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VegasGeorge
09-01-2014, 02:35 AM
OK, I've officially given up on my lousy fingernails. Six coats of nail strengthener, and they still cracked before they even grew out to the ends of my fingers! Just like always. So, I'm planning my first ever trip to a nail salon. I've been checking online reviews, trying to learn about any differences, etc. But I can't find any meaningful information. I feel like an ignorant doofus. At this point all I could do is go in there and say "Gimme nails!" There must be more to it than that? Can anyone tell me what to ask for, or what to avoid? Is there a difference in products or processes used by different salons? If so, which would be best for our fingerpicking/strumming application? I just feel totally stupid about the whole subject, :wallbash: and I'm not comfortable with that. Help! :anyone:

Daktari
09-01-2014, 03:02 AM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100103-Speeding-up-nail-growth

Some handy hints here.

UkerDanno
09-01-2014, 03:10 AM
my ex-girlfriend used to massage vaseline into her nails daily, try that, also a good super moisturizing hand lotion might work too. Vegas is really dry, just like Phoenix...

VegasGeorge
09-01-2014, 03:13 AM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100103-Speeding-up-nail-growth

Some handy hints here.

Yes, I'm familiar with that thread. It talks about nail strengthener, and diet/supplements for nails. I've tried all that. Like I said, I have given up on my natural nails. I want nail salon advice.

Daktari
09-01-2014, 03:31 AM
Yes, I'm familiar with that thread. It talks about nail strengthener, and diet/supplements for nails. I've tried all that. Like I said, I have given up on my natural nails. I want nail salon advice.

Me bad...!

earljam
09-01-2014, 04:00 AM
I'm in the same boat nail wise, work outside with hands, not really possible to get nails to stay around. When I'm fingerpicking uke with a guitar player using metal strings I use Banjo picks for volume.

Skinny Money McGee
09-01-2014, 04:28 AM
My Brother plays guitar and has his nails done at a Vietnamese salon. What they do is mix up a polyester or something, paint it on your natural nail, cure it rock hard under a light, then file and shape, and buff them. When your natural nail grows, go back for a tune up where they apply more to the cuticle area. Eventually your nail will grow out to the length you want but with this coating, they will be extremely hard and won't crack.

Before he did the salon treatment, he had to wear picks on his fingers, since his real nails would be ground down to nothing after one night of playing. He is fairly aggressive on the guitar, sort of Tommy Emanual style.

Down Up Dick
09-01-2014, 04:45 AM
Yes, I was gonna suggest those picks. I saw someone else picking with them, and, I guess one could strum with his thumb. :old:

Olarte
09-01-2014, 04:48 AM
Whatever you do. Please do not get fake nails they will destroy your real nails

Just be patient, and a we more careful with your right hand, like learn to zip up or reach for the mail with the left hand etc.

I'm a classical guitarist and plan to do an article on this very subject, but what works for me after 6 years is

To keep jusr long enough to. Be over the fingertip and no longer, I also use nailtiques 2 to put a coat on half the nail for protection the bottom half is not coated so it can get oxygen and grow healthy. Every week or so I remove the nailtiques cover it comes off like plastic and start a new one.

If a nail cracks or breaks, use a nail file (I use micro mesh nail files from strings by mail ) to fix what's left into a smooth non snagging angle. In most cases I have enough nail left to continue to play with a slight adjustment cycle.

I was going to publish this but got side tracked with cancer...

Tell you what I'm attaching a link to a draft of my article which I plan to post.

I've started a link about my methods for nail care here feel free to join that discussion

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100169-My-Nail-Care-article-(draft)

Skinny Money McGee
09-01-2014, 04:53 AM
Could also try the Fred Kelly "Freedom Finger Picks" http://fredkellypicks.com/

http://elderly.com/accessories/names/fred-kelly-freedom-finger-pick--PKFP.htm

http://youtu.be/QEaUzbavLM4

They are a plastic type picks that wrap around your finger. Probably the closest you will get to a real nail/salon treatment.

Olarte
09-01-2014, 04:57 AM
I once had a classical guitar teacher who had to glue pieces from ping-pong balls to his nails. (This was back in the dark ages when telephones still had cords.)

Can't help you with advice about nail salons or processes, but ask for recommendations from classical guitar teachers (who, if anyone, would know) or barbers. I remember a video clip on YouTube where James Taylor discussed what he did with his nails—layering fiberglass or something. He sometimes does it himself.

