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welcome to the Art of Nailz

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Finding Maggie

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 Your nail care professional sees your hands about twice a month, you live with them.  So how you treat your hands when you're away from the salon will have a big impact on how your nails survive from appointment to appointment.

How long is too long?

Aesthetically, the right length is a matter of personal taste.  Scientifically, however,  the right length is a matter of balance. 
Ideally the free edge (the part of the nail that extends past the fingertip) should never be longer than the nail bed (the part of the nail that is attached to the finger.)  When the free edge exceeds the length of the of the nailbed, the nail is off balance, requiring less pressure at the tip to cause lifting or breaking.
Wearing your nails at the proper length will greatly improve product performance and reduce the risk of cracking, lifting, and infection.

Repairing a nail:

If you happen to break a nail and can't get in right away for a professional repair, there are a few things you need to know before you try to fix it yourself.
Before you  do ANTHING, wash the area with soap and water.  Then apply a good antibacterial product such as Bactine.  Then get out your hair dryer and make sure the area, especially underneath any lifted product, is completely dry before applying JUST ENOUGH glue to seal the break or lift until you can get in to see us.
If you happen to break one so bad that it bleeds and hurts like crazy, try to remove the broken free edge and wash with soap and water and apply an antibacterial.  Try to avoid bandages as they can trap moisture providing a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in.

Bacteria vs Fungus (and no, it's not "mold!"):

The most common type of infection associated with nail enhancement services is a green stain on the nail that is often erroneously referred to as "fungus" or "mold."   Mold does not grow on people!  This is actually a bacterial infection caused by a common little cootie called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.  Pseudomonas A. is everywhere and usually isn't a problem, but when a nail product lifts and moisture is trapped underneath, it provides a lush environment where Pseudomonas A. can flourish.
The greenish discoloration on the nail plate is actually caused by a byproduct of the bacteria and although it might fade, the green stain will stay long after the bacteria has been killed.  Usually the stain must grow out with the nail before it is gone for good. Attempts to buff off the stain will only damage the nail plate by filing away layers of the keratin.
Wearing nail enhancement products by no means CAUSES infections, but it can increase the likelihood that you will get one if you don't take good care of your nails.  Fortunately, Pseudomonas A. does not have to be a major problem and it is usually not necessary to remove the enhancement from an infected nail.
HOWEVER, it is very important that the infection be treated fast and properly!  We remove the product enough to expose the natural nail and apply an antibacterial product such as Bactine or Thymol to the infected nail and allow it to dry before reapplying product.  Usually this is enough to take care of the problem and the nail will grow out with no further problems.  Occassionally the infection will require removal of the product for a few days in order to allow the nail to dehydrate completely before new product can be applied.
It is very important that you take care of your nails.  This bacteria must be treated or it can become a severe infection!  In extreme cases the bacteria can consume the nail plate to the extent that the natural nail will appear black and crumbly and may have to be removed permanently.  It is possible for the infection to become blood-borne, landing you in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics!  So make sure that your nail technician is able to recognize this and treat it properly to avoid developing into a serious health risk!
Fungal infections come in a variety of colors and symptoms and require medical treatment.  They are far less common than bacterial infections, but also much harder to get rid of.  If we suspect you have a fungal infection we will refer you to a doctor and refuse service until you provide us with a release form giving us the green light to service you again.
Both bacterial and fungal infections are contagious.  This is why we insist on strict disinfection of all our implements.  If it can't be properly disinfected, it gets tossed!  If you are not currently a client of the Laughing Lady Salon, please make sure that your regular salon professionals are using proper disinfection routines to ensure your health and safety.

Cuticle oil:

We used to get told that cuticle oil would make acrylics and other nail products lift.  Now we know that the exact OPPOSITE is true.  Using a quality oil at least twice a day will actually PREVENT lifting and cracking.
Oil acts as a lubricant, penetrating the product to keep it flexible so that it can sustain more wear and tear before it begins to break down.
Oil also helps prevent lifting by adding moisture back into your cuticles and natural nails to prevent them from shrinking and pulling away from the product when your skin begins to dry out.  This is especially a problem for people who have their hands in water often or who handle paper often.
We recommend using a quality cuticle oil at least twice a day to keep your nails looking right-from-the-salon fresh at all times!
Of course we recommend that you purchase one of our professional oil blends from us directly so that we can rest assured that you are using a top quality product.  However, it is not necessary to invest in fancy salon formulated cuticle oils.  Any botanical oil will work on your skin.  We personally prefer olive oil, but any vegetable cooking oil you may have in your kitchen will do the trick!  (but it won't smell as good as ours!)
Just stay away from mineral oil, Vaseline, and products containing mineral oil.  These are petro-chemicals, synthesized from crude oil.  They are not absorbed into the skin to replace lost moisture, but instead, sit on top of the skin and leave you feeling greasy.  Petroleum products may even leach more moisture OUT OF your skin, contributing to dryness!
Lotions are good for skin, but even the best lotions will not replace moisture as effectively as a good botanical oil.  So keep your oil with you in your purse, or put it next to your tooth brush so you don't forget to use it!  It only takes a few seconds a day and will protect the investment you made in your nails like no other homecare product!

Keep your hands out of your mouth!

Saliva contains digestive enzymes that are designed to help break down food before it gets to your tummy.  These enzymes do a nifty job on the bond between your natural nail and your enhancement products too, making the product more likely to let go of your natural nail with very little effort.  It doesn't matter if you aren't CHEWING on them, just having them in your mouth is bad for them!
So don't come in and tell us that they all "just popped off" cuz we know better!

Keep products fresh:

It's advisable to replace the product on your nails every so often in order to avoid product breakdown. With age and wear, enhancement products can discolor, become brittle, and show "fill lines" where new product has been applied.
Some people will experience more breakdown than others due to differences in maintenance routines, lifestyle, body chemistry, medication, etc, so how often you need the product replaced will vary with each individual.
The most common intervals are 3 to 6 months.
Regular product renewal will keep enhancements looking new and beautiful as well as help prevent risks of bacterial infections.
Products can be removed and reapplied all in one appointment. There is no reason to let your nails "breathe" because they don't!

Taking off your enhancements:

When you are ready to take off your enhancements please let us do it professionally-- and painlessly!  Too often people bite, chip, or pick the product off their nails.  This will damage the natural nail, making it look ragged and ripped up, and not feel real good either.  Our professional removal procedure is PAINLESS and will avoid damaging the natural nails!

(559) 300-8063