“Will Shellac Ruin my Nails?” and other Shellac FAQs

Are all gel hybrid polishes the same?
CND was the first company to create a true gel/polish hybrid with their Shellac Power Polish.  Shortly after, other gel polishes followed from different brands (OPI Axxium, Gelish, Gelluv, etc…)  Like we call all brands of tissues “Kleenx” whether they are puffs, generic, or actually from Kleenx, some salons and nail patrons have (unfortunately) taken to calling any kind of gel nail “Shellac.” 

What makes True CND Shellac unique is that it is a power polish, not a gel.  While we recommend salon removal, it does not require harsh buffing of the nails to file off the polish.  CND’s gentle removal soak will dissolve the polish when wrapped on the nails for just 8 minutes, making it so you or your nail technician can gently push off the polish and your nails will be healthy afterward.

When clients come in with an imitation brand of Shellac or gel nails, the removal can be difficult, time-consuming, and can damage your nails as we are not equipped to remove the harsher products since we do not use them.

Can I pick my Shellac off?  How can I safely remove it?
If you pick off your Shellac, your nails will peel as the Shellac has adhered to your nail, there is no other way around it.  If you follow the instructions and wrap your nails in cotton and foil with the CND Removal solution, then gently push off the polish, you’ll have no damage.  We recommend having this done professional at least once, then your nail tech can tell you what you need to safely remove your product at home in the future.

Cassie’s nails right after safe Shellac Removal, but before a manicure.

Will the lamp used to cure Shellac cause cancer?
No, you get less UV exposure from our nail lamp than you do steering your car. Exposure time is minimal, just 10 seconds for the first coat, 2 minutes for each additional coat. Click here to read more about studies done about the UV lamps used for nails.  If you are still concerned, you are welcome to apply sunscreen to your hands prior to curing.

Why do you have to know before my appointment if I want Shellac? Why does it cost extra?
Because Shellac requires about 15 additional minutes (curing time and very precise application), we need to make sure we have enough time set aside.  The additional service time plus a product that, for a smaller bottle costs us nearly 4x as much as our regular polish necessitates the additional charge.

I feel like I need to let my nails “breathe.”
If you follow your nail technician’s recommendation and apply solar oil daily, it will hydrate your cuticle and nail around and through the Shellac, it is designed to penetrate the pores in the polish.  Nail (the hardened part we polish) don’t need to “breathe” because they are not living tissue.  Dryness or damage comes from using polishes with harsh chemicals (which we don’t) or not hydrating with a cuticle oil daily. 

Should I do Shellac on my toes?
You certainly can…but truth be told, most people just use CND’s Vinylux, a traditional polish that doesn’t require a lamp to cure, is in shades matching Shellac, and dries in 10 minutes.  Most clients find that they get several weeks of good wear with Vinylux on their toes, and it doesn’t require removal wraps.  Some people (Cassie included!) think the removal wraps feel weird on the toes.  Plus, with Shellac, you get your nail care and polish done first, then your soak, scrub, and massage after (we can’t let the nail expand from the soak prior to using Shellac or it will peel).  If you’ve had a long day on your feet, chances are, you’d prefer a nice soak, scrub, and massage (The GOOD stuff!) before your polish.

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Author: Cassie

Licensed Massage Therapist for 9 years, business owner since 2007.

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