Please read my response above. As a classical guitarists and having met many of the top classical players, I'm glad to share what I know

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100169-My-Nail-Care-article-(draft)

Daktari
09-01-2014, 04:58 AM
Whatever you do. Please do not get fake nails they will destroy your real nails

Just be patient, and a we more careful with your right hand, like learn to zip up or reach for the mail with the left hand etc.

I'm a classical guitarist and plan to do an article on this very subject, but what works for me after 6 years is

To keep jusr long enough to. Be over the fingertip and no longer, I also use nailtiques 2 to put a coat on half the nail for protection the bottom half is not coated so it can get oxygen and grow healthy. Every week or so I remove the nailtiques cover it comes off like plastic and start a new one.

If a nail cracks or breaks, use a nail file (I use micro mesh nail files from strings by mail ) to fix what's left into a smooth non snagging angle. In most cases I have enough nail left to continue to play with a slight adjustment cycle.

I was going to publish this but got side tracked with cancer...

Tell you what I'm attaching a link to a draft of my article which I plan to post.

I've started a link about my methods for nail care here feel free to join that discussion

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100169-My-Nail-Care-article-(draft)

Thanks for your post and the pdf. Really interesting. Care and patience are the keys when improving nails in my experience too.

sukie
09-01-2014, 05:12 AM
I gave up on real nails awhile ago. My right thumb nail splits down the middle and nothing can be done about it. So....I switched to acrylic nails and have never been happier. I like not having to worry about my nails getting soft, cracking, breaking...yada, yada. I am not terribly good about them looking beautiful. I maybe get them "filled" every 8 to 10 weeks. Yes, the down-side is underneath the fake nails my real nails are a mess.. But since I want the nails on I find it's really not a big deal.
I can see they aren't for everybody, but I really like them. My salon is used to me getting just a few nails done. I don't let them do the final shaping either. But they are used to me now and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Steveperrywriter
09-01-2014, 05:50 AM
Ivan's article offers good advice, check it out. If you are going to get fake nails, look for the nylon ones. Hard coatings will chip and crack like glass, some flexibility is good.

janeray1940
09-01-2014, 06:20 AM
Yes, I'm familiar with that thread. It talks about nail strengthener, and diet/supplements for nails. I've tried all that. Like I said, I have given up on my natural nails. I want nail salon advice.

If you haven't tried the stuff I mentioned here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100103-Speeding-up-nail-growth&p=1570983#post1570983) - give that a chance first! Drug-store cheap and convenient.

Nobody has worse nails than I do - NOBODY. All of the conventional advice (Nailtiques, Nail Envy, dietary supplements) failed. Nail strengtheners only made things WORSE for me - the remover that I used to take it off before reapplying just destroyed my nails. They were thin and flaky and rippled and got caught on everything and would just rip right off.

I have a known Vitamin A deficiency (among other medical oddities); Vitamin A is key for nail growth and strength. So I was going to just buy Vitamin A capsules and break them open and rub that on my nails, when I stumbled on the Sally Hansen stuff I linked in the other thread. It contains Vitamins A, E, and C. And it actually WORKS, without any annoying shiny fake coating - it's just a gel that gets absorbed by the nails.

I was right where you are, about to commit to a salon. I'm glad I gave this stuff a try first - I hate beauty treatments of all kinds, hate the salon culture in general, and above all, hate permanent commitments. And salon nails are a permanent commitment.

Ukejenny
09-01-2014, 06:44 AM
Gel nail polish. Dang, it makes my nails impervious!!!! I can do dishes, have my hands in water all day, work in the garden, mow the lawn, and strum like a banshee, and the polish is rock solid through it all.

I don't like people using tools on my nails that have touched other hands, so I bought a kit at Wal Mart - it came with polish and an LED light to cure the polish. I was skeptical, but tried it. Rock solid. You can do the clear, without any color. I'm pretty sure this stuff is tougher than the clear coat on my van.

I only take it off when my nail has grown out enough that it needs to be redone, but the tips never chip. It is amazing.

Those are the pros, now for the cons - it probably isn't healthy for your natural nails. Last time I took my polish off, my nails weren't any weaker, but they looked a little dull. Some reviews say you should put sun screen on the skin of your fingers before sticking them in the LED light to keep them from soaking up the rays. I don't do that.

