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Do Jamberry Wraps Damage Nails?
I'm going to start this off with a little disclaimer in that I am not a licensed practitioner, I'm not a doctor and I'm not giving anyone any medical advice – what I am doing is giving information that you can take or leave. I highly recommend that if you have any concerns or feel that the information provided might apply to you – that you seek out further advice from your health care practitioner. Look after yourself!!
If you do a quick Google search you will find plenty of blog posts from the ‘haters' saying their nails have been damaged from wearing nail ‘stickers'. I'm here to dispel some of that negativity and get down to the bottom of whispers and concerns. My background is in natural health – nutrition and Naturopathy so when I first saw nail damage pictures my mind pretty much naturally jumped to “what deficiency is happening?” You see nail damage usually stems from two things – trauma (you know digging in a garden, banging your nail, picking or biting them kind) OR an underlying nutritional deficiency.
So let's start with a little background science. What is a fingernail anyway?
A fingernail is produced by living skin cells in the finger. A fingernail consists of several parts including the nail plate (the visible part of the nail), the nail bed (the skin beneath the nail plate), the cuticle (the tissue that overlaps the plate and rims the base of the nail), the nail folds (the skin folds that frame and support the nail on three sides), the lunula (the whitish half-moon at the base of the nail) and the matrix (the hidden part of the nail unit under the cuticle).
Fingernails grow from the matrix. The nails are composed largely of keratin, a hardened protein (that is also in skin and hair). As new cells grow in the matrix, the older cells are pushed out, compacted and take on the familiar flattened, hardened form of the fingernail.
In a nutshell your nails are some darn tough skin and just like skin they can get dry. Now this dryness can be caused by general dehydration (because let's face how many people drink enough water?) or your nails and hands can become dry from exposure to chemicals, being in hot dishwater, general cleaning, and well LIFE! For some people this means if they wear a nail wrap and then remove them (especially if they don't soak the wraps appropriately to soften or dissolve the adhesive) they might see some damage to the surface of the nail – a peeling appearance.
Like life and onions (thanks Shrek) nails have layers! And if your nails are dry and dehydrated the adhesive in the wraps can, if not removed properly, take some of those dry layers with them when they come off. So that leads us back to the question? Do the wraps damage your nails. And the answer is no, the wraps themselves aren't damaging your nails – they aren't causing the underlying problems however, not removing them properly is causing an issue.
So there are two things you can do here you can start beating a loud drum claiming that nail wraps are horrible and they damage your nails and all is bad in the world…..OR you can take a step back and say ‘well something isn't right here, what could it be and how can I fix it? Because quite frankly if you do your research there are even more stories of people singing the praises of wraps and how their nails have never been healthier since wearing wraps? I mean what's up with that?
It's likely those people have a generally good diet, their nutrition is pretty good, they are hydrated and the damage they were seeing with their nails was likely from environmental exposure – so from being in water, cleaning etc. and since wearing wraps the actual nail has been protected so it has had less exposure to these things. Then there are those who are having some issues and guess what I AM ONE OF THEM yep, I've had the peeling! My nails were pretty weak and horrible to start with but I already knew that I had some nutritional issues going on (and well that's a whole another story) so when I first started wearing the wraps and found I was getting some peeling, instead of declaring that the wraps were bad, I thought what's going on here and how can I fix it?
The first thing you can look at is hydration. Water!! Friends you need to drink it! And I don't mean oh I drink plenty of water…you know 3 cups of coffee and tea and an energy drink they all have water, right?! Nope water, good old H2O – you need the good stuff in your cells to make sure your body functions properly and your hair, skin and nails all look great. There are studies (here's one – Survey of 3003 Americans, Nutrition Information Center, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (April 14, 1998) that indicate more than 75% of people are chronically dehydrated! That's a huge! So get the water into you!!
Take a good hard look at your diet and nutrition – there is so much happening these days in our environment, the quality of our food, busy lives and more that see a huge portion of the population being nutritionally deficient in one form or another. There are very few people who can claim to be in a good nutritional state. Nails are used by both natural and mainstream practitioners as sign posts for medical conditions as then can be indicators of some underlying conditions and nutritional deficiencies. Check out this post on Web M.D. Nails and Health
In short peeling nails can be a number of things – dehydration, trauma (not dissolving the adhesive and literally ripping the nail), iron deficiency (anemia) and even thyroid issues. Soft, weak, thin nails can be caused by low zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin A or Biotin levels. You may have a condition (like I do) like Pyrolle Disorder or Hashimoto's which makes the absorption of minerals and vitamins a challenge and the result is weakened nails. The point is there are a number of things that can cause the nails to show signs of damage.
So what can I do if I see damage after removing the wraps?
The first thing you need to do is look carefully at how you removed them! The adhesive that is used is strong! And that's why you get such great longevity out of the wraps – when you prepare the nails correctly and apply them using pressure and heat the bond is strong so you need to take great care when removing them – the adhesive needs to be softened and dissolved you shouldn't be peeling off the wraps they should literally slide off if you are doing it right! You can remove the wraps using traditional nail polish remover which dissolves the adhesive or you can use the oil and heat method (Removing with coconut oil). Either way you need to take your time to ensure you don't damage your nails.
Nail preparation is important too – when you are buffing your nails make sure you only go in one direction – going back and forth can cause damage and weaken and thin your nail bed. Your nails should be filed in a curve, not pointy as trendy as it might be, because you weaken the structure of the nail, nature kind of knows what it's doing and we weren't designed with pointy nails (just sayin').
HYDRATE!!! Get that water into you and externally hydrate – that means moisturize, lotions, oils, creams I don't care (well I do – go for a naturally based product – kick those chemicals out of your life) but take care of that skin and your cuticles, because the health of your cuticles and nail bed impact the health of the nail. Of course, Jamberry offers AMAZING cuticle oil and the Indulgence Hand Care set is second to none, but in the end it doesn't matter which brand you use as long as you use it!
Use nail strengthening lacquers – again Jamberry has their own brand but there are others available. These can help your nails out as they grow and while you look at other factors such as your diet!
Lastly (or maybe firstly), look at your diet and consider supplementation – you need to discuss this with your health care practitioner and choose a course that is right for you. Again, Jamberry offer a fantastic basic supplement called Beauty Boost which is a mulit-vitamin high in Biotin which is terrific for your skin, hair and nail health. It's a good place to start but there might be a better option for you so best to discuss with your practitioner.
In the end you might need to give the wraps a break for a while and look after yourself and your nail health. Jamberry Nail Wraps are a fashion accessory not the cure to cancer! There is a solution to the issues – it can be as simple as how you are removing them and if it's something more complicated like a nutritional issue – then that can be helped too and in a weird way it's kind of a gift that what can be perceived as a negative (damaged nails) might in fact be something that in the long term improves your overall health if you address any underlying problems!