Dip powder is nothing new to the nail scene, but it seems more and more women are ditching their acrylic to get it.
Last year, I made a huge transition with my nails. I decided to take my acrylic off and go natural. Now I’ve been an acrylic junkie for the past ten years and needless to say, my nails paid the price for up. Beneath the fake nails and glue were my thin, weakened real nails. They were so weak I felt like if I looked too hard at them they would break from my stare. To avoid damaging and breaking them even worse, my nail tech suggested gel polish. So for the next couple of months, that’s what I did and my nails grew from it. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to worry about chipped nails or blowing my lungs out for the next 20 minutes waiting for them to dry. And the glossy, shine gel gives your nails. But they were still weak.
One day I came to the salon for my usual two-week fill and my usual nail tech was not there. So I got Kim, an outspoken, Asia lady that has a bit of street to her, which makes me think she been around a couple of black folks in her day. She took one look at my nails and said, “Girl your nails are so weak look at them,” she flicked one and it literally bet like paper. “If you waited another day to come in, your nails would’ve broken and you would’ve been bleeding!”
And that’s when I was introduced to the dip powder method. Unlike the gel, these manicures are done with powder and can last up to a month instead of a few weeks. The nail tech buffs the top of your real nail and puts on a prime coat, and then dips your nails one by one into a pigmented powder. Most techs dip your finger in the powder twice to ensure hardness. The excess powder is brushed off. At this point, your nails are filed and you can to either use a gel-based polish or dip polish.
Dip-powder can be a little more pricey than gel, but again, this type of manicure can last a whole month, so it’s worth the extra $6 or $7 to check out, especially if you’re a woman on the go and work a lot with your hands.
You can take the powder off by soaking your nails in acetone for 10 -15 minutes. Of course, when dealing with any kind of beauty maintenance, there is a concern for health.
“Powder manicures are safe when performed by a properly trained manicurist,” said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, in an interview on The Today Show in July. “In fact, they may be safer than traditional gel manicures that use you the light that can be harmful to the skin. I would be cautious with these manicures if you already have dry or brittle nails or suffer from conditions like psoriasis, which can cause thickening of the nails.”
Then there’s the concern about the removal process.
“If a 10 to 15 min acetone soak is not doing the trick then the nail will likely become thin and damaged from scraping or filing,” Dr. Dana Stern, MD, a dermatologist and nail specialist in New York City, told INSIDER. “Many salons are using an electric file before soaking, and this can definitely damage the nail.”
Also make sure the salon you are going to is using proper sanitation methods. Some nail techs tend to use the same powder on various customers, causing bacteria build-up. And give your nails a break every once in a while. Doctors suggest detoxing from manicures at least once a month.
“The nail is a window into our health and so covering the nail hinders the potential ability to see if there is an issue going on,” Dr. Stern explained. “Sometimes people intentionally cover an ugly nail abnormality in order to cosmetically camouflage it.”
But don’t take my word. Try it for yourself and tell us which mani you prefer. Gel or dip?