Edited to add: I've also filed and shaped them several days after applying the polish and they still stay strong. I like to keep my nails fairly short (left hand especially) and filing the tips doesn't seem to mess with the finish.

Doc_J
09-01-2014, 06:54 AM
Could also try the Fred Kelly "Freedom Finger Picks" http://fredkellypicks.com/

http://elderly.com/accessories/names/fred-kelly-freedom-finger-pick--PKFP.htm

http://youtu.be/QEaUzbavLM4

They are a plastic type picks that wrap around your finger. Probably the closest you will get to a real nail/salon treatment.


I agree those Fred Kelly finger picks are as good as they get, without being a nail.

James Taylor has a video on how he makes/treats his nails for playing. It seems to work for him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BqISqpMRo8&sns=em

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BqISqpMRo8&sns=em

armchair_spaceman
09-02-2014, 02:46 AM
"Hard as Hoof" nail cream has been the saviour of my nails since starting using it early this year, after trying numerous nail hardeners and giving up on them. Occasionally I still damage one (outdoor pursuits), I keep alaska piks in the uke case until the nail grows back (which, call me crazy, seems to come back faster with the Hard as Hoof)

janeray1940
09-02-2014, 07:04 AM
"Hard as Hoof" nail cream has been the saviour of my nails since starting using it early this year, after trying numerous nail hardeners and giving up on them. Occasionally I still damage one (outdoor pursuits), I keep alaska piks in the uke case until the nail grows back (which, call me crazy, seems to come back faster with the Hard as Hoof)

Looks like a similar idea to the Sally Hansen stuff I mentioned a couple posts back, which has had a similar effect for me. I think there may be something to the idea of applying vitamins directly to the nail rather than coating the nail with a harsh chemical (as in a polish) that needs a harsh chemical to remove it! Makes sense to me, anyway.

sukie
09-02-2014, 08:47 AM
Looks like a similar idea to the Sally Hansen stuff I mentioned a couple posts back, which has had a similar effect for me. I think there may be something to the idea of applying vitamins directly to the nail rather than coating the nail with a harsh chemical (as in a polish) that needs a harsh chemical to remove it! Makes sense to me, anyway.
Makes total sense.

I still do the fake nail thing, though. It took me a long time to succumb. Then I realised I wasn't going to quit playing ukulele, so I went for it. I do admit I am now pretty much stuck keeping them on. But it is a minimal price for me to have nails I can count on.

Whatever works.

Steveperrywriter
09-02-2014, 09:29 AM
Um, not to rain on anybody's parade -- if it works for you, more power to you -- but hair and nails aren't going to do much in terms of absorbing vitamins or whatnot. They are essentially dead tissues, and you can modify them with chemicals, or clean, or soften, or whatever, but the growing part takes place in the beds and follicles under the skin. Once hair and nails exit the staging area, they are done. Washing your hair is like washing your blue jeans, and whatever you do to 'em outside can only modify them so much.

The best way to make your hair and nails better comes from a good diet, and which one does the most good is up for debate. Generally speaking, if you are getting enough vitamins and minerals and good nutrition in your diet, that's what is going to do your hair and nails the most good. There are some drugs that enhance metabolism that will make them grow faster, but you need to see a doctor to get a prescription for those.

All the fingernail you can see is essentially inert, and you can certainly weaken it with chemicals. If you want to start over, you have to wait until the nail at the base grows all the way out to the fingertip before you get "new" nail you can apply to the strings ...

VegasGeorge
09-02-2014, 04:54 PM
Well, I feel as though I'd been rode hard and put away wet. I've gone around and around with this issue. I've carefully considered everyone's advice, and have tried most of it already. I called a glamorous female friend, who simply told me she does her own nails after having a bad experience at a nail salon. I researched local nail salon reviews, only to be convinced that they are pretty dubious places where I wouldn't want to go. I went to a beauty supply house and talked to the girl there. She told me that it would cost a fortune to equip myself with their stuff which is all intended for salons. She sent me to Walmart. She recommended "Kiss" brand do it yourself stuff. I had already watched youtube videos about Kiss, and two other brands of DIY nails. At Walmart I discovered that none of the brands include nails big enough for my fingers. The biggest nail in those sets is about the size of my pinky nail. I came home and started researching "men's artificial nails" on Google. I finally found this: https://guitarplayernails.com I have ordered the $20.00 kit. I will report back after I get it and use it.

