Conventionaly Accepted Body Mod

About a month ago, I went into a local nail salon to get a set of gel nails. What I ended up with, was a set of acrylics. I partially blame this on a language barrier, the other part I blame on myself for not being more assertive. It seems that it has become standard for nail shops to use a Dremel to abrade/sand/polish the nails, and if it wasn’t amazingly obvious, a Dremel against natural nail can burn and hurt. It didn’t take me long to remember why I swore off acrylic nails in the first place — back in Chicago I had gotten a full set of acrylic nails and had decided to get them removed. What also got removed — with the Dremel — was most of the surface of my nail, leaving my nails to be so flims and flexible that I could likely puncture the top of my nail with a dull pin. It was extremely painful, and I ended up obsessively loading polish on my nails for a month in order to give added strength and protection. (My nails were so flimsy that I had to reapply because the flexibility of my nails would cause the polish to flake off in a jiffy.)

I come to find out from a friend of mine that those in the salon business scoff at using a Dremel for nails. Well, DUH. Dremels in nail care are probably a new thing — the old standard being the sand-papery nail files that offer more control to the beautician and less of a chance of seriously injuring the person being nailed. And if injury weren’t enough, what about cross contamination? While many of the metal tools can be autoclaved, the dremel and the little rotory attachments cannot. ACK!

This reminded me of some of the other DUHS of conventionally accepted body modification such as ear piercing. I had 8 holes in my ear lobes by the time I was in the 8th grade, all of them courtesy of the mall piercing experts, Claires and Piercing Pagoda. Both of these establishments use the piercing gun, which uses pointed (and theoretically sharp) studs, forced through the flesh like a punch tool. From what I understand, this little invention came about as a means of tagging cattle, and among it’s more charming attributes, causes more trauma to the human being than a straight, clean needle would. And, the real kicker is that the gun itself cannot be sterilized, and has been credited by some to spread Hepatitis. Yuck!

When I talked to some of my coworkers about the virtues of going to a professional piercer that uses a needle, many of them moaned about the extra cost of getting a professional piercing versus the mall piercers. I would think that comfort and professionalism alone would be important, not to mention the decrease in chance for Hepatitis. The thing is, though, with my nails it was a similar decision. I could have gone to the Spa located in University Village, pay about $50-75 for my nails and likely have gotten a safer, more pampering, less painful and more professional set of nails. I, instead, chose to pay $25 and have a painful experience on par to torture, and walk out with the fear of having these nails come off if only because I know I have little to no natural nail left.

I think that sometimes it’s worth to just not get something done if you can’t get it done right.

Next time, I’ll be a little more discerning.

One thought on “Conventionaly Accepted Body Mod

  1. if you want to get rid of your acrylics without damaging the underlying nail, you can do so by clipping them short (use one of those honking toenail clippers & watch out for flying chips), using a heavy duty emery board to thin down the acrylic & a finer one to smooth out the surface. then just let them grow out — you can keep filing on the thick part, but not on the base where the new nail is growing out. once they get mostly grown out, you can soak your nails in acetone (nail polish remover) & gently lift up the acrylic. you’ll still lose some of the nail surface, but it will be a minimum amount.

    it’s possible to remove acrylics entirely by soaking in acetone, but that takes *forever* to do.

    i’ve had to give up on acrylics b/c the Dremel vibrates enough to wake up the tendonitis in my forearms & once the tendons swell, they press on the nerves & i get phantom itches in my fingertips. it doesn’t really itch, b/c scratching doesn’t help at all. it doesn’t even affect the itch. it *feels* like it’s itching. very strange & bugs the piss out of me.

    do gel nails require the dremel?

Comments are closed.