Are False Fingernails Worth Your Money

Paying for Acrylic, Fiberglass, and Other Types of Artificial FingerNails


Popularized near the end of the twentieth century, artificial or false fingernails have come to adorn the hands of millions of women a day. This is because false fingernails add another level of attractiveness to a woman’s hands. Attractive hands make a woman feel good, complements her jewelry and adds prominence to her overall appearance. With all these factors going for the industry, it’s no wonder its income level reaches into the billions of dollars.

Besides, caring for your own fingernails while convenient can be an annoying task at times even if you prefer doing your own nails. Although for the right products can be fun and gratifying; and taking out time to snip, buff, and file your nails can be just as assuaging even when family members are around while you prep your nails, sometimes these relaxing moments take annoying turns leaving you wondering if you will be able to complete the nail beautifying task.

For example, say you managed to apply polish to fingernail number six of ten and then your phone (or one of your phones) rings, the doorbell chimes, or if you have kids at home; whereas they seemed content prior to your starting your manicure, suddenly they needed your attention.

Let’s pretend all of the above occurs and that after answering the phone and or bell and seeing to the kids you return to your nail working station only to discover you’d rippled one or more of your freshly polished nails while tending the kids. Then you notice your nails are really too short and stubby anyhow and decide you don’t know why you were bothering to “beautify” them yourself in the first place. That, in fact, what you really need are “falsies”. But they’re so-o expensive’ you tell yourself.

The “expense” thought pops in your brain a mere nano-second before your next thought that tells you you could use the time alone’, however; and at this point you realize false nails may be a little pricey but you need and deserve a diversion. You put away your supplies and plan to go to the salon. At the salon, you can check out the different types of artificial nails and get a better idea of their prices as well.

The three most popular types of artificial nails:

Artificial Plastic Plate Nail Tips

Made from lightweight plastic plates that are shaped like fingernails; nail tips are attached by gluing them to the ends of real fingernails in order to form an artificial nail foundation. Afterward, an acrylics mixture of polymer powder and a liquid monomer is painted over the length of both the real nails and the artificial nail tips. This covering connects the tips to the actual nails and creates smooth artificial nail surfaces that look like very long real fingernails.

Artificial Nails Created Using Forms

To create artificial fingernails using forms, the forms must first be made to fit over the surface of the real nails. Then acrylics are used to mold the artificial nails and the forms are removed. Afterward, the newly created artificial nails are buffed and shaped.

Silk or Fiberglass Artificial Nails

When using the silk or fiberglass method of setting tips to nails; small pieces of fiberglass or silk fabric are cut and then secured over the nails and tips using glue or a resin. This technique is a great alternative for clients found to be allergic to acrylics and gels.

Although acrylics begin to harden within thirty to forty seconds, they can take as much as an hour or more to fully cure. For this reason, another formula that is actually a polymer resin but commonly referred to as “UV gel” is sometimes applied in lieu of acrylics. This goopy gel cures faster than acrylics because it is hardened using an ultraviolet light.

Unlike UV gels that cannot be removed from real nails with organic solvents and so must be filed down or allowed to grow with the real nails it covers, powder and liquid acrylics can be removed with solvents like acetone in about twenty minutes.

How Much Do These Fake Nails Cost?

The initial cost of having your fingernails extended usually runs about twenty to thirty-five dollars depending on where you live, what salon in your area you go to, and the style or color you get your nails done in. For example French tips usually run more than straight polishing and designs run more than French tips.

In order to keep your nails up you will probably need to have them “filled” every two to four weeks depending on how fast your nails grow. Filling the nails simply means applying the artificial nail product to the space between your cuticles and the artificial nail. The space appears as your nails grow because fingernails extend from cuticles. Naturally, the artificial nails grow outward along with the real fingernails since the nail enhancing products are painted onto the real nails. This is the same principal as fingernail polish receding from the cuticle when you paint your nails. The cost of artificial fills usually runs about ten to fifteen dollars per session.

So there you have it! After the initial fee which is determined by the type of artificial nails you choose and where you get them done, the cost, money wise, for artificial nails could run you $15 or more, once or twice a month, if you have your nails done at a professional nail salon.  If you decide to go with beautifying your stubs yourself, you could save money by purchasing the products at a beauty supply store or a department store, such as Target or K-Mart. Many department stores carry a variety nail lengthening products similar to those found at beauty shops.

But Are Any of These Fingernail Transformations Really Worth Your Money?

The answer may depend on how important appearance is to you, your desire to get away from it all, your values and whether or not the false fingernails are applied properly and cared for regularly because although false fingernails can be very beautiful; under certain circumstances they can also be dangerous! For example…

When proper artificial nail application procedures are not adhered to, acrylic resin residue can cause redness, swelling, pain and severe adverse reactions. Nails can separate from their fingernail beds and damaged nail roots can lead to permanently deformed fingernails.

For these reasons it is vital that clients pay close attention to the way salons are cared for; and to ask questions about how technicians clean their equipment. New or fresh bands (electric files) should be used for each patron taking a seat for nail work. Tools should be sanitized using proper cleaning solutions.

When about to be seated clients should take a visual of the technicians working area. These areas should be cleaned before each new clients is motioned to sit down. If you notice the tech removing implements from a sterilization jar, tools she or he is about to use on your hands, make certain the solution in the jar is clear as opposed to cloudy and there is no debris floating around in the liquid. If you see anything that appears unsanitary about the way the salon is run you may have to choose between leaving now and finding out your fingernails have been infected with an awful bacteria later.

In addition to the methods in which a salon maintains cleanliness it should have a license on display and the technicians should also be licensed. There should be no problem with them revealing non-displayed licenses on the spot should clients request to see them.

Clients and techs should wash their hands before nail procedures begin using an antimicrobial solution to help prevent bacterial infections.

Aside from the fact that false fingernails can cause real nails to become thin and that they require just as much, if not more care than real fingernails, whether or not they’re worth the money may depend on what each person can afford, is willing to spend, and what makes each individual feel good about how her hands look.


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