Can You File Your Nails After A Gel Manicure?

If you’ve ever treated yourself to a professional gel manicure, you know the satisfaction of gazing at those glossy, chip-resistant nails. But what happens when your nails start growing out or lose their shape? You may find yourself wondering, “can you file your nails after a gel manicure?” Well, the answer is yes, but with caution and with the knowledge you might not get the results you were hoping for! 

Gel Manicures: A Quick Overview

Gel manicures have taken the beauty industry by storm due to their longevity, shine, and reduced drying time. They involve applying a gel-based polish that is then cured under a UV or LED lamp. This process creates a strong, durable, and long-lasting coat, protecting your nails for weeks.

However, gel manicures, while aesthetically pleasing, can be one such factor that impacts nail health. The American Academy of Dermatology indicated that frequent gel manicures can damage to the nail plate, leading to peeling, brittleness and cracking over time (1).

So, Can You File Your Nails After A Gel Manicure?

The truth is you can file your nails after a gel manicure, but there are some things you need to keep in mind to ensure you don’t ruin your nails. Filing your gel nails should be done gently and only when absolutely necessary. The gel coating makes your nails less flexible, and aggressive filing can cause the gel to lift from the nail bed or lead to nail splitting.

If you decide to file your gel manicured nails, consider these best practices:

Use the Right Tools

A glass file is less abrasive than a metal file or an emery board. They create a smoother edge and less friction, reducing the risk of nail damage. 

File in One Direction

Filing back and forth can create tiny fractures in your nails. Always file in one direction, from the outer edge towards the center.

Gentleness is Key

Don’t apply too much pressure while filing. Be gentle, taking care to not file too deeply into the sides of the nails, which could cause them to weaken or break.

If your gel manicure is starting to grow out, or if you find yourself constantly filing your nails, it might be a good idea to head back to your salon for a new manicure. Also, keep in mind, if you decide to file your nails, you might end up breaking the gel seal. This means your manicure could chip or peel off more easily. So, handle with care!

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Bottom Line: Should You File Your Nails After A Gel Manicure?

While you can file your nails after a gel manicure, it’s essential to practice caution to avoid unnecessary damage to your nails. Additionally,  if you need to keep filing down you’re nails, it’s probably a sign that it is time to get a fresh manicure. Your nails are a crucial aspect of your overall wellness—care for them with the respect they deserve. Remember, health and beauty should always go hand in hand.

A before and after of damaged nails to healthy nails.
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