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Nailed It: How I Salvaged My Brittle Nails Post Gel Extensions

Nailed It: How I Salvaged My Brittle Nails Post Gel Extensions

The only time I clipped on extensions, and drenched my nails in swirls of colour was when I chanced upon a carousel of a lilac-hued manicure-board on Instagram. You can blame the aesthetic — not that there’s anything wrong with extensions. But I decided to refill my month-old press-ons with a splash of hot-pink—and that decided it.

I was pre-occupied enough to not have them removed four weeks after. My O.G nails had grown under my press-ons, and I was glad I didn’t have to dispose the idea of fashioning decently-long nails after weeks of sporting pretty long ones. But I was wrong. When I strutted to the salon, I returned with jagged tips that felt like they were about to chip off at any moment. My nails were brittle, chip-prone, and bendable. And I was compelled to bid adieu to them a day after I told myself I could deal with my digits as long as they looked nice. Oops. Anyway—I’d to resort to a couple of remedies to salvage them, and I’m rounding them up for you in case you find yourself in a similar dilemma.

Tips To Strengthen Nails Post Extensions

Cut Them, Please

Don’t let the idea of grown-out O.G nails take precedence over the fact that they can chip, bend, and even bleed if they break the wrong way. I remember struggling to open a tin of food for my felines because of my nails. And nothing was sadder than watching them wait for me to present them with their P.M meal. If not for yourself, do it for the cats or dogs—even the metaphorical ones (if you don’t have any). Oh, plus, trimming can help your nails re-grow stronger and healthier.

Apply A Nail Hardener

Instead of applying polish, use a nail-hardener to reverse the damage, and strengthen and heal the nails. And if you must apply polish right after removing your extensions, make sure you’re coating your nails with a hardener before painting them.

Still, Don’t Paint Them

That’s what my manicurist advised me to do when she over-heard me tell my cousin that I was going to paint them once I was back home. She asked me to let my O.G nails breathe for a few days—what with them sitting under another set of nails for two months straight.

Nourish With A Cuticle Oil

Since your nails are weak and brittle at this point, you must hydrate and nourish your cuticles. Remember that it’s your cuticles that are responsible for healthy nail-growth. Since they function as barriers between your skin and your nails, they must be able to prevent bacteria and radicals from entering your body. A compromised cuticle cannot quite do that; but an oil can deliver nutrients and vitamins to them, and lock in moisture to reinstate their health. And don’t just slather it on. Massage it in.

Avoid Harsh Soaps

Look—your nails are weak. And washing them with harsh soaps and cleansers just weakens them further. Even running them under water too much can dry them out quickly. But because washing your hands is unavoidable, you must moisturise your nails right after. And try wearing gloves when you’re doing the dishes.

Bathe Them In Olive Oil

This is an effective DIY hack. All you have to do is submerge your nails in a bowl of olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes every day to strengthen them, and that’s about it.

If your nails are extremely weak, we’d suggest allowing them to breathe for a bit before you book another appointment with your manicurist. Let them heal for a minimum of three to four weeks.

Featured: Instagram

04 May 2022

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