Is Shellac bad for your nails?

A friend and licensed cosmetologist, Amy Vargo, of Elegante Salon recently shared this post, and it’s too good not share with you.

Below, she addresses concerns about whether not shellac or gel manicures will damage your natural nail:

Will Shellac ruin my nails?

I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about how Shellac manicures are terrible for your nails. Which is pretty frustrating, since it’s NOT!

When applied properly and soaked off properly, this natural nail manicure proves to be a great way to extend the life of your polish. Shellac, or gel polish, more properly named, was designed to be a 2 week product. With that said, it is supposed to last up to 2 weeks with the appropriate application and at-home care. Some of my clients get up to 3 to 4 weeks of wear, which is great! But rare. Chances are, if your Shellac is lasting 4-6 weeks, it’s not Shellac….

Some of our, let’s say, competitors, quick in and out nail salons, are offering what they call Shellac manicures, and are using a gel base to lengthen the wear time from the normal 2 weeks, to 4 and above. They are using the ‘drill’ to smooth down the entire natural nail surface, creating a very porous, unhealthy nail to apply product too. First things first…those drills are only designed to use on artificial nails for filling, like acrylic or gel. If used incorrectly, they can create irreversible damage to the nail bed, unsightly lines, and even leave you at greater risk for nail infections and fungus. After the drilling of the natural nail, then they are applying a gel product for the base. Most gels have to be filed off and will not soak with acetone. These two coupled together WILL make your mani last for virtually ever, but is not safe in the end and will ruin your nails. I have personally done Shellac for 5 years, and know for a fact that it soaks off in about 10-15 minutes with acetone. If you’re having trouble getting yours off, if it soaks for 20 minutes or more, it’s not just Shellac. Trust me. I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the aftermath of these other nail salon’s work, and it is not pretty or fun. The end result is a weak nail, a frustrated nail tech, and client wondering what the heck is going on. Oh, and the stigma that Shellac ruins your nails.

To conclude, Shellac is not what ruins your nails. It is the application that will. Trust your educated nail technician working in a licensed, inspected, and trust worthy salon, and please, tell your friends to stop paying for nail damage at those ‘other’ salons. Let’s support the ones who are doing the work properly and with the client’s best interest truly at heart.


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