Why Your Nails Hurt After Shellac Explained




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Experiencing pain after getting that long-awaited manicure may be unpleasant, even concerning. Your nails may hurt during daily tasks like putting your clothes on or opening a tin can. So, why do your nails hurt after shellac?

This is usually a normal response due to the tightening that the product causes. However, it could also be a sign that your natural nails are damaged. While discomfort for the first 24 hours may be normal, any pain after that time frame could be a warning sign about the condition of your nails.

With that being said, is there anything that can be done? In this article, I will discuss the causes of painful nails post manicure and provide tips on how to repair damaged nails. Finally, I will explain techniques that one can use to moisturize their nails.

Why Do My Nails Hurt After Shellac?

Realistically, it can be quite painful after having your shellac done. This pain can vary between individuals. This is especially true for first-timers who should expect to feel quite a bit of discomfort after their shellac manicure. Let’s discuss the common reasons for painful nails after doing shellac.

A Normal Tightening Sensation

It is normal to feel pain for the first 24 hours. This is because the technician has to apply a lot of pressure to do the shellac. 

The product can feel heavy and is usually done in a way that it is sealed to prevent premature peeling, etc. If the pain persists for more than 48 hours, the pain may be due to other causes.

Filing Nails Too Short

The nail technician has to file or buff the nails before doing the shellac. They also push the cubicles back. Both of these can lead to post-manicure pain. This is because both actions stimulate the nails, increasing blood flow. This increases nail sensitivity.

Bacterial or Fungal Infections

It is possible that persistent pain is due to bacterial or fungal infections. There are many natural remedies to take care of these such as tea tree oil, oregano oil, or antifungal creams. 

Nail fungus is relatively common and as the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. Most improve with self-care strategies.

Damaged or Brittle Nails

This is very common when you have done back-to-back manicures. It is also likely if the nail technician has filed your nails too short, buffed them too harshly, or damaged the cuticles while pushing them back.

If your nails tear continuously and have been exposed to multiple products, like acetone, then damage to the nail is a possibility.

How Do I Repair My Damaged Nails?

Self-care is the best way to handle damaged nails. From choosing your products carefully, to choosing the right nail salon. All of these efforts can help prevent and repair nail damage during the shellac process.

Take Supplements

Collagen and biotin are two acclaimed supplements when it comes to healthy, strong nails. In fact, biotin is also known as vitamin B-7 or vitamin H, in which case the H stands for “Haar und Haut,” the German word for “hair and skin.

Collagen, another supplement, has been shown to strengthen nails and help them to grow faster.

Try Keratin 

Anyone looking to strengthen their nails can try a keratin treatment. Keratin treatments help to stop your nails from splitting, peeling, and breaking. Keratin treatments are often available at a nail salon and you can also find products at a health store or online.

Strengthen Your Nails

You can also buy nail treatment products that contain collagen and camellia extract. Interestingly, camellia extract has been shown to reduce scaling and increase blood flow to the skin, skin elasticity, hydration, and density

A product that contains both can help to strengthen brittle and damaged nails.

How Do I Rehydrate My Nails After Shellac?

Keeping your nails hydrated is one of the most effective ways to prevent damage and brittleness. It can also make your shellac last longer. 

Dry nail beds, in particular, are one of the main reasons for your shellac getting easily damaged. Here are some tips to keep your nails hydrated.

Apply Oil To Your Cuticles

This works by massaging small amounts of oil onto the cuticles. The best oils to use are jojoba oil, sesame oil, lavender essential oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil. Here’s what each one does.

Jojoba Oil 

This oil should be applied on a daily basis and only a few drops are required. Not only is it a great moisturizer, but jojoba oil is able to repair damaged collagen matrix inside nail beds, improving strength and promoting healthy nail growth.

Cliganic USDA Organic Jojoba Oil, 100% Pure (4oz Large) | Natural Cold Pressed Unrefined Hexane Free Oil for Hair & Face | Base Carrier Oil | Cliganic 90 Days Warranty

Sesame Oil 

A natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial oil that also moisturizes the nails. It protects the nails with its high levels of fatty acids and minerals. A few drops daily can be very useful during the winter months to lock in that moisture. 

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has anti-microbial, moisturizing, and healing properties that make it a great product for nail health. The added benefit is that lavender smells amazing. Just massage a few drops onto the nail cuticles daily.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has been used for its many healing properties. It can moisturize and heal the nails, making it a great option. The most effective method involves soaking your nails in olive oil for up to 20 minutes on a weekly basis.

Use a High Moisturising Hand Cream

There are so many great hand creams on the market to moisturize those hands and nails. Doing so routinely will aid in preventing dry and damaged nail beds. Essentially, it is best to keep a hand moisturizer on you all the time. 

It is particularly important to use a hand moisturizer after washing your hands to replace the oils necessary to lock in moisture.

Drink Enough Water

Dehydration leads to brittle nails and is more common than one might think. Drinking enough water ensures optimal nail health. Not only will this benefit your nails, but it’ll be great for your overall health too.

If you want to read more about shellac lasts on toes you can read this: This is How Long Shellac Lasts On Toes

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons why your nails may hurt after your shellac is done. If the pain does not last more than 24 hours then it could just be your nails adjusting. However, if the pain is continuous, make sure to use products and supplements that I discussed in this article. These will help ensure strong, healthy, and well-moisturized nails.


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