Part 2 of Gel Nails Continued From Nailsplash.Com Gel Nails Page @ http://members.delphi.com/gelnails Subjects Covered On This Page
Traditional acrylics HARDEN in about 10 minutes, but they do not and cannot CURE for 24 hours or more. Ultra Violet Gel Nails harden in about 15-30 seconds and cure in about 2 minutes! (In theory, see disclaimer below....this is how they are supposed to work, but not ALL do, so buyer beware....and educate yourself.....remember, that in this world, you get what you pay for.....)
Think of liquid/powder acrylics as your new cement driveway...it is HARDENED in a few hours and you can walk on it, but it is not CURED for 3 days, that's why you don't drive on it until it is cured...if you did you would put minute cracks in the foundation and throughout the structure that would not show up right away, but would show up at some point down the road, thereby reducing the "life expectancy" of your new cement driveway!
Have you ever painted a wall in a room and "thought" it was "dry" about a day or so later, so you taped up a poster, and when you went to move it the tape took the paint up with it! That's because while the paint was HARDENED it was not CURED. Now try this on a wall that you know is cured (because you can't even remember when it was painted....)Unless the paint never adhered properly to begin with when it was first applied, ie, greasy fingerprints, contaminants, DIRT, etc...that's why just painting your walls to cover dirt isn't such a good idea long term!!!! Walls should be washed first....hmmmmm, sound similar to nail application....because it is, the ENAMEL (paints, polishes, another hmmmmmm....) industry is related to the PLASTICS(nails!) industry. Or if the paint is extremely old and brittle (another similarity!) Any way, barring the above 2 scenarios you will see that the tape does NOT take the paint off of the CURED wall paint!
There is a big differance between hardening a product and curing a product-----U-V lights allow us to CURE products faster! Whether it be... acrylics, plastics, gels, laminates, resins, urethanes, pollyschmolly's.... whatever fancy schmancy name some manufacturer wants to put on it, or whatever you want to call them!( a rose is a rose is a rose.....). HARDENED PRODUCTS are unstable untill they CURE, you must treat them gingerly until they cure!
ULTRA-VIOLET CURED GELS contain no evaporative solvents and cure completely before the client leaves the salon (well most of them anyway). Therefore, there are no foul smells, no solvent based health/lung concerns, and a nail that is COMPLETELY DONE/CURED before the client even washes up for polish! These are the reasons that I prefer U-V Cured Gel Nails....
But...here's the disclaimer..... keep in mind...NOT ALL GELS AND GEL LAMPS ARE CREATED EQUALLY!...Some of them on the market (gels and/or lamps) DO NOT CURE COMPLETELY, some of these manufacturers do warn you to tell your clients that their nails will keep curing for another 24 hours, and that they (the client) should treat them with care!) So, while the solvent inhalation problem is improved with some brands of gel, the curing properties are really only about the same as traditional acrylics...it is for these resaons that I like some LIGHTS AND GELS BETTER THAN OTHERS!
Think of this example...it applies equally to the products we buy for salon or for our own personal use and home....and applies to justifying to our clients why they pay the price they do to come to us versus the discount shop down the block.......Would you ever really, trully, expect a GEl (or traditional acrylic for that matter. or the price of a nail service!) that cost 1/2, 1/4, someVerdana, Arial, Helvetica even 1/10th(!)the price of others to perform as well as the more expensive brand....not that price is always an indicator of quality....but when was the last time that you saw 2 houses on the same block (that appeared approx. equal from the outside) and one was $300,000 and the other was $150K, or $75K, or even $30,000....do you REALLY think that happens in the real world???? Do you really think the $30K house was JUST AS GOOD as the $300K house......those 2 houses aren't on the same block, they are not even in the same neighborhood, town or region.....they are NOT EQUAL of course!
This next explanation about U-V light technology can also be seen in my message boards...it is still in it's "rough draft" and un-edited, as I thougt it was pertinent info. that should be delivered to this page sooner in un-edited form, rather than later, when I get a chance to "tweak" it....hope you find it informative!
Question: U-V light technology Barb- could you please explain why you like that uv light better than others. Have you tried the 2 handed ones? Have any studies been done to determine long term effects of the uv rays on hands? I always seem to get an itchy rash on my hands with gels or uv acrylics even if the product did not touch any skin. I think it comes from the uv rays. Thanks
ANSWERThe itchy rash would NOT be coming from the U-V lights unless you happen to be one of those rare people allergic to sunlight. Which means that you would never go outdoors w/out full protective geat, and would have to have every window shaded.....
The lighting used in U-V lamps are the same U-V (ultra-violet)rays in natural sunlight. In fact, the most harmful rays in natural sunlight have been filtered out to concentrate on the particular bandwitdh rays that most readily cure gels, w/out interference and competition from other rays in natural sunlight.
