Nail Files and BuffersA nail file is a tool used to gently grind down and shape the edges of nails. They are often used in manicures and pedicures after the nail has been trimmed using appropriate nail clippers. Nail files may either be emery boards, ceramic, glass, crystal, plain metal files or metal files coated with corundum (sapphire).
Types of Nail Files
1. Metal nail file: Although the metal nail file comes in most manicure sets and is easily accessible, it is not the most ideal nail file to use on your nails. Unless you have acrylic nails, the low grit is damaging, as it can weaken and cause splintering.
2. Basic nail file: The basic emery board is the easiest nail file to find in stores. Its biggest downfall is that it cannot be cleaned as the base of the file is cardboard and it is therefore unhygienic to get it wet. The grit on a basic emery board is usually rather low which makes it less than ideal to use on natural nails, as over time it could cause damage. Be sure to file your nails in very gentle movements when using a basic nail file to ensure you don’t cause any splitting or breaking.
3. Double-sided nail file: This is the most popular nail file as it is available in most department stores and salons and it is reasonably priced. These nail files usually have two grits, a lower grit for filling down nails and a higher grit to smooth down edges. When purchasing a double-sided emery board, opt for one that has a minimum grit of 180; anything less than that could damage your nails.
4. Glass / Crystal nail file: A glass / crystal nail file is the ideal file to use to smooth down your nails. As these files can be cleaned, they are extremely hygienic and therefore ideal for use in beauty salons. A lower grit nail file is still necessary to file down nails, however the glass / crystal file is the best file to use when smoothing your freshly filed nails and sealing the nail edges.
5. Buffing block: Buffing blocks are useful as they provide a selection of grits, allowing you to file down, remove ridges, smooth and polish your nails. A buffing block usually has four different grits ranging between a low grit to file nails and an extremely high grit to polish your nails. As the buffing block is rather bulky, some may find it impractical to use, however it is a fantastic addition to any manicure kit.
The first thing that you need to understand is the difference between nail files and nail buffers.
Nail files are used to generally shorten the length of the nail and to shape the nail too. They are typically quite long and flat and you can get single as well as double files. Nail buffers on the other hand are used to perfect the nail and to remove any marks, as well as polish the surface of the nails. They tend to be quite chunky and you can get a three way buffer that works to trim, clean and polish the nails.
What to Look For in Nail Files
The most crucial factor to know regarding files may be the term "Grit". Much like sandpaper, a nail file's surface is known as the "grit", eith the amount of abrasive grain particles that can fit into a square inch.
The grit number informs you whether the file if file or coarse and therefore how rough or gentle it will likely be to your nails. The lower the number the harsher the file is going to be - and also the more damge it may cause towards your natural nail. So a 400 grit has far more particles than 80 grit file.
You need to be careful when you choose a file to use on each client. If you choose a file that has little grit, it could potentially damage your client's nails. Generally lower grit files should be used on tough overlay materials; they should never be used on natural nails.
The most common grit files tend to be 80,100,180,240, 360, 400-900 and 900-1200. If you are going to be performing a treatment on natural nails then you should never use a file with grit that is less than 240. However, this may be canceled out if you are working on a pedicure on the big toe. The big toe nail is tough and it can be hard to file down. So on these occasions you may be able to get away with using a grit file of 180.
Overall if you use anything less than 240 on natural nails then it can really damage the nail. You need to keep the advice mentioned within this article in mind if you want to do the best job possible.
Choose the Best Nail File
Choosing the best nail file is simple once you determine the type of file you prefer and how you primarily intend to use it. While some nail files are flat and offer only two filing surfaces, others are three-dimensional and offer multiple surfaces for many functions, including buffing and shining. In addition to varying thicknesses, files also vary by design, length and texture. No matter the style, the best nail file to use may be one that is the easiest to operate and hold on to, such as an over-sized file.
The best nail file for everyday use is often a common emery board file. It features a rougher, more abrasive filing surface on one side for fast shaping. The other side has a finer grit surface for smoothing and finishing touches. Ceramic stone nail files are gentle on weak nails and are typically the best nail file if you want a long-lasting device.
Metal files are often durable and geared toward use on toe nails as well as fingernails. In addition to a filing surface, metal files often have additional features. Many metal nail files have a cuticle pusher on one end and a nail cleaner on the other end. Metal nail files are available in straight, bar styles and foldable, pocket styles, and selecting the best nail file will depend on your personal preferences.
