Okay enough laughing people, lets get back to business! Today's post is a continuation of the Nail Hardener series. This series is miles long and the other posts are linked below:
Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde Based Treatments
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part I
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part II
Nail Conditioning Treatments and DermaNail Video Review
If you are too lazy to read the other posts (tisk tisk) here is a short summery to make this post make sense.
The goal of healthy strong nails is a balance between nail hardness and flexibility. Hard nails are great, but there is such a thing as over hardening the nail plate. The harder that your nails get the more brittle they become. The nail plate must balance both characteristics, hardness and flexibility, to retain health, stability, and length. We can balance the hardness with nail flexibility by moisturizing and taking a break from nail hardeners intermittently if needed.
Your nail bed is comprised of a protein called keratin. This protein has naturally occurring cross linkages in the filaments which give nails their hardness. However, not enough cross-links and the nail is very flexible and lacks strength. One way to create more cross-links in keratin is with the use of formaldehyde (see links above). However, formaldehyde is not for everyone for several reasons (again see links). A good replacement for formaldehyde based nail hardeners is Dimethyl Urea (DMU) based treatments.
Dimethyl Urea works exactly like formaldehyde in that it creates more cross linkages in the keratin, but has two main advantages:
1. Does not excessively create cross linkages
2. Is not likely to irritate skin
Apparently the cross linkage mechanism is much more controlled and fine tuned and therefore does not excessively harden the nail plate. You do not need to take intermittent breaks like with formaldehyde (but you be the judge of that). Always evaluate and re-evaluate your nail situation periodically.
Products containing Dimethyl Urea (DMU):
1. Creative Nail Design (CND):
2. Dr. Lewinn's:
Revitanail Apricot Nail Strengthener
Renunail Sensitive Pink Nail Strengthener
I am sure there are smaller brand name companies out there containing Dimethyl Urea as the active ingredient, but I have not come across them easily. Please feel free to comment if you know of another.
Who should use Dimethyl Urea based treatments?
People who want an alternative to formaldehyde. Click here to find out if you would be a good candidate for formaldehyde based treatments, hence DMU based treatments.
And I'm going to leave you with a few words of wisdom ...
... moisturize your nails like it's your job <------another moisturizing post ... with VIDEO :D
Next Up: Nail Conditioning Treatments DermaNail