To check this theory just leave some gel anywhere where it will be exposed to sunlight (put some gel on a a piece of paper or a nail tip, or leave out a container of it, and watch as you find that you will eventually find harderned gel (time varies by how much gel and how much sunlight it got, of course it takes LONGER than in the light because their is interferance from other natural rays).
Using just U-V A Ray to cure the gel, (again, found in natural sunlight!) speeds up the curing process by concentrating just on the ray wavelength that cures the gel faster and d w/ optimal performance. U-V A rays are also the least harmful to skin of the known sunlight rays----also, you get less exposure to the U-V A rays in these lights on your hands than you did just driving to and from your nail appt. While NOTHING in life is ever written in stone these lights are considered extremely safe with no known or reported health problems or risks.
More about U-V lights, gels, and allergic reactions
If you are getting an itchy rash then it is most likely coming from a reaction to the gel itself, the cleanser (many of which are scented, which is why I prefer 99% alcohol), or MOST LIKELY :(this part brought to my attention by Millie, an educator at IBD, thanks for the reminder Millie!) the slight bit of uncured gel that rises to the top of a cured gel nail and removed(that tacky/sticky top layer that you remove w/ cleanser or alcohol). Since this is UNPOLYMERIZED GEL, is has the highest possibility of causing reaction.
BARRIER CREAMS One last thought regarding the subject matter above.... Try using barrier creams (proper methods of application are somewhere in my web site...basics, wash hands, dry hands, apply foam, working into cuticles and under nails, let dry for 5 minutes ....repeat if especially sensitive...this should solve allergic responses to ANY nail product....even if you never use gels, start using a barrier cream ASAP to prevent a future allergy/sensitvity to other nail products and risk losing your career due to extreme and possibly down the road FULL-BODY sensitization...meaning not just the hands anymore...the lungs...all your skin (from eveaporating solvents.....) see my note in my web pages on this subject...I think it is wherever I put the discusssion on aromatherapy ....(guess I need an index for my site!).
As for barrier creams I personally like Dermashield because it also contains the long-acting anti-bacterial Triclosan. (See links page for web site address and phone #'s)
PS Have you checked out the offer from Light Elegance (direct link from my links page) for a trial kit w/ 5 gels (10gms each) for only $10!!!! If it's not listed on the site...just mention that Barb@Nailsplash told you and they'll give you the deal!
I would suggest checking out professional NAIL companies that will ALWAYS have education and support available to you, such as STAR NAIL (U-V acrylics and gels) Light Concept Nails ( Gels only, as far as I know----I especially love their lamp!). Check out your local distributor that you use most, and see which brands they carry, and which manufacturers have the most classes coming up in your area. That's where I would start. Learning any new system takes time and patience, and you will want the most professional technical help you can get....many have toll-free hotlines manned by professional educators to help you in a jam, between classes!
When you settle on a product line take several classes, and then retake them a few months later, just to be sure. And ALWAYS beware of any companies who claim their product is so EASY to learn, that is a promise that simply can't be backed up! (Re-training to any new product whether it's a new brand or type of product is a HUGE committment) Stick with professional only products, they won't steer you wrong. If you are interested in GELS in particular keep reading on!. As for U-V cured liquid powders I have tried the STAR nails one, and liked it, as do several other techs I know, who currently use it.
PURCHASING YOUR FIRST GEL NAIL SYSTEM
One way to start is with the LCN kit, which includes the light and samples of their gel, as well as a video (I think). This is THE LIGHT YOU HAVE TO HAVE (*see update info above though about the new LE light!), so even if you decide on a differant gel later, you will still use it with the LCN lamp (I know the manufacturers don't like it---but this lamp cannot be beat---not that I have found yet anyway! AND BESIDES THIS IS MY SITE AND MY OPINION!)
I use 3 of them at each station, 2 in front, one for each hand, and one on the left side of my L shaped station for repairs, overlapping clients, etc.
So now, if you buy any other light (or already have one) other than the LCN, I recommend curing the FIRST COAT OF GEL FOR TWICE AS LONG AS THEY (THAT PARTICULAR GEL LIGHT MANUFACTURER) TELL YOU TO! REALLY, THIS WILL MAKE A DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT IN THAT PRODUCTS PERFORMANCE...TRY IT MY WAY FIRST PLEASE...THEN TRY THEIR WAY, if you are happy with their results then you have lost nothing but a little time, and I'd LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT ANY OTHER LAMPS ON THE MARKET ACTUALLY PERFORMING THE WAY THEY SHOULD (and not just for the full-set, I want to see continued good results 2-3-4 fills down the line!).
