Shellac nails are popular because of their beautiful shine and durability. If you are considering a shellac manicure for the first time, you probably wonder how long shellac nails last. Luckily, you've come to exactly the right place! We've done the research and have lots of helpful information to share in this post.
Typically, shellac nails last up to 14 days when they are properly applied and cared for. They may last up to 21 days for people whose fingernails grow particularly slowly. Shellac nails are durable and unlikely to chip or peel during the first two weeks after application.
So the next logical question is: What can I do to make sure my shellac nails last as long as possible? Continue reading for answers to this and many other common questions about shellac nails, their application, and how to care for them. This post includes tips that will keep your manicure shining until you're ready for a new color.
Though sometimes used as an umbrella term for all gel manicures, shellac is actually a patented product and process created by the company Creative Nail Design (CND).
The official CND shellac process is always done in a salon by a CND-trained professional. This process includes nail preparation, use of CND products (base coat, color, top coat, and LED lamp), and ongoing nail care and maintenance.
The shellac formula includes a combination of gel and liquid polish. The gel provides durability, and the liquid polish provides a glossy shine for the color. The gel and traditional polish bond together when exposed to an LED lamp that uses UV rays, so the nails take almost no time to dry. This bonding process is called "curing," and it is done between each coat application for a shellac manicure. There are currently more than 150 colors of shellac polish available.
Shellac nails should be removed and reapplied every two weeks. Though the manicure may last longer than that, the polish becomes more difficult to remove after two weeks. If you wait longer, the removal process may damage your nails.
By two weeks after a manicure, most nails have grown out to the point that there is a clear gap between the manicure and the bottom of the nail. That is a signal that it's time for a new color!
As long as your nails are healthy and hydrated and the shellac manicure is properly removed, you do not need to take a break between shellac manicure applications. However, it is important to note that shellac manicures are not recommended for brittle or thin nails.
Some people have expressed concern about the possible negative effects of the UV rays from the LED light used to cure a shellac manicure. It is true that exposure to UV radiation over time can damage your skin. However, the FDA considers nail curing lamps to be a low-risk exposure when used as directed.
To minimize your risk of exposure to UV rays, you can protect your hands by wearing fingerless gloves during your manicure. You can also apply sunscreen or moisturizer to your hands with an SPF of 15 or higher.