That wascally wabbit, Dr. Oz is back at it again. Recently his show did another 'expose' on gel manicures, and how they are to be avoided like the plague. This time he co-hosted the segment with an expert dermatologist. We all remember last year when he used that popular nail goddess, Tabatha Coffey, to expound on the dangers of UV lamps.
Sad to say, he is more interested in creating fear in his audience, which I suspect strongly increases his ratings. You know how the newsroom says "if it bleeds, it leads". That apple doesn't fall far from the tree, here.
If you didn't see the episode I'm talking about, I'm not going to provide a link to it - you can find it at your leisure. I'm not even going to tell you all the gory details because I'm over it. But because some of my clients will have seen this shoddy excuse for journalism, I feel compelled to provide some balance here.
First and foremost, there is no scientific evidence that using a UV light to cure gel manicures can cause cancer. This issue has been reported to death and the studies are conclusive. Dr. Sayre, the man who helped invent the SPF system (Sun Protection Factor, anyone?) even says the amount of UV-A that your hands would be exposed to during a gel manicure is equivalent to 1 or 2 minutes of exposure to the sun daily. You'll get more UV exposure driving in your car every day. Funny, I've never seen Dr. Oz do a show about how driving your automobile is going to give you cancer, have you?
So to continue on in this vein, the dermatologist suggests that if you are going to get a gel manicure, you need to find a salon that uses LED lights to cure the gel polishes, and if the salon doesn't have them then you need to leave. Hello - LED lights emit UV-A as well. Ooops.
Now, I appreciate a good prop just like the rest of you, and Dr. Oz didn't disappoint! He trotted out that oversized fingernail and oversized pusher and demonstrated to the audience (insert horrified gasps here) how all nail techs proceed to scrape the gel polish off the nail, thus thinning the natural nail by 50 percent. Perhaps that's what they do where he gets his manicures done. *Cough* But most of the nail professionals I know have received the proper training for application and removal of the systems they use. Why? Because they are invested in their careers, and they want to learn how to properly perform a service
. If someone is SCRAPING the product off your nails, you need to tell them to STOP, re-wrap your nails and allow the remover solution to work. There is a big difference between scraping product off your nail, and lightly tickling it with the end of a metal pusher.
By the way, feel free to stop right now and read my blog entry entitled "Can We Talk About Removal
" to see how it should be done (and how I do it).
Now let's get serious for a moment. Part of the segment discussed using dirty implements and giving clients infections. I will not argue this point. This can happen, unfortunately. The onus is on the client to thoroughly check out the salon before they make an appointment. Many times this is not possible, and many clients simply don't know what they should be looking for, what questions they need to ask. If you are a reader of my blog, or my website, by now I think you know enough to make some informed decisions.
Anyway, I kind of like how the segment ended. They understood that women were still going to get gel manicures, regardless, and that's where I swoop in. Not to save you, but to let you know that the majority of professional nail techs love their career and their clients and would never do anything to harm them. We follow all strict sanitation and disinfection (and sterilization where required) protocols. We are highly educated and you might have to look hard to find us; we likely won't be in the strip mall discount nail salon down the street. You might have to ask your friends or your family to refer you to their nail tech. I won't repeat all that I do because you can easily find it on my website and some of my other blog posts if you want to poke around.
So thank you, Dr. Oz for sending lots of women who want safe, healthy gel manicures my way. I really appreciate it!
Bottom line: you get what you pay for, and sometimes you even get a whole lot more :(