Crystal glass styles of nail files are also available. The benefit of glass is that it does not tend to tear the nail as it is filed; instead it glides and smooths the nail. Glass nail files are available clear, colored and even embellished with crystals. The best nail file for gift giving may be a custom creation featuring hand-painted symbols, such as angels, cats or flowers.
For natural, shining nails without polish, the best nail file choice may be a multi-use tool. In addition to a filing surface, multi-use nail files feature surfaces for buffing and polishing. The multi-use tool is typically the best nail file when using one tool is preferable to using several different tools. Multi-use manicure tools also include nail clippers that feature a fold-out nail file. The file may even feature a nail cleaner on one end, and some pocket knives also feature retractable or foldable blades that are nail files.
Some types of nail files are designed to last a lifetime. These lifetime files typically are made of a durable material, such as ceramic or glass crystals. The only maintenance they usually require is occasional cleaning with soap and water.
How to use the nail file
First of all remember to file only dry nails, because wet nails are more vulnerable and more easily damaged. The file should move only in a single direction. An exception can be made for extremely brittle and weak nails, which can be saved only through cross filing. The choice of shape depends on the condition of your nails and also on the shape of your thumbs. Short, stubby thumbs should never wear square nail, no matter how fashionable they are. Be objective and notice what looks best on you, don’t just blindly follow fads. Square nails will look good only on slim and narrow thumbs. In all other cases, the best shape for your nails is the classic oval.
The square nail shape is deemed as the most stable and resistant to environmental influences. The practical meaning of that is that you will not need to constantly fix broken or jagged corners. You can give your nails a glowing polish using a paper nail file. In most cases paper files have four different surfaces. For a greater convenience choose a file with numbered surfaces and know that the greater the number is, the finer the surface. Use the finest surface to polish your nails.
Men should take care of their nails too. It is often presumed that male nails can endure all kinds of conditions, yet this, of course, is untrue. Male nails are vulnerable too and saving them is even harder, because men are not too willing to go to salons or manicure shops. Disregarding the fact that male nails have a different structure than female nails can cause serious damage to the nails of men who do take care of them in a female fashion.
File your nails in one direction
Always file your nails in one direction only, working your way towards the center of the nail. DO NOT saw back and forth with the nail file (a very common mistake) – this causes nails to chip and break. Be careful not to file too deeply at the edges of the nail as that can weaken the nail wall. Stroke it from the corner of your nail towards the middle and repeat till you get your desired shape.
Useful tips To File Your Nails:
•You should only file your nails when they’re completely dry. Your nails are weaker and prone to chipping when wet.
•Nail polish helps protect nails during filing and prevents the nail from splitting. If you have nail polish left on, it’s a good idea to file your nails before you remove it.
•File gently under your nails to remove the soft nail tissue that may remain after filing.
•Buffing your nails after filing smoothens and gives shine, but buffing too often can damage the nail. Buffing about once a month is recommended.
Nail buffer is a manicure tool, which could make the dry and yellow nails shine. There are several advantages of nail buffing. Rubbing the surface of your nail with a nail buffer helps to remove the uneven ridges, giving the nail a smooth appearance. Buffing is believed to promote blood circulation, stimulating growth of healthy nails. Its ability to polish the nails is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of using a nail buffer.
Types of nail buffers
1. Manual nail buffers resemble big nail files or rectangular blocks. They can be used for polishing and smoothing real as well as artificial nails. To enhance the speed of smoothing thick or uneven nails, you can opt for manual nail buffers that are thicker than the standard nail buffers. However, the extra thick buffers are recommended for acrylic or artificial nails. A nail buffer comprises of either two or three sides. You can even find four sided nail buffers. The courser side of thenail buffer is used for smoothing the ridges and rough surfaces. After flattening the ridges or eliminating the scratches, you should use the medium grit for rubbing the surface of the nail. The finer polishing job is accomplished with the finer side of the nail buffer.
2. Electric nail buffers are more expensive than the manual buffers. Running on electricity, these buffers can accomplish nail buffing faster than the manual buffers. Moreover, if you are seeking a professional-like manicure without employing the service of a manicurist, you should buy an electric nail buffer. In addition, electric nail buffers are more durable than their manual counterparts are.
How to use nail buffers
Before buffing your nails, make sure that they are clean and dry. Always buff in one direction - either in the forward or backward direction. Do not buff vigorously. Aggressive buffing would make your nail thin. Stop buffing if you sense an irritating or burning sensation. Nail buffing once a month is enough for preserving the glossiness of the nails.Excess buffing could damage your nails.
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