Redeyejedi
09-19-2014, 11:36 AM
Bumping for updates

Freeda
09-19-2014, 11:46 AM
Another vote for gel polish, also known as shellac or gelish. If you do the clear base coat and top coat, then buff it a bit, it looks pretty natural. It doesn't shred your nails as bad as acrylic.

VegasGeorge
09-19-2014, 11:57 AM
Since this thread was resurrected, I might as well update y'all. I got the guitar players fingernail stuff, but I chickened out when it came to putting them on. Instead I was reading about how keeping the edge of your nail meticulously smooth with a very fine file will prevent them from cracking. So, I got good glass (crystal) files and started using them. At the same time I read about another of the nail strengthener products called "Collagen Nail Builder." It's another product that goes on like a thick, clear nail polish. I've been using it too. Now, my nails are almost long enough to engage the strings when I'm playing. I think they're as long as they've ever been without cracking and splitting. I'm trying to be very careful with them. If I can only get another couple of centimeters growth, I'll be good to go. I'll report back later with the final results.

Ukejenny
09-19-2014, 12:08 PM
Sounds like good progress.

l3uffer
09-19-2014, 12:27 PM
Well, at least if you decide to really give up on your nails, you'd be in good company with some of the greatest classical guitarists of the 19th and 20th centuries... these are the ones who swore off nails, and some even usage of the ring finger! Can you imagine playing with just P, I, and M (thumb, index, and middle)??
But not having nails has its perks as well - you get a really warm, fleshy tone that I think some people may prefer. Plus, you don't have to worry about taking care of them every three days or so! (or is that just classical guitarists? Hahaha)
Nail care is something classical guitarists are experts at... Strings By Mail is a great resource for this, and they have a lot of good tools to help shape and polish your nails!

ralphk
09-21-2014, 05:22 AM
The Emergency Nail kit http://www.amazon.com/Emergency-Nail-Kit-From-Riconails/dp/B000TDE3Q0 has fake nails that are the correct size for male fingers. They use a small double sided glue dot to hold the nail in place, plus an overlay of "Nextcare flexible clear tape" (normally used for medical bandages).

Personally I just just the tape to hold a shaped fake fingernail to my finger for the gig. Not a permanent solution, but works for the gig.


Ralph

Doug W
09-21-2014, 07:18 AM
VegasGeorge,

In addition to the file, I keep a small piece of #600 wet/dry sandpaper in my pocket. I smooth my nails whenever I get a nick in them so they don't end up snagging on my pocket or on gloves in the winter. I gave up on my thumbnail years ago, it just splits in the middle. The nails on the other 4 fingers are pretty stable. I keep the pinky nail long for a couple of different strums, but otherwise don't use that one very often.

Melissa82
09-21-2014, 07:58 AM
HEY NOW!

Nail tech in the house here!

Let me tell you right now... you CAN strengthen your nails but it will take time and it also depends on which way you would like to do it.

Acrylic nails - A nail tech will apply a liquid and powder mix to your nail, let it cure, then file it to shape. This is something you need to have filled every 2 weeks. Make sure you go to a reputable tech, otherwise, they will damage your nails. Over filling the natural nail, aggressive removal and picking your enhancement will damage. Also be sure there is no lifting of the enhancement because it will contribute to a potential of BACTERIA growing under the nail. The fancy termus nail techs use is pseudomonas. To remove, you need to file it down and then soak off the remainder with acetone.

Gel nails - This is the same as acrylic BUT it is a THICK PASTE. It is not liquid and powder with a gel top coat. This is what MANY of the little places will fool you in to believing. Unless they are using a UV or LED lamp from the very beginning of the service, it is NOT gel nails. There are three types of gel: Gel polish, soft gel and hard gel. Gel polish just adds color, soft gel soaks off and hard gel much be filed off.

Nail Wraps - Fiberglass or silk thin paper is laid over the nail and cyanoacrylate glue is applied over it to seal it down. This is much gentler in the nails as you do not have do as much work to smooth it down. You can remove it easily by soaking in acetone.

And for the love of all that is mighty. If you choose to go to a salon, make sure they are sanitizing and disinfecting their tools. DO NOT let anyone use an old file on you.

That being said, you cannot grow your nails faster but you can help prevent them from breaking.

