Most of the time I will argue that it isn’t the poduct that damages the nails it is in fact the technician doing your nails. If done correctly acrylic, gel and shellac shouldn’t damage your nails; however let’s take a moment to talk about SNS (Signature Nail System).
You might have seen the posters outside of nail bars claiming SNS to be “Healthy natural nails”, “Contains vitamin E and Calcium”, “Better than acrylic and gel”, “NATURAL!” Now let’s investigate a little here. Your nail is made up of dead cells that cannot be penetrated by anything; you cannot make them thicker and stronger by applying anything to your nails (let’s not even talk about ‘nail strengtheners’). The only way to make your nails thicker and stronger is to stimulate growth in the matrix, which is between your first knuckle and your cuticle. So how is this ‘natural’ and ‘vitamin rich’ nail system working?
The clear base coat that is applied to your nail is actually SUPER GLUE and then the coloured powder that you dip you nail into is ACRYLIC POWDER.
The calcium is 0.001% of the super glue that again will NOT penetrate the nail, and the vitamin E is from the cuticle oil which isn’t a stage of the SNS treatment but in fact is a separate product that is applied after every service at most nail salons.
Now to the dipping part of the system, you’re dipping your nails into powder that everyone before you has also dipped their nails into. Cross contamination can occur when tools are not sterilised correctly or sharing of products like the dipping acrylic powder. FUNGLE INFECTIONS are on the rise due to SNS and it can take up to 12 months to clear up if treated properly.
Most of the time when I remove SNS from clients I will find that the SNS is rarely chipped or cracked which is great for the client but it comes at a price. Mixing the acrylic powder and super glue together creates a brittle and harsh product that doesn’t VISIBLY crack but it often micro shatters… shattering the nail underneath. When I see nails that have had SNS for a few rounds they peel and flake and the only thing that we can really do is let the damage nails grow out.
SNS is a prime example of false advertising and I advise for you to stay fare way from it. I suggest as an alternative you opt for another product that suits you. If you’re having SNS for just the colour and your nails are naturally strong then I suggest you go for a gel polish (shellac). If you’re having the SNS for strength and support because you find that your nails are flexible and break easy then I suggest an acrylic overlay with gel polish on top.
Remember to take care of your nails.