This Nail File Swap is For You if You’re Struggling with Breakage

This Nail File Swap is For You if You’re Struggling with Breakage

10.10.2021 Off By manager_1

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Before “sheltering-in-place”, our nails were rarely seen naked (sans polish). Line art, rhinestones and dramatic 3D stickers were all part of our manicure. But we were forced to take care of ourselves in the absence of a nail salon. This made it difficult for us to prioritize our nails’ health. To reduce the yellowish-yellow tint of nails, we stopped wearing colored nail polish and started filing them more often. Instead of using the standard emeryboard, we switched to a glass nail file. Now our nails look and feel better.

There are two options for filing your nails, emery or glass. A glass nail file, also known as a crystal nail filing, is a thermally-tempered and chemically-etched piece of glass that smoothens nails. Syreeta, LeChat Nails educator, says that the file is made with fine pieces of glass that are less harmful to natural nails. It’seals’ the nails as it files [meaning the smooth edge has not cracked]. It is ideal for natural nails and to preserve the keratin within natural nails.

Suzanne Shade, the founder of Bare Hands, a home-based nail kit company, says that the files’ fine texture gently abrades the nail edge. This means less damage for your nails. You can use her file to polish the nail bed for a high shine, without using any polish.

Dr. Orit Markowitz is a NYC dermatologist who says that when our nails break or chip, it can be extremely painful and can cause damage to the structure beneath the nail. It can be irreversible if there is enough trauma to the nail bed itself, which is the area where the nail grows, over and over again. It is crucial that we use tools such as glass nail files when grooming or maintaining our nails. These tools are less likely to damage the nail bed.

This simple swap could be your first step in repairing damaged nails. The benefits don’t end there.

Glass vs Emery Board Nail

The material is what makes a glass or emeryboard nail file different. An emeryboard (the type of nail file you’ll see in a nail salon) consists of a paper filing with a thin layer foam between the two layers (the abrasive and paper). These options are more affordable and easier to use, but they’re not the best for your nails. Dr. Markowitz says that larger granular files can cause nail structure and pores to be damaged, which makes them more vulnerable to nail fungus.

They can also be used in different ways. Aaron shared that a glass nail file can be used in many directions. An emeryboard can cause breakage if it is used in too many directions. This can leave nails more susceptible to splitting and breaking. Glass nail files are more gentle on natural nails because they have finer abrasion. When shopping for glass nail files, a 180 nail grit (typically of glass nail file) should be your first choice. Shade recommends an emery board to coarsely file gels and acrylics that have thicker nails.

What are the Additional Benefits?

Although the texture of glass nail file is more refined, it’s still very effective at shaping nails. Shade says that the glass will seal the nail’s free edge. Shade says that you can file the edges in rough shapes by moving the file around. To prevent the nail keratin’s’mesh from fraying, only use the file in one direction when you finish.

Glass files are more expensive than emery boards, but they last longer. Shade says that glass nail files are more durable than emery boards due to their durability and ability to be sterilized, disinfected, and used over and over again.

How to Maintain a Glass Nail File

Crystal nail files can last as long as six months depending on how frequently you use them and how well you care for them. Aaron tells that even if the nail file isn’t in use, it is best to keep it in its protective box to prevent it from breaking. Use a little soap to clean the nail file. Then, use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surface. To avoid dust getting trapped on the file, dry it off.

Glass nail files are not susceptible to tearing like emery boards. They don’t absorb any substances so you don’t need to sterilize them after each use. Aaron recommends that you use alcohol or antiseptic spray to clean the file if you want to share it or deep clean it.