Every town has the cheaper nail salons, running on a walk in basis, giving a full set of acrylic nails for what seems to be a bargain when compared with others in the area? Are you really getting what you bargained for? Are you aware of MMA and the truth behind cheap nail treatments?
Introducing the not so nice MMA – (methylmethacrylate)
MMA is a chemical liquid used to make some types of nail extensions. MMA is a poisonous substance and a high sensitiser. It is also a likely allergen which can cause severe allergic reactions even with minimal exposure. MMA has been banned in many States in America. In the UK, very few reputable Professional Nail Studios and Salons will use this product. If you are unsure, please remember that you will usually smell it long before you see it!
MMA was designed for use as an acrylic material in Dentistry, typically used in false teeth and dental veneers where it is safe for use. It is not tested and certified for safe use in the Nail and Cosmetic Industry in The UK and you may therefore be running the risk of having your nails done in an uninsured establishment.
In very simple terms, if you have MMA acrylic on your nails you are wearing dental veneers!
Do they have a sign up saying ‘Cash only’? One reason for this is that it means you were never there…especially if something goes wrong… and it’s not uncommon! No traceable money transaction and no receipt means no proof you were ever there!!! The budget salons know this yet they are happy to carry on because it makes them money.
What damage can MMA cause?
MMA causes nail allergies, nail disfigurements and most commonly, unsightly and painful infections which, if left can rot the nail causing unsightly hands, very painful and sore nails, and even lead to the complete or partial loss of your nails. A working Nail Tech may also experience respiratory problems and the strong odour can cause asthma due to exposure to this chemical, the longer term health implications could be much worse.
It’s no coincidence that many salons which use this material are wearing a breathing mask – do you see the customers wearing one?
Why is MMA used?
Plain and simple…ITS CHEAP…. No professional supplier will sell MMA as they couldn’t afford the liability risk if they were to be sued. Reputable and Professional Nail Salons do not use it as its poisonous and extremely bad for both their health and yours…. but its cheap!!!!
MMA enhancements rarely break on impact. Have you ever known false teeth to break? With a reasonable quality nail polish on top it can be difficult to see the damage being done until it’s too late – the damage is done UNDERNEATH the natural nail.
The adhesion of methyl methcrylate nail products is relatively poor, forcing the nail technician to over file / prep the nail plate, usually by using an electric file. These machines can leave you with excessive thinning and weakening of the natural nail plate. Physical abrasion is the least desirable method for preparing the natural nail because it causes unnecessary damage to the nail plate and can cause pain and damage to your hands. Remember this is happening in a potentially uninsured salon so you as the client have no comeback!!!!
Nails with MMA are extremely difficult to remove. They are almost entirely insoluble in acetone and other solvents. Many commonly used acrylics made of MMA can take up to 2 hours to remove and will resemble sticky slimey chewing gum when in acetone.
EMA – the safe product used in all professional salons will usually dissolve on the nail plate and be easily removed in around 30 minutes leaving a healthy nail ready for a new set.
How can you tell if your nail extensions contain MMA?
MMA nail enhancements are very very hard with a yellow tinge, a “fishy” odour and a grainy texture. The enhancements are usually finished by airbrushing the tip white instead of using white acrylic. MMA nails also only bond to the natural nail with the use of an e-file (eg Dremel drill)
MMA – bad practice, bad nails, bad for your health – beware cheap nails!!