Nails, Lashes, Brows &   Holistic Therapies

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My Blog 

Once a month I will try and upload interesting stuff  here !

My First Blog Entry -

What is an NSS (Non Standard Salon) 

August 2017 

NSS exactly what does it mean?

NSS means Non Standard Salon, this means that these "Nail bars" may not follow the same hygienic practices that we were taught in our training for example:

• they might use an electric file (e file) to 'etch' the nail plate (this is bad as this takes off a layer of nail!) 

• they probably don't sanitize their tools in between clients (I use Barbicide, the blue liquid on my shelf) 

• they probably don't sanitize their hands or their clients hands ( I always spray with Isopropyl Alcohol) 

• they probably don't change towels in between clients ( I use paper towels) 

• they probably don't prep properly ( because this is the longest part!) 

• they might use MMA (Methyl MethAcrylate) as their monomer (another blog post later) 


Some people take it for granted that the NSS salons are are oriental BUT anyone can own/run an NSS salon irrespective of  whether they are  white, black, asian or oriental.


So next time you are getting your nails done, have a look round, is it clean? do you physically see them clean their tools and equipment? 


I'll leave that with you ! 

Acrylics and the smelly liquid 

September  2017 

Methyl Methacrylate, or MMA, originated in the dental industry for making crowns and bridges and as bone cement by orthopaedic surgeons during joint replacement procedures.


This chemical was NOT designed to come in contact with skin or nails. In the late 1960s and 70's, some nail technicians began using MMA for acrylic nail services because it was much less expensive than the safer alternative, Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA) which is used is my studio.


MMA is not recommended for use in acrylic nail products because it is much too hard, and can tear the nail off the finger easily. When a nail enhancement of MMA is banged or knocked, it has little to no flexibility and will break, often taking the nail plate with it. EMA is formulated to be flexible, the enhancement will break or crack, and sometimes the nail will break off, but will not usually damage the nail plate and nail bed.


Things to look for and think about when you next get acrylics:

• Methyl methacrylate (MMA) has a distinctive strong odour.

• No manufacturer’s labelled containers - your technician should show you what products they are using on you.

• Physical reaction - If your fingers burn, itch or hurt after receiving nail services, this can indicate MMA exposure. It is not normal for your fingers to hurt after a treatment.

• MMA does not soak off easily or in a reasonable length of time, causing undue exposure to acetone while soaking.

• To make MMA adhere well to the nail, overly rough preparation methods are used. The nail plate is "roughed up" with a coarse file or an electric file, creating in effect, a shag carpet look to the nail plate, giving the MMA something to adhere to. This process thins and weakens the nail plate allowing more chemicals to be absorbed through the weakened nail plate during application and curing time.


All acrylic enhancements, while hard enough to file in 1-4 minutes, continue to cure for as long as 36-48 hours after application.


I use Crystal Nails EMA Monomer which is blue in colour and is non-yellowing it is also strong yet flexible for a safe application of acrylic.

The Polymer (powder) is perfectly safe and has no variations of ingredients that re known to be unsafe.


By the way…. If you get asked by your nail technician “would you like gel or acrylic?” and you say gel and they put a pink powder and liquid on your nails it is acrylic the clear powder is also acrylic, do not be fooled, gel has to be cured under a UV / UVLED lamp at all times and it is what is says on the tin a gel consistency! Gel is NOT a powder.