Acrylic Nails The Facts

The Truth about Acrylics

To make a healthy long lasting non damaging acrylic nail I need to use 2 products  together, these are commonly known as an acrylic powder and a monomer liquid EMA (ethyl methacrylate) .  Unfortunatly there are a few salons still using a product known as MMA (Methylmethacrylate)

Please read on................

Acrylic Nails are the most common form of nail enhancements in the salon due to their ease of use, strength and durability.

Acrylics are safe and non-damaging to the natural nail plate when applied, maintained and removed by a qualified Nail Technician using proper techniques.

You may hear people say, "Having Acrylic nails really damaged my natural nails... My natural nails were so sensitive and weak when they were removed..."

This damage can be caused by any of the following:

A nail tech that uses a file or drill that is too coarse for the natural nail, this removes layers of the nail plate resulting in a sensitive and thin natural nail. (No drills are used in my salon)

A nail tech that misuses 'primer' - a bonding agent used with acrylics, this can cause sensitivity if exposed to the surrounding skin (burning sensations) and possibly allergic reactions.  (Acid free primers are only used in my salon.)

A salon that uses MMA liquid monomer instead of approved EMA liquid monomer when doing acrylics, this can cause several possible complications.

What is MMA???

WHY MMA (Methylmethacrylate) should not be used:
 
MMA is solvent resistant - MMA does not soak off easily or in a reasonable length of time.  Some will simply RIP the nails off or pry them off causing extreme damage to the natural nail plate. If a weakened nail plate or damaged nail plate is already present, (normal is when MMA is used) the exposure problems while soaking off MMA become a larger concern, not to mention the ill effects and pain of ripping off the enhancements. EMA should take about 30 minutes or less to soak off, while MMA will take more than an hour to remove. And some you will find hard to remove at all, unless they are filed.
 
To remove, or maintain an MMA enhancement, a drill (electric file) will most often be used. Many who use this tool are untrained and have been known to cause excessive damage to the nail plate - rings of fire - by drilling into the nail plate, sometimes THROUGH the nail plate into the nail bed (sometimes this causes permanent damage). Additionally, when a nail enhancement of MMA is banged or knocked, it has little to no flexibility and will break severely, often taking the nail plate with it.
 
EMA is formulated to be flexible, the enhancement will break, sometimes the nail, but not usually damage the nail plate.

Poor adhesion - To make MMA adhere well to the nail, overly rough preparation methods are used. The nail plate is "roughed up" with a coarse file, creating in effect, a shag carpet look to the nail plate, giving the MMA something to adhere to. This process thins and weakens the nail plate allowing more chemicals to be absorbed through the weakened nail plate during application and curing time. All acrylic enhancements, while hard enough to file in 1-4 minutes, continue to cure for as long as 36-48 hours after application.

Warning signs of MMA use:
Here are some signs that your acrylic nails may contain MMA:

 
MMA has an unusually strong or strange odor which doesn't smell like other acrylic liquids. Odor is present during application and when filing cured product (for fill-ins or repairs).
• Enhancements which are extremely hard and very difficult to file even with coarse abrasives.
• Enhancements take a very long time to soak off in solvents designed to remove acrylics.

Additional warning signs though less definitive:
• Low price of fills and full sets (MMA cost 1/3 of EMA) Full sets costing £15 - £25
Techs or management that are secretive about brands used. Just because they have a name brand polish in the salon does not mean they are using that  brand of acrylic. ASK to see original containers!
• Technicians often wear masks to prevent inhalation of the powerful distinct odor- noxious, sharp and fruity
(although many technicians use dust masks today who do not use MMA)
• You experience headaches and a runny nose when you visit the salon
 
Is EMA really safe?
You will be happy to know that ethyl methacrylate EMA is one of the most studied monomers on Earth. There is a huge amount of scientific literature that backs up the safety of this important substance. It is used in everything from household plastics to medical devices that are implanted in the body.

Make Sure You Find a Qualified Technician
Manicure services should NOT be painful. If the technician is causing you ANY pain, seek out another more qualified technician immediately, DO NOT allow the technician to continue the service. Report a complaint and submit it promptly with photos if possible.
The salons that usually cause a problem are usually lacking or one that follows poor sanitation practices, uses inferior and/or prohibited products, and under trained or non-qualified technicians.
They do not keep client cards and do little or nothing of a consultation with the client.
Sanitation methods are poor or non existent.
Certificates of Qualification and Insurance not on display.
A set of nails will be applied in less than a hour.


THE PURPOSE OF PRESENTING YOU WITH THIS INFORMATION IS TO EDUCATE YOU TO A FULLER AWARENESS when visiting any salon;
 
Any Questions?
Email  Text or call.
Information and advise is always FREE