We're willing to bet that that most of you are probably going to say, "Of course nails need to breathe!" That's because if you do think this way, you're certainly not alone. When it comes to nail care, this is one of the most common beliefs in the world of beauty.
The good news is that you don't have a thing to worry about when it comes to letting your nails breathe because they're dead. With the exception of a few popular TV shows, dead things don't breathe, so you're in good shape!
Here are some common questions that we thought would help explain this a little better:
- What are nails? Fingernails and toenails are made of a protein that's called keratin. This (dead) protein layers up over time, and as the layers flatten, they produce what you know as nails. The proteins are delivered to your fingertips and toes via your bloodstream. In other words, the entire process that goes into your body's nail creation happens internally, and once the nails appear externally, the work is already done, and "breathing" doesn't factor into the equation.
- Then why do my nails feel dry and brittle if I keep polish or acrylic nails on for too long? The short answer is, there are tons of possible answers, and none of them are really related to the polish or the acrylic material, per se. One common culprit is an improper application of the materials in the first place. If your nail care starts off poorly executed, the outcome isn't likely to be much better. Your nail technician will likely be able to spot the results of poor workmanship right away, and if this is the cause of your brittle nails, you might be suggested to take a break to let your nails grow the damaged parts out.
Poor diet and health problems can absolutely affect your nails, as well. Since the formation of the nails comes from within, brittle nails could potential signal other reasons that your nails aren't strong enough to support the weight of acrylic or other nail enhancements.
Acetone in nail polish removers often has a drying effect, and more times than not, that's what you're feeling. While you're accusing the polish of doing harm, it's more likely that the polish remover is the reason you're feeling dryness.
- So there's never a reason for me to go polish-free? Not exactly. Although "breathing" isn't doing anything for your nails, keeping your nails polished can eventually lead to the nail protein picking up parts of the color (in other words, your natural nail may become a little discolored). If you're planning on going with natural nails, but you're noticing the yellowing tint, start growing them out without color.
If you're still not convinced or if you have questions about your own nails, give Shaggin' Salon a call. The nail care and beauty experts at Shaggin' are always happy to help dispel myths and help you look and feel your very best!