Pedicure and manicure, makeup and artificial nails are used by many women to beautify themselves and improve upon their appearance.
Artificial nails are designed and pasted on the existing natural nails as either a nail tip or a whole nail.
They are created in such a way that they look and feel just like the natural nails.
When artificial nails were originally designed, they were made to protect the nail and to give it a more visually appealing look on the fingers.
Apart from this idea, artificial nails are also great ways to cover up the appearances of weak nails and a good option for women who are fond of biting their natural nails. With between GH¢3 and GH¢12, patrons can enjoy the services of a nail technician.
Acrylic type of nail extension
Those who patronise the service prefer the acrylic type of nail extension because they are the strongest and the most durable of the artificial fingernails.
They come in a variety of designs, are very attractive and with the opportunity of painting them with any colour and design of choice unlike gel, sculptured and wrap type of artificial nails.
According to the American Society for Surgery of the hand, acrylic nails harbour a variety of bacteria and can aggravate nail bed infections.
“I love artificial nails, especially the acrylic nails. I wear them to avoid biting my nails,” Mabel Quame-Amaglo said.
“I love my acrylic nails. When I’m without it, I feel incomplete as a lady. I just cannot fix my hair and decide not to fix my nails. I do that anytime I visit the saloon,” said Nana Ama Essel.
Even though some ladies expressed how addicted they are to the use of artificial nails, others have no interest in it due to the uncomfortable experience they have encountered.
“I wore artificial nails for the first time in 2008 when I had to be a maid of honour for a wedding. I could not even pick a coin from the ground or a pin to hem a garment and as a fashion designer, it hindered my productivity. Worst of all is that when l had to eat banku or fufu, it filled the space and when you mistakenly hit your fingers on a hard surface, you’ll cry in pain,” said Matilda Ngissah.
History of artificial nails
Women have been wearing nail extensions since the Egyptian times and back then they had a completely different meaning to what they do now.
One of the main reasons why women in the Far East preferred longer nails is that it is associated with a higher class and indicated that the person is not required to work.
Although some men have found their way into the nail care industry and are doing an equally good job, it is mostly done by women.
The nail care business has created job opportunities for many women as the business continues to spring up at every corner of the cities.
They can be found operating in the various markets, saloons, door to door services and in corners of the cities.
Spotted at Adabraka, just a few buildings away from the Graphic Mirror House in Accra, is Conniesta Nails.
The saloon is being managed by Constance Amoako who learnt the trade at Nanny’s Nails at Lartebiokorshie over a period of two years.
According to her, she has been operating her own saloon for a period of four years now.
She said though university students patronised her service all the time, working women do so the most.
The price of the services, she added, was determined by the type of nails the customer wants.
Ms Amoako said she charged GH¢10 for acrylic nails and GH¢4 for non-acrylic nails at her saloon.
She said acrylic nails were most preferred by her customers. “I think it is because of the ability to choose the colour for painting and the fact that it can last for about two to three weeks,” she added.
Commenting on its health implication, she said when the artificial nails were not properly fixed, it created holes beneath the natural nails and the artificial nail and that made it retain water, when it comes in contact with water.
That, she said, would create room for fungi infection that could also damage the natural nail.
She stressed the need to use a nail dissolver in removing the artificial nails instead of removing it forcefully.
According to Ms Amoako, working on a nail which was already damaged by fungi and other bacteria was very difficult, because it required treatment and constant scrubbing.
She said the chemicals used in fixing the artificial nails were strong, and advised that women should not constantly fix their nails but should do so occasionally to avoid damaging the natural nails.
An expert’s view
In an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of 2nd Image International, Mrs Nikki Boa-Amponsem, stressed the need for the public to be educated on the use of artificial nails.
She said most women preferred acrylic nails but they had not been educated on its use. “People misuse acrylic nails; they do not go for refill so by the time they remove it, their nails are damaged.”
According to her, gel nails are the best because they do not require much chemical to fix them and therefore the best option if an individual wants to grow his or her natural nails.
Mrs Boa-Amponsem advised that it was necessary to do oil treatment after removing artificial nails.
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