Many of you expressed sympathy for my recent gel nail catastrophe, and for that I am grateful.

One thing about life, is that most things can be fixed, and nails do eventually grow back. There are a lot of products promising to support and renew your gel disaster.

The truth
Provided the nail bed is not permanently damaged, nails will grow back. The quality of the new nail is largely determined by the state of our health. So all the usual things apply, eat fresh fruits/vegetables 5+ portions a day, drink pure water and green tea. (or oolong if you are a fuss pot like me).

The products
There are many super expensive nail recovery products out there, enough to drive the nail addict practically bankrupt. Special oils, special glue, top coat, base coat, special products for peeling nails, for damaged nails, for sensitive nails, for abused nails, for super-dry nails… you get the idea.

The truth about products
In my low maintenance view, we just need two items, one of them being a good oil, to add precious moisture back to the nail. Look no further than the kitchen cupboard, I’ve been using cooking grade olive oil with excellent results.

Nourish and restore 
In addition to the oil, you need just ONE brush-on tinted nail mask/fortifier. I often get lots of flack that the items I mention on this blog, are usually super expensive, as well as impossible to get, which is not true. Both of my favourites here were very reasonable and easy to find: Sally Hansen Nail Rehab for £9.00, a tinted, nail fortifier,  or  Nail Mask Barry M   described as the pampering party for nails,  just  £3.99. It doesn’t get any better than that, no matter what you pay.

The method
Once a week I treated my nails to olive soaked cotton wool pads. There were SO dry, from the evil gel damage that they just soaked the oil up. My own nails were very damaged and still found, once a week to be enough. I cannot imagine more damage, but if thats your case try using the oil  twice a week, at first. Home made cotton pads for about 10-15 minutes.
After that I applied the Barry M mani mask, which gives them a hint of rose matt colour and disguises imperfections. Two coats should be enough, for an attractive opaque finish.

For even more damaged nails, held together by a wing and a prayer: If you have a lot of broken nails, rather than use glue, try Sally Hansens nail rehab. It seems to hold the nail together from further dilapidation. I applied about three coats for best results. Nails will have to be kept short, but I’ve used no filing or any other torture implements.

Low maintenance, perfect grooming
Both of these are lovely products and feel like a soothing balm for dry, abused nails. You only need one of them. Sally’s Nail Rehab: gives a shiny peachy toned pink, finish. Barry M’s Mani Mask: a Matt rose tinted pink. I really liked both of them so much, I think I will continue using them anyway. Even after my nails recover, which won’t be long now. They protect the nail, adding just a delicate hint of colour, that goes with everything! A low maintenance, high impact mani pedi at last!

For serious nail problems on toes, it really is best to see a qualified podiatrist, rather than a nail technician. For nasty fungus infestations, 100% pure tea tree oil has been known to help.

© Ladysarahinlondon

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3 thoughts on “Beauty update: post disaster gel nails and the road to recovery

  1. Heidi

    Sympathies and glad to hear that your nails are on the road to recovery. I’ve been getting gel nails done for about the past 6 months. But… I do have very strong nails naturally. I’ve noticed my nails are not quite as strong as they were, so there is some damage from the filing/ acetone in removing it. My solution is to only get my nails done once every 3-4 weeks. They’re fairly badly grown out by then, but I think the more you change the gel over probably the worse it is. I also keep my nails short so that less pressure is put on the part of the bottom part of the nail.
    You could also try some of the vitamin supplements that support hair and nail growth – they definitely do work!

    Reply
  2. dottoressa

    Olive pads are so good,aren’t they? I use lukewarm olive oil (have to start doing it myself again -cold weather is fatal to my nails,gloves don’t help enough). I’m so glad that your nails are recovering.
    Have to try Barry M and Sally Hansens,thank you to mention them
    Dottoressa

    Reply

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