Use gloves when washing dishes, yard work, etc. Use a high grade cuticle oil. When your nail absorbs oil, it prevents water from being absorbed, therefore preventing the nail from fluctuating so much. Water causes dehydration of nails. A good oil DOES NOT have mineral oil but has a carrier like jojoba, coconut, wheatgerm, etc. CND makes a great Solar Oil. You can use strengtheners and hardeners but only apply them daily or every other day for about 5-7 days, remove it, then start over. Use a strengthener one week and a hardener another week. You can't use the same every week because it will cause brittleness.

DO NOT overbuff your nails. Do it maybe once a week if you need to. If you have grooves in your nail, DO NOT buff them down, this will damage them. This will cause delamination, making them peel and chip. If you are using a 240 or higher grit, you can file the tip of your nail any which way. If you have no idea what grit your file is, file them in one direction to prevent peeling.

I'm sure there is more, feel free to ask me. :) I'm known to be quite ahead of the nail industry and I was a educator for a nail company as well.

If you want a good nail tech, contact me and I will get with my network of peeps and hook you up.

Oh, and I will get my hands on a wrap system and I will make a video to show you guys how to do it. I think this really is the best option for musicians because you can do it yourself easily.

Melissa82
09-21-2014, 10:38 AM
Your nails are JEWELS not TOOLS, lol.

A 'hardener' usually contains formaldehyde and draws moisture out of the nail resulting in harder nails. BUT don't over use or the nails become really brittle and often yellow and end up worse than before.

A strengthener is designed to keep the nail tough and flexible and ideally should not contain formaldehyde.

And no, this is not the evil formaldehyde we know and hate. It is a resin, so don't be scared, lol.

You also need to use cuticle oil a few times a day. It is a cumulative product. The more you use it, the better it works.

Redeyejedi
09-21-2014, 05:36 PM
thanks for the info melissa.

Tootler
09-21-2014, 11:00 PM
My nails start to split when they get past the ends of my fingers so I keep them short. I'm mostly a strumming song accompanist so no problem there. When I do finger pick I just use the fleshy ends of the fingers and it works for me. Less precise than nails maybe and less sharp attack but it works and no need for all the treatments described above which I am more than a little suspicious of to tell the truth.

VegasGeorge
09-22-2014, 01:52 AM
Argh!!! My stupid middle finger fingernail split (again) yesterday. So, all my efforts are for naught. I'm cast back into despair once again. Boo-hoo, sob, sniff, moan! :wallbash: So now what? I just received an order of Bolopick Ukulele flat picks, and I've just ordered a set of Fingerule finger picks. Gotta keep trying! And of course there are still the guitar player fingernails I could glue on if I really get desperate.

bnolsen
09-22-2014, 02:28 AM
what are nails for? how do you do yard work like replacing posts and slinging around rock? even with gloves short nails get torn up.

Down Up Dick
09-22-2014, 05:05 AM
VegasGeorge, now you're on the correct path. With picks you get more volume and a different sound, but maybe you'll like that. And I've seen some guys that pick pretty well with their thumbs. The main guy in the "Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain" uses a pick, and he sounds great!

Stop :deadhorse:, clip your nails and adapt yourself to your circumstances! Onward and upward! :old:

Jim Yates
09-22-2014, 07:39 AM
I have been going to Lily's Nails for six or seven years now. I started getting only my bird fingernail done, since I used it for clawhammer banjo, but this made my guitar finger picking unbalanced, so I now get the index and ring fingers done as well. I have a form of psoriasis that attacks my nails and makes them very weak, so I have no option except picks, which, while they work on the guitar, are not good for clawhammer banjo or ukulele.
I like the nails just long enough so that I can see them from the palm side of my hand.
Susan, the woman who does my nails and who has been doing them for 6 years, knows exactly how I like them. She still says, "What colour would you like this time Jim?" every time I go in. It's getting really old, but she's such a sweetie, that I put up with it.

WhenDogsSing
09-22-2014, 07:44 AM
Nails on men's hands are gross. Use a pick.

Jim Yates
09-22-2014, 10:32 AM
Well, if you don't really care what you sound like, you could use a pick, but if you want a certain sound, there are some that you can't get with a pick. You can get some really nice sounds with a pick, but that may not be what we're after.
We (almost) all have nails on our hands, WhenDogsSing, unless they've been surgically removed; some are just a bit longer than others. I keep mine pretty short, but I need some nail to get the sound I want.
By the way, I do use a pick at times as well.


I realise that you may have been making a sarcastic/joking remark, but it's hard to tell from just reading it.