In addition to buffers, nail files, and cuticle oils, nail strengtheners play an integral role in nail care and maintenance. Nail strengtheners work by nourishing the nail plate and by improving the overall strength and wear-resistance of nails.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about nail strengtheners:
How do nail strengtheners work?
Nail strengtheners enhance the condition of the natural nail plate by offering protection and nourishment to the nails. The strengthener works as a protective, flexible film that reinforces the structure of the nail while also imparting vitamins and nutrients to the nail plate to promote growth.
What type of nails will benefit from nail strengtheners?
Naturally strong and healthy nails contain the protein keratin which makes them tough and durable. In contrast, weak, soft, or fragile nails lack keratin and can therefore benefit from using nail strengtheners.
What is the difference between a nail strengthener and a nail conditioner?
Nail strengtheners are ideally used on weak nails lacking in protein, while nail conditioners are best used for nourishing brittle nails lacking in moisture.
What is the chemical makeup of nail strengtheners?
There are many different kinds of nail strengtheners and their formulations all differ. The chemical composition of each strengthener determines the ability of all of the ingredients to successfully penetrate the nail bed. The best nail strengtheners also include a delivery system of nourishment in their composition. The majority of nail strengthener formulations include solvents and plasticizers like ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, and tosylamide formaldehyde resin. Many of the ingredients used to reinforce nails wear off quickly, so they need to be reapplied frequently in order to be effective.
How do nail strengtheners penetrate the nail plate?
A structurally solid nail plate will have a healthy balance of strength, hardness, flexibility, toughness, and wear-resistance. The protein keratin is a vital part of our nail structure. The lower, living layers of the nail plate are nourished by microelements and proteins in nail strengtheners. These small molecules are able to penetrate between the nail layers because of their chemical similarity with the nail’s own keratin composition.
Do nail strengtheners only benefit damaged nails or do they also offer preventive maintenance?
Nail strengtheners can not only greatly benefit damaged nails but can also be used for preventative maintenance. To repair damaged nails, a nail strengthener should be applied every day or every other day for 7-14 days in order to see optimal results. For preventative nail maintenance, a nail strengthener can be applied once a week or with each new manicure as a basecoat.
Which nail strengthener is best suited for my nails?
At Silhouette Spa and Laser, we are pleased to carry the OPI Nail Envy line of nail strengtheners for clients looking to strengthen and improve the condition of their natural nails. We offer a wide range of strengtheners based on your specific nail needs:
- Original Formula
Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula provides maximum strengthening with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium for harder and stronger natural nails. The Original Formula is ideally suited for weak and damaged nails.
- Matte Finish
Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Matte Formula provides the results of the Original Nail Envy formula but with a natural-looking matte finish for invisible protection. The Matte Finish Nail Strengthener also works as an excellent base coat for nail polish and helps to strengthen natural nails.
- Soft & Thin
Nail Envy Nail Strengthener for Soft & Thin Nails has a reparative formula that strengthens and fortifies soft and thin nails with extra calcium.
- Sensitive & Peeling
Nail Envy Nail Strengthener for Sensitive & Peeling Nails features a formaldehyde-free strengthening formula with vitamin E and kukui nut oil that helps soothe and protect nails against peeling.
- Dry & Brittle
Nail Envy Nail Strengthener for Dry & Brittle Nails helps prevent splits and breaks by protecting and maintaining nail flexibility with antioxidant vitamins C & E.
If you are unsure which OPI Nail Envy nail strengthener would be best suited for your nails, our staff would be glad to assist you and answer any questions you may have.
OPI Nail Envy Application Instructions
Apply two coats of your desired nail strengthener to clean, dry nails with cuticles pushed back. Apply one coat every other day. After one week, use nail polish remover to remove all Nail Envy product and nail polish (if present) and begin application process again.
Nail Envy works best to strengthen nails when it is used as a base coat in contact with the natural nail. However, it can also be used as a top coat over nail polish.
A number of factors can affect the condition and treatment of nails, such as existing medical conditions, medications, or allergies. Prior to using a nail strengthener for the first time, it is advised to test the product on one nail to detect any negative or allergic reactions before proceeding with the treatment.