I recently spoke briefly about preventing nail damage from gel or shellac manicures on my Instagram Stories, and received a few questions asking what I meant by “not allowing technicians to scrape polish off,” so I want to explain that a little more. Manicures of any kind can weaken your nails, that’s just something to keep in mind no matter what. But, what I’m suggesting is hopefully a way to avoid more nail weakening than necessary. The major thing to know is that when you are having gel or shellac polish removed, the technician needs to allow you to soak your fingers in polish remover for a long time. Often, they have you soak for just a couple minutes and then try to rush you through the appointment by using harsh metal tools to scrape off the polish. Don't let them do this! Make them wait until you've soaked a long enough period of time so that the gel/shellac peels off easily. If they’re having to scrape and file off the top layers of your nails, your nails haven’t soaked long enough. Further, if you do get gel manicures, make sure you always keep the area around your nails moisturized, as the soaking and curing process can be drying. If you’re really worried about your nails weakening, avoid back-to-back gel manicures and moisturize your nail beds in-between appointments.