It’s a new year and here at Professional Beauty HQ, we’re determined to bring you the best education from the industry’s elite in our new acrylic nails troubleshooting series.
From getting your arch placement and liquid-topowder ratio right, to filling in regrowth, every month top techs will answer your burning questions about getting acrylic sets right.
This month, session tech Marian Newman answers this hotly debated question: is it safe to use gel-polish mixed into acrylic liquid in order to have different acrylic colours?
“The answer to this question is no and I’ll try to be brief”, says Newman. “Firstly, no mixing should be done without the express suggestion from the manufacturer, and only if they understand what they’re doing and have an in-house scientist.
“Gel-polish and acrylic have two completely different polymerisation processes. One needs a photo initiator with a correct wavelength of UV energy, while the other needs the matched system of initiator (polymer powder), catalyst (monomer liquid) and heat energy. The presence of oligomers in the UV gel-polish will interfere with the proper cure of the liquid and powder (L&P).” She explains further: “L&P starts to polymerise immediately and will stop the oligomers moving around to polymerise with other oligomers.
“The result will be a lot of uncured monomers that can leach into the nail plate and surrounding skin while wearing, and then get released on removal via buffing or soaking all over the skin, as well as in airborne dust, to create allergies.
“The industry seems to be creating a culture of uneducated chemists that are playing with the health of their clients. We’re already in an ‘allergy epidemic’, as recognised by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2018, and this kind of thing will just make it worse.
“Once upon a time, some brands developed coloured ‘drops’ to add to liquid monomer to change its colour. If this is developed properly then it may be OK, but this has disappeared and probably because it wasn’t efficient in a ‘proper cure’.
“This [fad] is just another step in lowering the quality of this career instead of elevating it with sound education and understanding of the hazardous chemicals we work with.” PB
Marian Newman is a session tech, educator, creative brand ambassador for CND, author of Nailed It and The Complete Nail Technician, and founder of the Federation of Nail Professionals.
NEXT MONTH… how to get your liquid-to-powder ratio right every time