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Enlightening Insomnia


Have you ever had one of those nights when you just can not get to sleep....no matter what you do?!

Thankfully I don't have many nights like this but last night was one of them! No matter what I tried I just could not nod off to sleep....I counted sheep....I thought of a sheet of white paper....I listened to my own breathing.....I even listened to by hubby's snoring and there in lies the issue me thinks!!!

Not one wink of sleep was had until I eventually nodded off at 6.30am!....So why am I telling you this? Simple, what does any self respecting nail tech do when she can't sleep????

She cracks out her copy of Face to Face with Doug Schoon volume 1........is that a tumble weed I just heard pass????

Who is Doug Schoon you ask.....well let me tell you. This guy knows his stuff when it comes to the science and safety behind the nail industry and nail products. He is an internationally recognised scientist with over 30 years' experience in the cosmetic beauty and personal care industry...I could go on for another 3 pages talking of his achievements and contributions to the beauty and nail industries but I'll leave it there but you get the gist....he knows his stuff in the nail industry.

So reading his book in the wee small hours I came across a section of his book that shone light on a topic that I have wanted to write a blog post on for quite some time. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about the non standard salon favourite METHYL METHACRYLATE!!!

That's MMA to me and you!!

So what is this MMA business and why is it soooooo bad???!.....is it because is causes cancer? NOPE! .....is it because it causes birth defects? NOPE ....is it because it is highly toxic?! NOPE!

All complete and utter myth and legend.

MMA was first utilised in 1877 but more widely used from 1933 in all manner of ways. In WWII it was used to make all kinds of useful items from submarine periscopes and aircraft windshields to more recently for kitchen appliances, lenses, skylights, bath tubs. LCD screens and all other manner to commercial items we all use in our homes.

MMA monomer is widely used by doctors the world over as a bone cement and has been used for the past 40 years or so, so it can't be that bad can it????!!!

In nail enhancements?....yes it is that bad! MMA monomer has its place in the world, but that place is not as a nail enhancement and here are the reasons why....

Firstly MMA products do not adhere to the natural nail plate well unless the natural nail is filed aggressively. The reason for this is filing aggressively creates lots of grooves and crevices for the product to adhere to. The problem with this is the natural nail is thinned out creating all kinds of issues from painful and throbbing nail beds, onchyolysis (or separation of the nail plate) , splitting, infection and leaving the client open to all manner of nasties!

Secondly MMA products are notoriously hard to remove safely. MMA is extremely resistant to the normal safe method of removal from soaking with Acetone or artificial nail remover liquid. MMA nail coatings become brittle and discoloured very quickly and must be removed by filing very thin (which takes an age because its soooo hard) and allowing to grow out before further damage can occur to the natural nail.

Thirdly MMA artificial nails are extremely rigid and difficult to break. Great I hear your cry?!.... WRONG!!! Because the natural nail has been thinned to such a degree, if the nail is accidentally caught or trapped, the nail plate will crack, brake or even ripped off completely before the enhancement breaks. This again leaves the client open to all kinds of nasties, infections and issues.

Yeah I KNOW!!! Why the hellus bellus do some salons and technicians use this stuff on your nails???

The main reason I'm sorry to say is cost. MMA can cost up to 75% less than its professional, softer more safe counterpart which does not contain MMA monomer. The lower cost of the MMA product means that the salons using MMA can undercut salons and technicians who take care of their clients health and use a professional product but at what cost to you....the client???

Another reason MMA is used by some technicians is because the nail plate is filed so thinly, they do not need to take care to safely remove any non living tissue from your nail plates as its all been filed away cutting time off of the service time.

A professional technician will take time to safely remove this tissue without damaging the nail plate and the reason for this?, if this tissue is left on the nail plate, the enhancement will lift after a short period of time as the enhancement product is sticking to this tissue rather than your nail plate.

The only way to protect yourself and your nail health is to visit a a salon or nail technician who puts you and your health at the centre of their concern. Ask the technician about their qualifications and the level of their education requesting to see their certification.

If in doubt ask to see the Material Safety Data Sheet of the products they are using within your nail service, these sheets not only describe the chemicals and compounds within the product but also how to deal with any safety issues that may arise from spillages etc.

All in all.....not a bad nights education....a sleepless night well spent!!!

I thoroughly recommend Doug's books if you want to get informed and educated.....there is a trilogy but don't worry....its a much easier and more informative read than Lord of the Rings!!!

Until next time

Paula xx


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