Back to Basics: Nail Care

Okay, I admit it. All summer long, I’m not only lax about my beauty routine…I’m just plain lazy. I pull my hair into a messy ponytail, I leave the house with barely a stitch of makeup on, and my nails – well, the last time they looked this bad was…last summer!

It’s to be expected, say the experts. Not only are we in and out of the lakes and swimming pools (chlorine can super dry out your nails so they crack and split), we’re also digging into garden beds without gloves, and – come fall – trying to clear out the clutter for a new back-to-school year.

What I DIDN’T know, my dermatologist told me:
• Fingernails grow very slowly, and your toenails grow even more slowly.
• A fingernail will take half a year to grow back if you lose one because of an injury. If you lose a toenail, it might take a year and a half to grow back!
• Fingernails grow faster on your larger fingers and on your right hand if you’re right-handed, and your left hand if you’re left-handed.
• Fingernails also grow faster during the day and in the summer.
It’s the Vitamin D in the sun that promotes faster nail growth in the summer –how about that?

As long as I was on a roll, I took my summer-damaged nails to Fantasia Hair Salon & Hair Restoration Center to see OPI educator Marni and certified CND technician Becky.

“The most common nail problem we see at our salon anytime of year is dry, brittle nails and cuticles,’ says nail care expert Marni. “Today’s soaps are harsher to include anti-bacterial agents, and to compensate for that, you have to moisturize more frequently.” Marni advises drying your hands thoroughly (even just water can be drying) and use a cuticle oil or lotion several times a day – you can seal in the oil and lotion with something waxy or treat yourself to a paraffin manicure and pedicure.

Fantasia nail tech Becky suggests that everyone polish their nails, even if it’s with a nail strengthener or clear polish. This makes them stronger and less likely to chip, break, or split.

Fantasia offers a wide selection of OPI products to keep your nails in tip-top shape, including: Plumping Top Coat, which builds instant volume to plump nails for a gel-like look; Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener to help natural nails grow strong; and Natural Base Coat.

I know that during the summer, I may have 2-3 pedicures, but that slows down during the cold, winter months. Marni and Becky both agree: winter pedicures are every bit as important as warm weather ones. Why? Your feet are cooped up all winter long in socks, boots, and shoes. Even if you go without polish on those toasty tootsies, a winter pedicure will keep calluses at bay, and nails and feet moisturized. Plus there’s nothing quite like a warming soak for tired, achy feet when there’s snow outside.

Fall 2016 Nail Trends

Nail shapes, nail colors, and nail art change with the seasons. Spring saw a combination of rounded and “squoval” shapes, adding length while keeping things less angular. Fall/winter 2016 will feature short, rounded nails, with a trend toward more dark polishes.

“This year, we’re seeing the greens, purples, golds, and taupes of yesteryear,” explains Fantasia’s Marni. “But they’re darker greens, deeper purples, richer golds, and dusky taupes.” Silver continues to be a fave shade, but it’s a darker silver in the look of chrome that is shining through for the fall. Glitter and shimmers are definitely on trend, especially for the holidays. Fantasia will be featuring OPI’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” collection all season long.

For nail art, crystals are still a #1 choice, with dual-tone manicures (red & black, silver & gold, or just one splash of a bright color) in demand.

Because most of the year’s holidays occur in the fall and winter (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s), many patrons are choosing holiday-themed manicures that polish off their overall look.

Fantasia’s Becky is quick to point out, though, that simple, classic nails – with an on-trend taupe color – shows that you can be professional and fashionable at the same time, anytime of the year.