If one trend has completely revolutionized the beauty industry over the past few years, it's gel manicures. Manicures went from lasting a week at best to three or four weeks, and I for one was a complete and total convert. Although I don't always get gel manicures (I'm also all about DIY nails), when I have a big event coming up and I want my nails to look good for a few weeks at a time, I always turn to gel nails. As much as I love gel manicures, I have one pet peeve with them. Why do gel nails crack?! Even if a mani looks perfect when it's applied, for some reason my gel nails sometimes crack or split in the middle or at the edge.
I was determined to get to the bottom of this, so I turned to a couple sources, including Nails magazine, a publication aimed at nail professionals. Luckily for me, they had a whole page dedicated to why gel nails can crack. It's a little technical, but the message behind it is basically that it all has to do with how the polish is applied. If it's applied too thickly or too close to the edge of your nails, it'll be more likely to crack down the line. Make sure your nail technician is applying the polish in thin coats, so that the polish is stronger and less apt to crack.
It can also have to do with over-filing nails. Melissa Hansen, who is an educator for Akzentz professional nail products, urges nail technicians to avoid shaping the nails too much because over-filing can make them more likely to crack as well.
If that doesn't work for you, you can also switch to a product with a little more flexibility, like shellac, according to Daily Makeover. The polish is a little more similar to regular nail polish, and it'll be less likely to crack.
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In the Nails magazine article, Hansen also stresses that it's all about how rough you are on your nails. If you're cooking and washing your hands or typing all day, for example, your nails may be more likely to crack. There's not much you can do about that other than be careful, but if you know you have a big event coming off, be extra careful with your nails to avoid cracks.
Although gel nail cracks can be annoying, aestheticians will usually be willing to fix a chipped or cracked nail within a week of the manicure for free. It never hurts to ask, and don't forget to tip them for their kindness! For me, the benefits of gel manicures far outweigh the little annoyances, and with these tips, your nails should be crack-free in the future.