Why Are My Gel Nails Lifting? [The 6 Real Questions to Ask!]

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There is nothing more frustrating than having your beautiful gel nails becoming detached from their proper positions long before they are due. But, the critical thing to know is that this doesn’t happen for no reason. If your gel nails are lifting, there are a number of factors that could be contributing to this small cosmetic disaster.

So, why are your gel nails lifting? The main reasons why gel nails lift are due to improper nail preparation, improper gel nail application, using an inefficient curing lamp, nails that are in poor natural condition, using ineffective products and mistreatment of your nails. Whether you do your gel nails at home or get them done at the salon, thankfully there are things you can do to prevent lifting from occurring.

Here are some important questions to go over with your nail tech when trying to discover the reasons behind lifting gel nails.

1. Was the Nail Properly Prepped?

To apply the gel nail, the surface of your natural nail must be cleaned and free of all residual products, applications, or lifting agents.

If any of these contaminants were on your nail when the product was applied, they could cause small discrepancies that allow the entire nail to detach.

It is therefore paramount if you are doing your own gel nails, or that your salon, is properly preparing your nails ahead of application. If you suspect your nail technician is not doing a good job of this; its a good idea to look for a new one!

2. Was the Gel Nail Applied Properly?

Many times, gel nails will begin to lift because of errors that occurred in the application process.

For example, if the outer edges of the nail are too thick or too thin, they will not flex appropriately with the nail and begin to become loose.

This can also happen if the product is applied too close to the cuticle.

If the apex has not been properly configured with the length and shape of the natural nail, simple impacts from normal activities will place too much pressure on the gel nail and cause it to become detached.

3. How Suitable Is the Curing Lamp to The Task at Hand?

The curing capacity of the lamp you choose has more to do with the final result than many people imagine.

The curing lamp has the essential task of curing your nail properly and all the way through. To put the issue into perspective, an uncured gel nail will not remain attached for more than a couple of day’s tops.

With this in mind, you can have the most meticulous nail technician, the best products, and healthy nails. But if your curing lamp is not applying its heat and light evenly directly and effectively, you will experience some heavy lifting within just a day or two.

This applies to the way the hands are held in the curing lamp throughout the process. Eyeball your fingernails, and if some of them were not getting an even dose of heat, they might not get cured clear through. The thumbs are especially susceptible to not getting a proper curing treatment, so keep this in mind when getting your nails cured.

4. What are the Conditions of Your Nails?

The gel nail and will only be as secure as the natural nail foundation that supports it. If the nail below is chipped, unhealthy, thin or otherwise damaged, the gel will not be able to hold this position well.

Gel nails are designed to be flexible and move with the natural movement of the nail. If the nail below is not healthy, it may flex too much, and in dynamic ways, that will loosen the gel nail. Nails that have been damaged or are especially dry can also create a weak foundation for your gel nails.

It is therefore important that you look after your natural nails and routinely apply products like cuticle oil. You can get great natural cuticle oils on Amazon for great prices!

5. Was the Product Perfectly Suited For The Nails?

Just as important as the health and conditions of the nail is the quality and suitability of the products.

It goes without saying that a poor-quality product is not going to last as well or as long as a top-shelf item.

This is especially true for those whose nails will see especially harsh actions or conditions.

Products must be mixed thoroughly if they are to cure properly and we already know what happens to nails that are not allowed to cure properly.

If the liquid to powder ratio causes high nail rigidity, the gel nail will fall off. By the same measure, gel nails that are too flexible; they will not sit right on the rigid nail and eventually fall off.

Finally, if you are mixing products, you can be sure that your final result will not be worth a 10-minute bath or dip in the pool – which brings us to question no. 6.

6. Am I Mistreating My Nails?

Of course not! Well, maybe? The thing is nails see the most action of all parts of the body, and being as gentle as possible will go a long way.

While some folks will go as far as to use their gel nails as letter openers or other tools, simple tapping and constant impact is enough to loosen the gel nail from its base.

If you keep your hand submerged in a tub of warm water for about 10-minutes, what happens? Your fingers become wrinkly, and your nail will expand as well.

Naturally, your gel nails should be able to withstand a certain amount of this treatment. But, if you work as a hairdresser, take long baths and showers daily, or have some other task or hobby that keeps your hands wet each day, your gel nails will loosen faster than normal.

You might also look for small details, such as the way you hold a pen or smaller subconscious actions, these cause the most consistent impacts though very small and can result in a loosened gel nail.

Final Notes on Gel Nails Lifting

So, what can you do the next time to avoid this happening again?

Begin with the health of your nails. Make sure that you allow your nails time to rest between treatments and apply the tonic to your nails to improve their health. Apply cuticle oils and hand creams that also preserve the health of your nails and skin.

Next, make sure you work with a nail tech you trust as an authority in their field. This will ensure that the preparation methods and materials applied are always of top quality and sure to cure properly.

Be sure that the curing lamps applied are also of the highest performance and distribute their effects evenly across all nails.

Finally, be very gentle with your gel nails and do everything you can to preserve their function by keeping them dry and safe from impact.

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