What To Ask For At The Nail Salon If You Want Strengthened Nails

It's a common misconception that you need to have long nails to get a good manicure. Those of us with short nails can still get manicures that make our nails and hands look stunning. It's also true that people who have weak nails can benefit from getting a manicure. In fact, having our cuticles groomed, moisturized, and taken care of on a regular basis helps provide a good foundation for healthy nails to grow, per Envy Nail Spa.

According to Avalon Spa and Salon, manicures help nourish our nails and keep them in good shape. Manicurists trim overgrown cuticles, snip hangnails, and remove dead skin cells. This can leave the nails revitalized and primed for new growth. The lotions and creams used nourish the nail bed, cuticles, and hands, not to mention provide a soothing self-care practice to indulge in on a regular basis.

Everyone wants healthy nails. After all, nobody likes to have weak, brittle nails that break at the drop of a hat. If you find that your nails have been breaking more than usual or seem fragile, there's a type of manicure you may want to ask for the next time you visit the nail salon.

Ask for a hard gel manicure

According to Byrdie, if you want your nails to be as strong as possible after a manicure, pick a hard gel manicure. These are perfect for those who want to make their nails stronger, have nails with ridges, or have very weak nails that tend to break frequently. The hard gel can also provide a strong base to add extensions or tips.

Hard gels are stronger and last longer than soft gels and can also be referred to as builder gels, structure gels, or sculpting gels. They are thick and provide a noticeable layer to the nail. "Hard gels are used for strength and structure," nail trainer and stylist Vicki Ornellas tells Glamour. "Gel polish is just for color and art, and a little strength."

In addition, since hard gel manicures last so long, they allow your nails underneath to grow. These manicures typically last three weeks to a month or even more.

What to know about hard gel manicures

Though a hard gel manicure provides a certain level of strength and allows your nails to grow, you'll need to devote a lot of time at the nail salon to getting one done as well as taking it off. According to Refinery29, it can be a lengthy process and take close to two and a half hours to get done properly as opposed to a regular gel manicure, which takes roughly 45 minutes.

Furthermore, removing a hard gel manicure cannot be done at home — a big mistake people often make with gel nails. Acetone alone will not remove the hard gel mixture. A professional manicurist needs to file it down to remove it. "Gel manicures can damage your nails if they are applied incorrectly and removed incorrectly," says celebrity manicurist Mar y Sol Inzerillo (via Allure). "Peeling or biting off a gel manicure ensures damage to the nail bed. An electric file is necessary."

Finally, hard gel manicures cost a pretty penny and average between $80 and $125, yet those who love this type of manicure think the durability is worth the time and price.