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Nail Care & Manicures/Gel Nail curing and filing options

Date:2012-04-20
QUESTION: I have been getting my nails done for about a year - and love my gels... but am looking for another salon closer to home.  I found one, but was told that they only use the non-UV curing gels.  Since that is different from what I'm used to - I wonder what the difference is.  Pros / Cons - or really no difference?  Also my nail tech only used a file and insisted that it was the best way - but occasionally filed my cuticle raw.  I went to someone else who used a drill and found it a much better experience - faster and much more accurate.  My gut is telling me to go to someone who uses a drill, but have been told (by current tech) and read on line that a drill should never be used with gels... is that true?
 
ANSWER: There is no difference between a drill and a hand file.
 
A LOT of my colleagues would have conidtion fits if they heard me that, but at the very core, it is a true statement. The GRIT that is being used against your nail or the product on your nail is the same, whether it is flat or curved, whether it is manual or electric, whether it moves back and forth or spins around and no matter how fast it goes.
 
The major concern with an electric file is how fast it moves. In untrained hands, it is very easy to over-file the nail or product.
 
However, I consistently see techs who insist on hand filing overfile, leaving deep ridges in natural nails. And, because a hand file is much larger than the area being filed, it's very easy to drag the file over delicate tissue surrounding the nail and cut into cuticles and sidewalls.
 
Bottom line? The is no right or wrong answer when it comes to hand file vs e-file, whether it is on product of any sort or the natural nail. What you need to pay attention to is technique and skill. If a tech can produce satisfactory results without causing injury, it doesn't matter what were used. So don't worry too much about it. You'll have to find your own preference and learn to take advice on this subject with a grain of salt. This is a hotly debated topic in the industry and everyone seems to have a personal opinion.
 
(FWIW: I use a drill on everything, it's faster and I like that the drill bits are small and easily fit "inside the lines" with less chance of me filing in a spot I can't see.)
 
As for "non UV-cured gel" BIG difference!
 
First, since fraud is SO common, make sure you understand that gel products are NEVER powders. Too often shops are selling "gel nails" that are nothing more than traditional acrylic systems with a gel topcoat. Gels are manufactured as gels-- they are not mixed in-house from liquid and powders.
 
My concern is that a salon might use the term "non UV-cured gel" to charge higher prices for nails that are made from liquid and powder systems.
 
If this is not the case: another thing to beware of is that the term "gel" merely indicates the physical consistency of the product.
 
Traditionally, "No light gels" or gels that do not need to be cured under UV light, are merely made of cyanoacrylate resin-- nail glue-- in various viscosities. These resins can come in lots of different consistencies, from watery thin to very thick like paste, but they are all essentially just nail glue.
 
There are activators on the market that can be used to speed the time it takes for these adhesives to cure, but these products are NOT AT ALL like UV-cured gels.
 
Cyanoacrylate resins have a great place in the world of nail enhancement products and I have nothing negative to say about their use. BUT if you are accustomed to UV-cured gels and are happy with them, I believe you will be disappointed with enhancements made with cyanoacrylate resins.
 
This resin is not as flexible as gel, and it tends not to maintain it's clarity (you know how gel is super clear and shiny? Resin doesn't really stay that way.)Resin breaks down over time, especially in water, so the products tend to become brittle and require replacement from time to time.
 
If you're allergic to traditional acrylic, then c. resins are great because they have a very low tendency to aggravate allergies, but if you're used to UV gels, I think you'll be happier sticking with them.

TypeInfo: Nail Course

Keywords for the information:Manicure  Electric file  nail care  electric file  UV light