How To Properly Care For Your Nails After A No-Chip Mani

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Sometimes we go through periods when it feels like there's an occasion every day, whether it's a wedding, birthday, business meeting, or, really, anything else. Given the sheer number of events you're attending, your mani needs to be the least of your concerns, though this is true for the everyday person not attending events, too. As such, you've opted for a no-chip service so your mani will last as long as possible, but what do you do when it's time for the polish to come off?

While a no-chip mani might have the staying power you need to get through your vacay or important meetings, your nails can take a beating. A no-chip mani also means you can't just swab your fingers with a bit of acetone or allow the polish to peel off naturally. (Spoiler alert: It won't.) In addition to following a specific removal technique, you'll need to ensure that your nails are moisturized, oiled, and handled with care. Luckily for you, we've got all the steps you need to kiss your no-chip mani goodbye.

Follow proper polish removal techniques

Your mani probably didn't cause much damage to your nail plate, but the longer you keep the polish on, the more problems you can incur. So, the best thing you can do for your nails is to get rid of the polish correctly.

On this, celebrity manicurist Geraldine Holford told InStyle picking off your nail polish is a big no-no, stating, "The immediate effects are harming the nail plate because you're removing the top layers of the actual nail along with your polish. The long-term effects are thinning of the nails, harm to the nail bed, and irregularities on the nail plate and in growth patterns." This is typically where the wear and tear on your nail starts; therefore, see your nail stylist to remove the polish if possible.

If you can't wait for an appointment, the polish can be removed at home with a few simple steps. As explained by nail TikToker Grace's Creations, start by filing off the topcoat, and then apply 100% acetone to the nail for 15 minutes. The easiest way to do this is to soak a cotton pad with the acetone and then secure it to the nail with aluminum foil. After 15 minutes, remove the pad, and gently peel off the polish. Do note, though, that more stubborn areas will require extra acetone. With clean fingers, it's time to moisturize those nails with a spa treatment.

Give your cuticles the spa treatment

All that acetone soaking can make your nails very dry. Provide your nails with a bit of TLC by immediately applying cuticle oil to the nails and giving them a little massage. Slather your fingers and hands in lotion to lock in the oils, and add moisture to the skin around your nails. On this, editorial manicurist Rita Remark told Byrdie, "Cuticle oils deliver vitamins and nourishment; the cream will lock moisture. Moisture loss is a common symptom of gel nail damage."

What's more, your nails will need more love in the days and weeks following the treatment to be sure that any damage is properly handled. Give your fingers a nightly oil soak — olive oil works great — for about 15 minutes to keep everything moist and healthy. And since life doesn't end just because your nails are a bit weak, wear gloves when washing dishes or having direct contact with water or harsh soaps.

Keratin treatments for nails can also be helpful, according to celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann (via Byrdie). "Keratin is a natural protein that forms the building blocks for our skin, hair, and nails. A keratin treatment can help strengthen the nail and help prevent the nail from peeling, splitting, or breaking," she told the outlet. It couldn't hurt to try, right?

Try a shorter style

You might not realize it, but your nails got used to the no-chip lifestyle during the time you had your mani. They didn't have to worry about breaking because there was no way that extra strengthener would go anywhere. Now that you've stripped off that protective barrier, your nails will feel vulnerable and weak. Keeping them long could lead to more damage in the long run.

Keep your nails at their best by cutting them into a shorter style. However, be extra careful when cutting them down. On this, nail artist Brittney Boyce told Allure, "I don't recommend cutting your nails [if they're weak] as that actually puts strain on your nails and can cause them to break." In that case, she recommends filing your nails about twice a week so they don't snag or break. Adding a bit of nail strengthener, which typically contains healthy oils and keratin, to your daily routine can also get your nails ready for popping open cans in no time. We recommend OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, which has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon and contains vitamins A and E for a boost of strength.

Short nails might not be your cup of tea, but you have to think about the health of your nails in the weeks and years to come. Those beautiful gel and acrylic looks require the nails underneath to be healthy and strong, after all — and your body needs to be strong for your nails to flourish, too.

Nourish your body inside and out

Strong, healthy nails start with a strong, healthy body. Therefore, if your nails are taking a beating from the no-chip manicures that you've been trying out lately, then it might be more than just the removal process causing an issue. Take a look at the vitamins you're packing into your meals to ensure deficiencies aren't also causing issues. Plus, if you're having a problem with brittle nails due to damage, adding a few essential minerals to your meals might be just what the doctor ordered.

We all know that biotin is great for our hair, but guess what? It's good for nails, too. This B vitamin found in egg yolks and nuts helps give you stunning nails by pumping up the protein builders needed for healthy nail growth (via Healthline). Other B vitamins are good, too, including B12 and folate, so why not add a salad with some dark leafy greens topped with nutrient-rich nuts to your snack schedule? Fish and tofu are also rich in those beautiful B vitamins.

Introducing more vitamins into your diet is good all around, from the skin to the hair and the nails. As you're stacking those leafy greens onto your fork, remember that pressing pause on nail polish usage from time to time is good for you.

Take a break to protect your nails

Avoiding the temptation to jump right into another manicure can be hard, but it's essential to give your nails a little time to breathe, especially if they're weak or brittle. Rather than adding more polish, let them go naked, or possibly just add a little bit of nail strengthener.

Think of this as cycling your nails. You give them a three to four-week break to grow out and rejuvenate before trying out that modern French manicure you've been seeing online. During this short cycle of freedom, your nails will thank you by growing out stronger than before. Then, you'll have the perfect base to try out the next big nail trend.

Ultimately, no-chip manicures are amazing, especially when you're going on a trip or just need something sleek for the office. However, the removal process can do a number on your nails, leaving them feeling a little weak. Liven them back up by making sure to remove the polish properly and giving them extra TLC. It will definitely be worth it.