 15 minutes.

Products that can help restore damaged nails: 

  • Faby Cuticle Fitness Oil

  • Dadi Oil

  • Eve Lom Cuticle Cream

  • Salus Lavender and Mandarin Hand and Cuticle Cream

She said that because acetone is extremely drying to nails and skin, it is important to ensure that whoever removes gel polish properly moisturises hands and applies cuticle oil to finish off the manicure.

Ms Davomoni's advice to those with nails that have become damaged through shellac is to apply a moisturiser and a good quality cuticle oil and to cover the hands with cotton gloves.

She also recommends keeping hands away from water and if you do need to expose them to make sure they are properly covered. 

HOW TO FIX NAILS DAMAGED BY ACRYLICS  

What are Acrylic Nails? 

  • Acrylics are fake nails placed over your natural ones. The acrylic provides a protective layer over your natural nails 

  • Acrylics are applied with a liquid that is a monomer and a powder that is a polymer. Essentially, acrylic nails are a form of plastic, one which sets on its own without the need for a UV light

Acrylic nails can leave nails damaged over time. These problems can include nails becoming thinner, jagged, and ingrown at the edges, and more prone to breaking.

To help restore nails that no longer look their best after acrylic nails have been removed, Ms Davomoni suggests a professional treatment every two to three weeks. 

'Having your nails tended to by a qualified nail technician means you get professional care for your nails,' she said.

  Regular treatments with a nail technician can help restore nails that no longer look their best after acrylic nails have been removed (stock image)

Regular treatments with a nail technician can help restore nails that no longer look their best after acrylic nails have been removed (stock image)

'They [technicians] not only make you feel relaxed and pampered by ensuring your nails are beautifully shaped and painted, care is taken when working on cuticles.'

Ms Davomoni also recommends using nail strengthening treatments including Mavala Scientifique, Faby powder and coconut oil.

'And always keep a bottle of cuticle oil handy at your work desk!' she concluded.

Words by Emilia Mazza for The Daily Mail Australia