Are You In Safe Hands?

Be aware of the products that are being used In Nail Bars!

You are going to a nail bar to get a set of nail extension applied. They look good, the nails are nice and strong, they last well and above all, you can’t believe how cheap they are compared to the other places offering the same kind of service.

Have you ever heard of the saying when things appear too good to be true, they usually are!

Recently we have had many customers coming into the salon with major problems and nail damage, a lot of these customers are going into local nail bars for their enhancements completely unaware of the risks that they are subjecting themselves too. Obviously applying nail extensions to a natural nail is a very popular and common practice, so why would you think you are at any risk having such a simple procedure done. Ok here is why!

They are using a very dangerous product to apply the nail extension, known as MMA. Why would they do this? The answer is simple: to maximize their ‘profit’ because the product is really cheap to buy in.

What is hugely concerning is, the health risk to the customers and the technicians applying MMA and this is why.

What Is That Product and Why is it Dangerous?

It’s called MMA (Methyl Meth Acrylate). It originated in the dental industry for making crowns and bridges. It is also used as bone cement by orthopedic surgeons during joint replacement procedures. This chemical was not designed to come in contact with skin or nails. Did you ever have to wait for a permanent crown to be made in a lab? The reason for this is that MMA, while in a liquid state, should only be used in a controlled laboratory environment by properly trained technicians. This is because of the carcinogenic effect on the body, once it has hardened MMA is not dangerous.

The use of MMA in nail enhancements has stirred up tons of controversy over the past few years in the US and is quickly becoming a problem in International markets, aside from the fact that it is labelled with the following warning “Use it and you will spontaneously combust” warning from the FDA, there are even more grave reasons for avoiding MMA applications.

MMA does not bond very well to natural nails

The only way it can adhere to the nail is through mechanical adhesion, which requires massive amounts of damage to the natural nail plate. The upper most layers of the plate have to be removed to give the MMA something to stick to. Before long, the natural nail plates become thin sheets of keratin that tear easily as well as offer no protection from MMA seeping through to the nail bed.

MMA is extremely hard

Due to the severe hardness of MMA, the only way to file is through excessive drilling. The surface bond of the MMA acrylic is so strong to the soft tissue that even a slight trauma to the nail can cause the nail to break and lift off the nail bed. This can result in serious nail breaks, infection and loss of the nail plate. Ironically, it is the strength of the acrylic that attracts some users to the product. Since MMA is extremely hard, removal and maintenance of a MMA enhancement usually involves the use of a drill. The extra amount of drilling required in maintaining these enhancements, leads to situations where technicians burn the nail bed, over-thin the plate and even drill through the natural nail plate.

MMA is also solvent resistant

This means it is very difficult to remove. It takes a long time to remove MMA when soaking in acetone. To speed up the removal process, the salon may choose to use an electric drill or extremely coarse file to remove the MMA acrylic. Since it may be difficult to see where the nail has grown, the chance of filing into the natural nail are great, often leaving behind a damaged, thin nail plate leading to permanent nail deformities.

Health risks associated with MMA products ranges from skin allergies to permanent loss of nail plate, including:

  • Nail infection
  • Respiratory problems and eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Permanent Nail Deformities
  • Severe Allergic Reactions

What Is The Safe Alternative In Nail Industry?

EMA, most mainstream acrylic manufacturers use a product called EMA (or Ethyl Methacrylate) which has been deemed much safer for use in the beauty industry, although close cousins EMA has a slight, but significantly different molecular structure than MMA. This gives EMA the desirable acrylic qualities without the undesirable side effects so often seen with MMA. EMA has about 25 years of research and development behind it for the nail industry and therefore offers the safest, most advanced option over MMA. With the surge in salon growth and many salons looking to cut costs of supplies MMA has unfortunately become a popular choice of product for Nail bars. (MMA is 1/6th the price of EMA.)

How Do You Know If Salon Is Using MMA?

There are several warning signs to look out:

  • Strong or Strange odour. MMA has an unusually strong or strange odour; usually fishy; which doesn’t smell like other acrylic liquids. Odour is present during application and when filing cured product (for in-fills or repairs).
  • Acrylic Nails are difficult or almost impossible to remove.  When soaked in acetone, it may take up to 2 hours to dissolve, while usually it should only take about 20-30 minutes. Therefore drilling will often be used in the maintenance and the removal of MMA.
  • MMA acrylic nails are extremely hard and very difficult to file even with coarse files.
  • Enhancements are cloudy or milky colour when cured.

Additional signs to be aware of:

  • Low price full sets and infills. As MMA is significantly cheap to buy in, cost outweighs safety in those discount salons although health risk is more costly in the long run.
  • Unlabeled products. Technicians / owners / managers are secretive about product brand names used in salon
  • Dust or ventilation masks used (many technicians use dust masks today who do not use MMA)

Think You May Have Had A Set Of MMA Nails?

Come to WPR Beauty to replace your MMA nails. We offer FREE soak off and £10 OFF a new set of acrylic nails carried out by experienced technicians using high quality salon products that help to protect your natural nails.

Further Enquiries?

If you would like to know more about the nail services we offer in the salon as well as the products we use, please feel free to call us on 01277 633907.