This guide was designed for natural nails, since I am not an advocate of false nails.
People who opt to have silk wraps or acrylic nails applied require major hygiene and regular maintenance to be safe. These methods require the nail to be sanded down, weakening them considerably. Chemicals used to bond the new nails may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Also, should a space develop between the natural and applied nails, bacterial or fungal infections can develop and are difficult to treat. Carefully choose a nail care professional and not try to do this yourself!
It is a law that salons sterilize their equipment between customers, but some ignore this. Don't be afraid to ask about this and insist on sterilized equipment. Also ask that a new file be used on you. If you don't feel comfortable, leave and look elsewhere.
Watch out for the signs of fungal infections such as thick skin along the nail-growth line and discolored or spongy nails. If you experience any of these, consult a physician. Although there are over-the-counter products for treatment, fungal infections are best dealt with using a 6-month course of prescription medication to ensure a complete cure.
Keep in mind that should you decide to remove your acrylic nails, you will find that your natural nails are very weak and prone to tearing. It will take much time for the nails to recover.
When removing acrylic tips, go to a professional you trust to get them off as safely as possible since you don't want to damage the nail bed. Either way, the nails will be quite weak for some time. If you keep up on a weekly maintenance routine (like what I detail on this nail guide) and use protein-based nail hardeners your nails will show improvements in a few months. I would wait a few months before trying to grow long nails since they will be very likely to rip during this time.
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