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE OTHER LAMPS, THEY ARE JUST TOO SLOW FOR MY PATIENCE LEVEL, AND IN MY OPINION THEIR OWN INSTRUCTIONS ARE WRITTEN INCORRECTLY, which is why I say to cure for double the time they tell you to(especially the all-important 1st coat!)
When somebody else comes out w/ a lamp as good as the LCN I can't wait to be the first to try it. Hopefully some AMERICAN company will get on the ball and gives us a lamp as good as the LCN (made in germany). Anybody out there in manufacturer land listening?
UPDATE: LE (Light Elegance Gels in Oregon, USA)IS WORKING ON THIS VERY IDEA AS WE SPEAK!!!!KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED! Please hurry Jim!
As for gels, if you want something less expensive than the LCN gels, try the STAR Calcium Kapping gel (I use something similar to this that I private labe). THEY (mine and the star) have a differant consisitency than the LCN gels, which I personally happen to prefer, but others prefer the LCN or even IBD lines of gel, it's all a matter of individual preferance. LE has a 1 component that would be similar in consistency to the star and their 3 step system woulkd be similar to the LCN.
I can't TELL you which to choose, you have to experiment and decide for yopurself, all I can offer is my opinion and what I use---but that may not be the answer for you! Once you have the LCN light, you only have to buy individual containers of gel from the other companies, and not invest in another whole kit! (This is MY opinion, each nail tech must decide for themselves if this is the right methodology for them! Always consult the manufacturer of your specific product line for specific info.)
MORE GEL NAIL TRAINING ADVICE
First, get your hands on every single video and training manual you can, from every company you can. What this will do for you is give you a preview of many different styles and techniques for you to experiment w/ and come up w/ your own style. Because I have yet to find one single manufacturer that gives perfect instructions.
Unfortunately a lot of them don't even know how to use their own products! Actually, with some companies, if you follow their instructions you will
A) waste a lot of product
B) waste a lot of time and
C) have nails that don't hold up well or even look good and
D) YOU'LL BE DOING IT WRONG!.
So it takes time and patience and experimentation. Keep rewatching the tapes to keep refining and changing your technique as you gain experience.
Many companies make tapes such as : LCN, IBD, Star, etc, look in Nails and Nail Pro Magz for others (also, once a year they even publish a list of all the videos on nails available by category, if I come across it in my magazine library I'll add the info here)
As far as a gel for a 1st time user of gels to use,.... I would start w/ the LCN since they are probably the closest to you (This was originally a personal email to a nail tech in Europe).....(Germany, Wilde Cosmetics) so probably the least expensive, or NOW YOU CAN ALSO GO WITH THE LE STARTER KIT with light and gels. And no matter where you live, they (LCN and LE) make the best light on the market right now anyway, so you might as well start w/ their starter kit which includes the light and samples of each of their gels, and their video. At shows it's usually on deal.
I personally am not particularly fond of their gels, but many techs are. So it's a good starting point, and at least you'll have a really good lamp!!! (eventually you'll want 2, one for each hand as you build speed). And YOU may personally like their gel best after you sample some others.
Preparation of the nail plate is the 1st impt step, and a good cure is essential...I could go on and on, but 1st you need to play w/ them awhile.
Last tip, go get gels put on yourself somewhere and everywhere (you'll find some good and a lot of bad, but you'll learn from both experiences).
Good luck, hope I've helped and not confused you!
MORE NOTES ON GEL NAILS
Always remember to keep the GEL OFF OF THE SKIN--BECAUSE YOU CANNOT REMOVE THE TACKY REDIDUE LAYER (UNCURED GEL) FROM THOSE SPOTS THAT WILL BE RESTING ON CLIENTS SKIN (can lead to allergies, irritation or skin sensitivities) on the backside of the extension. In emergencies,(not for stadard operating procedure)I keep alcohol in a nozzle squeeze bottle to try and flush those areas clear if possible---if they have been loaded up w/ skin protectant (such as Dermashield, or Gloves in a bottle before hand that will help, but not cure the problem).
I also ALWAYS recommend curing the hand UPSIDE DOWN in the lamps ANYTIME YOU HAVE DONE AN EXTENSION WITH A FORM WITH GEL , to be sure that there are no spots of uncured gel anywhere. Safety is one concern (there is no extra risk here vs any other product), where I am an extremist! When it comes to safety, (because of my chemical experience in the lab and in the pilot plant where I worked w/ products in 55 gallon barrel drums)there is no such thing as being too safe!
So, just remember,REPEATED OVEREXPOSURE to ANYTHING can lead to sensitivities and even actual allergies. Mainly I cure upside down to insure optimal strength and integrity of the nail extension, as well as to make sure free edge and sidewalls that really tunnel get complete exposure to lights for complete curing...plus, if you have ever come around the table and watched how your clients place their hands in the lights sometimes....you'd wonder why you bother to even turn them on!