Since writing the original post Get Dipped: Acrylic Dip Powder for Nails just over three years ago, it has become the most read, most shared and most commented on post on my blog.
Because of the rise of dip powder, people are wondering about and searching for information on the service.
When I wrote the post, the nail techs I spoke to were touting dip powder as new, saying it had only been around for a short time in Dallas. Nail techs in other markets like NY, LA and Miami had probably been dipping nails for much longer. In my research for this post, I read an article by Sigourney Nuñez on Nails Magazine that seemed to say that “dipping systems” were being used back in the 80’s!!! (This is news to me! Yet, I am still perplexed as to when dipping nails actually begin, and why it took so long for the trend to go mainstream.) 🤔
In my original post I say that “I am a HUGE fan of acrylic dip powder as an option.” and this remains to be true.
However, please do not expect this product to keep natural nails healthy. Truth be told, dip powder is probably much better than traditional acrylics and gel polish…I’m not a chemist, so I don’t know for sure. But, I have heard all of the hype that dip powder is fortified with calcium and vitamin E, that it strengthens nails, makes nails grow and that it won’t damage the nail bed.
The claim that dip powders contain calcium and vitamin E may be true…again, I am not a chemist. But as a fairly knowledgeable consumer I go back and forth, in love/hate style, with dip powder because of my own experience with it – it did not strengthen my nails and damage still occurred.
In full disclosure, I am typing this post with a freshly dipped set of nails.
Why, you hypocrite?!
I’m not a hypocrite – remember my love/hate relationship with the service.
Several months ago, when I was thinking of going back to wearing dip powder, the decision really relied on finding a great nail tech that was knowledgeable (not just pushing the service) and willing to listen and talk thru my concerns. At first she laughed at me and then she realized that my concerns were real and she took the time listen to my nail stories.
I have been wearing dipped nails over the last year because I love the ease and speed of the service. I admit that I love to have beautiful nails! That’s the reason I wore pink and whites for 15 years. Regular polish doesn’t last long on me and, my nails are in worse shape with gel polish. I do like the new alternatives to gel polish from brands like Butter London, Essie and Deborah Lippmann – they last about 7 days on me but, they still require a decent amount of drying time. And I hate waiting. Lol!
I know the damage my nails have and continue to suffer from dip powder – they are dry, thin and peel. I do use cuticle moisturizers so, the damage may not be as bad as it could be.
Nonetheless, when I go to have my nails done every two weeks, once the powder is soaked off, my nail tech and I inspect my nails and I make a decision each time if I want to dip them or give them a break. And from time to time, I do give my nails a break.
So…what’s the point of THIS post?
The point is to share that once I started to see the damage to my nails after first getting dip powder in 2013, I got upset – because I believed the claims. Then I took a step back to think.
Dip powder is still a nail enhancement. It still requires buffing off a couple of layers of the nails to rough them up. It could still present an issue of sanitation (because you are dipping your fingers into a container that many others have dipped their fingers into as well).
So what do you if you still want dip powder?
First, understand that every positive claim about the powders may not be true. Damage to nails will happen. IT WILL HAPPEN! Trust me.
Next, ask that your nails not be buffed more than necessary and that the tool be on a much slower speed for better control by the nail tech. (Look, I know that this sounds super bossy and odd given the fact that they are the professionals. But I think we have all experienced an overzealous nail tech that turns the Dremel up and makes your nails burn from the speed.)
Lastly, if dipping your fingers are a concern, don’t be afraid to ask if they will sprinkle the powder on your nails or pour the powder on them. Many salons have adopted this method anyway so, ask before the service begins.
(Note: I do not go to either of the salons mentioned in my original post.)
Now it’s your turn!
Feel free to comment with your nail stories below. I am interested in reading them.
On few websites authors claimed that dip powder is healthy for your nails because of vitamin E, etc. I wouldn’t go far in claiming this but nail dipping is more healthy than gels and acrylics because it doesn’t include heavy toxins, doesn’t require UV lamp and filing
I agree! All nail enhancements have a downside.
Hi, thanks for the update. I’m seriously thinking about adding this dipping service. I’ve been doing some research, ( You Tube) and the nail techs just file with a non electric file( regular nail file ) It’s not necessary to use an E-file which may cut down on the damage to the nail. I have steamers that I use to remove gel polish. So I’m hoping that my clients will have less damage all together. Not sure if you are familiar with the Kiara Sky line but that’s the starter kit I got .
Hi! Sure thing! I wish I had a gel remover steamer. That’s wonderful!
Nail salons these days are all about speed. And so they’re using the electronic file to file quickly and get you done and get to the next client. I understand why it might make more sense to use a hand file because it could lessen the amount of damage to the nail. I am not familiar with Kiara Sky. I will check it out.
Thanks for your quick response. If you get the opportunity to research Kiara Sky’s dipping powder your opinion would be greatly appreciated. I’m hoping that this system will eliminate the chipping some clients that are wearing gel polish experience. I have a few that say they won’t do “shellac” or gel polish anymore because it didn’t stay on for 2 weeks .
Sure thing! I will check it out now. I love gel but it’s so drying to my nails. Now, I say that realizing that using dip powder may not be much better. But I also have experienced chipping with gel polish.