Friday, March 9, 2012

Filing Nails: with or without polish? What is best practice?

Are you a nail polish wearer who files your nails down, or even to shape them while wearing varnish?  I know some think this is a good habit, but truth be told it is harmful for your nails.



Your nails are made up of layers upon layers of straw-like columns or fibres running from your cuticle to the end of the nail.  The hard nail we can see is of course dead tissue, which cannot repair itself.  For this reason we have to be very careful not to weaken or damage these top layers in any way.

In fact, nail polish does glue these straw-like columns together in order to prevent splitting.  However, it only "protects" them slightly and on the very outside layer.  What about all the underlying layers that help to provide your nails with strength, flexibility and a healthy appearance?  They will become weak and damaged.



Recently I tried a crystal nail file by Essie.  My curiosity got the better of me since so many bloggers say they swear by their crystal files.  Of course, I file daily with the Contour Nail file by ASK Cosmetics to seal the ends of my nails.  If they aren't sealed almost every day, snags can occur or I might catch them on things.  Although the crystal file feels only slightly "gritty" it still leaves those white shavings that everyone has experienced before while filing.  Those shavings are evidence that you are grabbing, ripping and tearing the nail fibres, thus weakening them.  This can lead to several issues such as:  cracking, splitting, breaking, etc.

This is also the reason why you are advised to only file in one direction with conventional files or emery boards.  The damage would be much greater if you filed (by grabbing and tearing the fibres) in both directions. 

What kind of file are you using?  Have you ever thought about the little white shavings? 

I am interested to know your thoughts.  Lisa M.

16 comments:

  1. Wow super informative I had never thought of the white little shavings before

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    1. @Nails by Diana - I bet you are not the only one! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  2. great info, It makes so much sense, Im really loving the contour nail file you sent me, it really does seal the nail and I havent had a snags since using it!

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    1. @beauxsmom - So glad to hear that. Thanks for reading the post.

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  3. I've always hated the white shavings. I didn't realize I should file my nails everyday. I do it about every other day.

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    1. @Shally - Even every two days is good, but if you are struggling with splitting or breaking, such people should be sealing the ends several times a day. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Great information! I didn't think anything of the white shavings when using nail files. It looks like its time to get the ASK Contour File....

    Thanks Lisa : )

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    1. @Mishie - Thanks for reading the post. Yes, many don't realize what the "white shavings" really mean.

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  5. Yep me too. I álways used a glass file. Never clipped them down or anything. The glass file is so loved by many bloggers; so yep I was convinced.

    I must say I now use the contour file of ASK every day to seal them and it works só much better. I tore a nail last week; but only 'cause I hooked him behind the handle of my cardoor.. I've had this before and normally it breaks the entire nail basically (until it bled even); but now I only had a bit of the top that split and that's it. I could cut it and file it a bit and it doesn't look bad at all.
    My nails have never been this strong ! Really !
    When I'm done with the challenge I'm definitely buying more bottles of tips for toes and/or tips nails conditioner! :D

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    1. @Priem - Thanks for your comment and I am pleased that you are having so much successful with the Contour Nail file.

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  6. What is the grit strength of the Ask Contour file? Even if you could provide an estimate that would be great!

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  7. Hmm Interesting, sucks I love my crystal file!
    I'd like to try the Ask one though! But you probably can't square your nails with that one can you?

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    1. @Sarah - Yes, you can. The Contour Nail file is great for oval, square and squoval shapes. It all depends on how you hold your nail to the file, which comes with full and detailed instructions. Thanks for your comment.

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  8. I think that this will be my New Year's Resolution - to file daily or every other day but only with my ASK contour file.

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