Saturday, August 06, 2011

Manicuring 101 - The Natural Nail

Hey guys!

Today I'm starting my Manicuring 101 Series which is something I've decided to do because I got SO many requests in my giveaway form for advice on proper manicuring.

First of all, I'd like to clarify exactly what my qualifications are. I am not a "Nail Technician" since that refers to someone who is certified in acrylic/gel nails and I have not yet completed that course. However, I do plan on completing such a course once I finish my University degree (which will be completed in December of this year).

My official title is a "Manicurist" or a "Pedicurist". What this certifies me in is the area of nail care, hand and foot care and the art of manicuring. I can also perform proper hand and foot massages but that's not really something that we'll be covering here.

I did my course with LCN and so I credit all of my knowledge to them. I still have a lot of my pamphlets from my course so a lot of information is coming from there as well as my own memory and experiences since completing my course.

Now that I've clarified upon that, let's get to our first lesson - a discussion of your naturals nails. I'm going to try to keep this first post of the series really brief and basic since some of the discussions later in the series may get a little technical and lengthy, so I want to kind of ease you into it as best I can.

Keep reading for information about your natural nails!

Your nail's main function is to be a protective plate for the finger and toe endings.

Your natural nails are made up primarily of a protein called keratin. This is the same protein that is found in your hair and skin but it is harder in your nails. The nail plate extends from under the eponychium (cuticle) to the free edge and the plate is composed of layers of keratin cells attached to the nail bed. The lower layers of keratin are softer; the outer surface of the nail plate is the hardest layer of keratin. The nail plate itself does not contain any nerve cells or capillaries.

What should a healthy natural nail look like?
A healthy natural nail plate should have a slight pink colour, be semi-shiny and have a smooth surface.

When you cover your naturals nails (either with nail polish or artificial nails), you actually cause the natural moisture content of the nail to rise. Typically, a healthy natural nail will have a moisture content of approximately 18%; covering the nail plate can increase the moisture context to approximately 23-25%!
Thus, regular manicures are actually helpful in promoting good nail health.

Aside from increasing the moisture content of your natural nail plate, manicures keep your cuticles hydrated which prevents hang nails and infections and manicures can even help improve circulation, tonicity of the skin and aid in detoxification - which can help prevent signs of aging.

The average growth of healthy natural nails varies but in general, your nails will grow approximately 2-4mm per month. However, the growth process slows as you age.

That ends our discussion of the natural nail. If you have any questions, send me an email by going to the Contact tab at the top of the page or leave me a comment on this post.
The next post in this series will be a detailed discussion of the anatomy of the nail.

*Image not mine


  1. I can't wait for all the posts in this series! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!

  2. Interesting! Cant wait to see more!

  3. Very informative and interesting! Sounds like a great series!

  4. I like this, I cannot wait for more!

  5. I'm so glad you decided to do this, can't wait to read more!

  6. I'm so excited to learn about proper cuticle pushing/trimming. I always feel like I'm just scratching my nail up.

  7. Thank you for sharing this! I have slightly crappy cuticles and nails because i'm not sure on how to look after them properly so this would definitely be a great help to me! Thanks again and i can't wait for your next post!

  8. I would like to know why the can nail can turn yellow.^^,
    Great series

  9. I don't know why, and I don't have any foundational evidence for this, but somehow I have the feeling that it's probably not that good idea to wear nail polish everyday, but I still do. How often should I leave my nails polish-free and for how long if I want to have healthy nails?

  10. Kayla I am super excited that you are doing this! I love that you will be sharing your knowledge with us! <3 I am looking forward to the next post!!

  11. is it ok if i directly quote some of the information you gave? I will quote it as coming from you and link back to this article if they want to know more. I find this information so helpful and would love to re-share some of it, :)


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