In the Know: Salon System

What recommendations should I give clients who need help strengthening their nails?

First, you need to be sure that the nails do need strengthening. Unfortunately, many therapists misdiagnose nail conditions, which can lead to incorrect advice and treatments.

One of the most common nail types we see are nails that are peeling and flaking, or prone to cracking or splitting.

In these cases they don’t require strengthening; they need conditioning and nourishment.

Nail strengtheners should only be used on weak and thin natural nails. This includes nails that bend easily or have been damaged by poor nail enhancements. 

A good strengthener will provide the nail with the extra strength needed to maintain the length and grow out any damage. Just remember that strengtheners are a short-term treatment and won’t change nails that are naturally weak and thin.

Clients with naturally weak or thin nails would be more suited to having enhancements: acrylics and hard gels can allow the nails to grow to the desired length by shielding them from exposure and not giving them the opportunity to break.

Gel polish is another option as it offers slightly more protection for the nail than traditional polish.

There is very little we can do to make nails grow better or faster. The growth is determined by the amount of blood and nutrients supplied to the nail matrix and taking supplements or eating certain foods aren’t as important as people believe.

More emphasis should instead be placed on how clients care for nails, including preventing them from chipping. Regular manicures will help care for the nail while it grows, as will applying cuticle oil, which increases blood flow and improves the delivery of nutrients to the nails.

Rachel Gribble is an educator for UK-based Salon System, which offers nail treatments and products. Not only training Salon System nail techs but also involved in new product development, she’s been with the company for 14 years. Starting as a nail tech, she worked with a host of leading UK spas and salons before becoming an educator.