There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freshly polished nails straight out of the salon, whether you opt for a gel manicure, dip powder, or a set of acrylics. But did you know that frequent visits to the salon can lead to weakened and brittle nails that are prone to cracking? Fortunately, a new trend called ‘nail cycling’ is quickly gaining popularity among beauty enthusiasts who want to maintain the health of their nails while still enjoying regular salon visits.
If you’re familiar with the concept of ‘skin cycling,’ where you strategically use different skincare products on different nights, then you’ll find nail cycling to be a similar practice. It involves taking a break from manicures and harsh nail treatments like gel, acrylic, and dip in order to give your nails a chance to recover and stay healthy. With nail cycling, you can continue to enjoy your regular salon appointments while keeping your talons in great shape.
If you’re curious to learn more about the trend, ahead, we break down everything to know, like what nail cycling is, its benefits, and how to do it.
What is nail cycling?
In simple terms, nail cycling refers to the practice of taking breaks between your regular manicures, including acrylic, gel, dip, or other types, to allow your nails to rest and recover.
The beauty of this practice is that it can be tailored to meet your specific needs. For example, if you notice any grooves, dents, or pits in your nails, it may be time to take a break from gel or dip and switch to regular manicures. On the other hand, if your nails are becoming thin and dry, you may need to take a few weeks off from manicures altogether. The key is to listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly. Ultimately, nail cycling offers numerous benefits for maintaining the health and beauty of your nails.
What are the benefits?
One of the benefits of taking a break from using nail polish and other harsh chemicals is that it allows your nails to rehydrate and regain their natural flexibility. Additionally, this break can promote the repair of your nail matrix, which is the area under the base of your nails where fingernails and toenails form. It’s important to keep your nail matrix healthy if you want to achieve and maintain healthy, happy nails.
It’s important to note that gel and acrylic manicures can cause damage to your nails when they are removed, particularly if they are taken off too quickly or aggressively by either yourself or your nail technician. Repeated and improper removal of these types of nail treatments can lead to brittle and dehydrated nails over time. By taking breaks from these types of manicures, you can give your nails time to recover and reduce the risk of long-term damage.
Another perk of nail cycling is that it reduces your exposure to UV light. If you are consistently spending time underneath a UV dryer, you should consider ways to reduce your exposure to the UV light that could lead to skin cancer. And if you’re getting a manicure with regular polish, skipping the UV lamp entirely is recommended.
How to practise nail cycling?
Experts recommend taking a break from manicures—especially from gels, acrylics, or shellac—around once every eight or 10 weeks. The breaks should last about one or two weeks, but you may want to wait longer if your nails are thin or brittle. Cycling between gel and regular polish is also suggested. When you’re taking a break from nail treatments, focus on keeping your skin, nails, and cuticles moisturised.
How to get the most out of nail cycling?
The first step towards restoring the strength and beauty of your nails is to remove the polish and avoid using chemical-based products. It is crucial to hydrate your nails during this process, which can be achieved by applying moisturisers and nail oils. Cuticle oil is particularly beneficial as it helps to hydrate both the cuticle and the nail bed, making it an essential step in nail care whether you’re growing your nails or simply aiming to improve their appearance.
In addition to using oils and moisturisers, you can also enhance your nail health by consuming certain foods such as biotin-rich leafy greens and nuts. For example, a salad containing eggs, nuts, and olive oil can provide the perfect nutrients to support healthy nails from the inside out.
Dermatologists are excited about the skin cycling trend on TikTok and Instagram, and suggest applying the principles of skin cycling (or hair cycling) to your nail care routine as well. So, if you’re ready to give your nails the VIP treatment they deserve, it’s time to take a break from those harsh chemicals and say hello to hydration!