In recent years, gel (also known as shellac) manicures have become a rising trend, and for good reason. These polishes are hard to chip even with day to day tasks, and the shiny coat lasts for nearly two weeks. However, if you have ever gotten these types of polishes, you know that they can leave your natural nails brittle, peeling, and breaking, especially if they are removed the wrong way.
The removal process of gel manicures can be detrimental to your nails. Removing gel polish requires soaking the nails in acetone nail polish remover for about 15 minutes, which will dehydrate the nails. Nail dehydration can cause the nails to become brittle, and thus they become softer, thinner, and more prone to breakage. The worst thing you could do to remove your gel polish is to peel it off. By peeling off your manicure, not only are you removing the polish, you are removing the top layer of the nail.
By no means is this a PSA telling you to stop getting gel manicures. However, it is important to give your nails the TLC they deserve after constant gel manicures. The first thing you can do is to go without polish for a few weeks. This will give your nails the time they need to repair and heal themselves from the wear and tear of back-to-back gel manicures. Another thing you can do is to keep your nails short, to prevent further breakage. When the polish is off, hydrate the nails and nail bed with a cuticle oil or cream. This will hydrate your nails and prevents your cuticles from becoming overly dry and frayed. If you absolutely cannot go without polish on your nails, try and use strengthening base coats and top coats to add a layer of extra protection.
One thing you should avoid at all costs though: acrylic nails!