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Over the last few months I’ve been pretty unwell and as a result my entire body is totally run down. It’s still going on, and I think at some point I’ll write about it. I’ve been bumping up my skin and hair care lately to combat my shitty immune system, but I neglected my nails. So, a couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to spectacular purple acrylics from my gorgeous and talented friend Jaki at Nova Nails; then last Tuesday I went back and had them removed, deciding to a gel manicure over my natural nails afterwards. I’ve done this loads of times with no issue so didn’t expect anything different this time. I tend to prefer to go from acrylic, to gel, to natural nails, then repeat as desired. It’s a system that’s always worked for me. However, a few hours after getting them done, I knew something wasn’t right.
My nails felt absolutely fine during treatment but now they were weak, bending and finally split in a few places. They bled a bit and were sore to touch. I’ve always had great nails and this has literally never happened before. I trust my friend completely and knew it wasn’t anything they did wrong. I instantly realised my utterly run down immune system has affected my nails too. Thankfully, Jaki had some availability the next morning and she recommended we get the gel straight off and get some IBX treatment on them, so that’s what she did.
This is what I ended up with. My nails are so thin that she didn’t want to use too much acetone or overbuff to take the gel off so there’s a little bit still on, but I already feel the difference just having the IBX on. I’m so grateful she was able to help me straight away – now I’m barred from any kind of polish or acrylics for at least 6 weeks so I can intensively look after them!
I picked up Sally Hansen Vitamin E cuticle oil last week and I’ve been using it constantly, but wasn’t exactly thrilled with it; weirdly I felt it dried in super quick and left my nails feeling almost gritty? Anyway, I’ve switched to this Cutex Intensive Recovery oil and already I’m feeling it is more moisturising and it smells lovely. I’ve got another IBX treatment next week and after talking to Jaki about in between treatments, I’ve decided to apply a green tea & bamboo nail strengthener tonight before re-upping the cuticle oil. I’ve also picked up acetone free polish remover so I can remove that before the IBX treatment. I’ve decided to keep my nails as short as possible since they seem to be growing more straight, I’ve lost the C-curve of my nails for now and the whites of my nails were catching on EVERYTHING which was painful since they were bending backwards. Ouch.
Like I said, I’ve never had an issue with my nails before. It makes sense that since my hair and skin have been suffering, my nails would too. Putting acrylics over already less than optimal nails (although granted not bad enough to be noticeable at that point) wouldn’t have helped. Having Jaki pretty much on call has been wonderful; I’ve had issues with hair/skin before and can handle that, but my nails suffering is a new and weirdly scary thing for me. I’ve made sure to also eat more iron and protein rich foods, which has also helped my hair and skin, so I’m really pushing the self care inside and outside!
To be honest the thing I’m struggling with most is keeping my nails out of water as much as possible. I take about 25 minutes just to wash and condition my hair, and wet style it since I’m bringing my curls back, plus I tend to do the dishes every evening. Avoiding the hair wash has been doable for now since I only wash it once a week (although I’m really pushing it now!) but not doing the dishes has thrown my evening routine out of whack. Plus I hate waking up to a full sink so I’ve had to moan at Gof to do them, and he already does plenty of chores! I got kitchen gloves and used them today even though I generally hate them. Needs must!
In saying that, I’m happy with the progress so far. There’s definitely a massive difference in the strength of my nails. It’ll take some time before they are back to normal, and I’ll check in when there’s more to talk about!
Next blog, what I’m doing hair and skin wise? Let me know!