Lately, I have been receiving many clients that have visited other Nail Salons to have their Acrylic Nails on. Most of them came to me for help (to remove the False Nails), advice on how to recover from their damage nails or have been refered by a general practitioner to undergo proper treatments for their nails. Some clients were so shocked to find out that the acrylic nail was lifting off their finger, taking the natural nail with it others suffered thinning of their nails or skin problems. Some of them have been having False nails for the pass 2 to 3 year in some salons considered as reputable salon in Singapore.
Clients usually ask me why is it so costly to remove the False Nails. My reply is, in order to minimize further damage to your nails we need to be extra careful in treating your nails. Some Salons uses MMA very thickly for the Acrylic Nail. Hence, the service will take about 3 hours just to remove the enhancements. [ In order to save time, Discount salons or Cheap Salon often pry or nip the acrylic nail off which pulls off layers of the natural nail and may injure the matrix (which is crucial in the formation of cells for the new nail) leading to permanent deformities of the nail.] The next question the client will ask is, “How long will it take to recover to its natural state?” my reply is, about two years before healthy nails began to emerge again. This is a sad reality of MMA enhancements, you don’t see the damage until it is too late. It can take up to one year for the nail to replace itself and hopefully it is not permanently deformed. If the nail breaks the whole nail plate may be removed. Women have had their natural nails ripped out (sometimes permanently) because the MMA acrylic did not break off when exposed to trauma.
Last year more & more Nail salons have been opening in Singapore and more women spent on artificial fingernails and business continues to boom. So what is this MMA? MMA is a chemical called Methyl methacrylate.
Women who paid for acrylic nail services in recent years may have been unknowingly exposed to the chemical, which has been blamed for numerous problems such as fungal infections, nail plate damage, nail loss and deformation, loss of sensation in the fingertips and respiratory aliments. In 1974 the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared it to be a Poisonous and deleterious (harmful) substance A when used on fingernails.
Responsible manufacturers quickly and voluntarily switched their salon clients over to Ethyl methacrylate (EMA), a more expensive and safer bonding liquid. Reputable nail salons followed suit. The difference in EMA and MMA is the same as the difference between wood alcohol (methanol) and beverage alcohol (ethanol). Wood alcohol when consumed is deadly. Beverage alcohol is considered safe (if not used in excess!).
Discount salons may offer a full set of nails for half the price compared to a professional / reliable salon. Some of the differences can be explained by the low overhead of the discount salons, which often operate in cheap storefronts and rely on poorly trained manicurist. But the main reason for this price difference is the use of MMA which can cost as little as US$15 a gallon compared to as much as US$300 for a gallon of EMA.
The problem with MMA is that its atoms are so small that they easily penetrate the skin and nail plate. MMA is a Asensitizer@ that can cause irritation and allergic reactions once it is in contact with the skin. EMA is much safer, larger in atomic size, and doesn’t damage nail plates. It is also hundreds of times less likely to cause allergic reactions.
HAZARD SUMMARY from the Materials Data Safety Sheet
MMA has a strong, sharp, fruity odour and can affect you when breathed in.
It may damage the developing fetus.
Exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and throat.
MMA can cause a skin allergy.
Exposure could damage the nervous system. Symptoms may include Apins and needles@, numbness, weakness, and changes in the ability to remember and concentrate.
Severe side effects may include abnormal liver or kidney function, nervous system damage and reproductive problems.
Have You Been Exposed to MMA?
Heres how to tell:
Low pricing for acrylic service (not a special sale or offer).
Acrylic difficult or impossible to remove with acetone or other solvents.
Technicians or management secretive about acrylic product brands used. Just because they have a Name brand polish in the salon does not mean they are using that brand of acrylic. Ask to see original containers.
Technicians often wear masks to prevent inhalation of the powerful distinct odour – Noxious, sharp and fruity.
Based on available information, I believe knowingly using MMA is irresponsibly endangering the client’s health. When in doubt, pick a knowledgeable and reputable manicurist. My advice is go natural. Ask you manicurist on how to embark or develop you natural nails. Ask many questions and if the manicurist cannot answer them to your satisfaction choose another salon.