Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nail Hardeners - Protein + Formaldehyde Nail Treatments

Back to Nail Treatments! This post, as the title implies, will concentrate on treatments that are solely Protein + Formaldehyde based.

Here are a few posts you may have missed:
Formaldehyde Nail Treatments
Are Formaldehyde Based Treatments right for you?
Protein Based Treatments 

Obviously, this type of treatment combines the power of formaldehyde and protein.  Each one has it's own mechanism for nail strengthening and instead of retyping what I wrote in previous posts I will just point you to the list above. In short, formaldehyde creates cross-linkages between the keratin in your nail plate making it harder, while the protein (often claims to do the same ... I don't buy it until I see scientific proof) offers reinforcement through it's filaments. As for determining weather this type of treatment is right for you ... again I would point you above. In short, thin, very soft, peeling nails may benefit from this type of treatment. However, if your nails are peeling because they are dry, moisturizer may help just the same and formaldehyde may make it worse. 

As with the formaldehyde only based treatments, overuse of Formaldehyde + Protein treatments can cause the keratin in your nail to form too many cross-links and as a result the nail becomes very hard, looses its flexibility and becomes brittle. It's probably best to use this treatment intermittently to avoid brittle nails and possible worsening of your nail's condition (i.e. more chipping, peeling, etc.). As always, moisturizer should play an important role in nail maintenance.

Also, since formaldehyde is a skin irritant, overtime people can build up an allergy. Skin contact should be avoided.

Now on to examples:
Most treatments of this kind actually contain conditioners so they will have to wait till the next post, but the only one I could find that strictly fits in this category is ...

Nail Magic
  Does anyone want to share their experience? Perhaps your nails condition before and after treatment? 

The complete series:

Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nil Treatments Part I

Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part II 
Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 
Nail Conditioners Post or Video Review of DermaNail


  1. ***crickets***
    Here's a comment for you!

  2. I think you are awesome...I just found your site and look forward to going through to read everything (and be entertained). You speak my language!
    I am a nail tech and former Nail Technology teacher and love to learn, but you make it so much more interesting!
    This info is so technical, yet simplified!

  3. yeay! I am so glad you found me! *high five

    I would love to hear from your perspective, so feel free to chime in ANYTIME :D

  4. Hi, Im so glad that I found your post about nail hardeners.
    You asked anyone want to share their experience here is mine:
    I tried Mavala and didnt like, used 1 bottle and half of OPI Nail Envy Original and all that happen was my nails grow faster and break sometimes even in the nailbed, I decided to try NailMagic, at first I thought that wasnt working because my nails wasnt growing BUT now they grow, slowly but strong, the odd part: there is a warning "Ocasionally the nails tips may chip during the two first weeks of use", its true 3 nails in my right hand broken, but now they havent broke anymore.
    You shouldnt apply near the cuticules, and my advise is: NEVER apply near damaged cuticles, you will have a heavy burning sensation.
    Ilearned a lot about nail hardeners, thank you.

  5. Thank you Nadia for adding your experience. I always love hearing how people explore the world of treatments. I am glad you found something that was just right for you. Thanks!

  6. Just found your blog and want to join in the discussion about Nail Magic. I have used it every single day for nearly 4 months now. I love it! My nails were really peelie after a bad experience with Gellish. They were just shredding all over the place. Nail Magic bonded the shreds right away. The strengthening became apparent right away, too. It was instrumental in allowing my nails to grow out healthy. I'm convinced of it. Now my nails are stronger and longer than they have ever been. I intend to keep using it because I've always had a problem with peeling and splitting. Not any more! I love this stuff!!!

  7. I haven't tried Nail Magic but I have tried Witchcraft nail hardener. It's a formaldehyde based harder I bought from Wallmart for about 7bucks.

    My nails were destroyed after having removed false nails (never again). They were so thin they could bend backwards! I didn't want to give up and cut them off though. I had some Nail Envy but from experience I needed something a but more effective.

    I saw Witchcraft reviews on Makeupalley and gave it a try. I applied it every other day, taking it off before each application. I also massaged my cuticles with vitamin e oil twice a day.

    After just 1 week (no joke) my nails were as strong as they were before the false nails. In 2-3 weeks my nails were the strongest they have ever been, hard and unbendable.

    Formaldehyde tends to get a lot of bad rap, but from my experience you can't beat it for nail hardening! :)

  8. I am on week 3 of the package recommended 8 week Nail Magic regimen and I can see a noticeable difference. The first time I used it my nails were so thin that on two of my nails I could feel the chemicals burning on my nail bed. I know that sounds horrible, and it was, for about 45 minutes. But I'm glad I stuck with it because three days later with my next application it didn't hurt at all. I just attributed it to the nails on those two fingers being so thin and weak.

    Starting week three my nails are still very thin and bendy, so much so that I can't keep polish on for more than two days because it chips off the bendy free edge. But they are significantly less so than they were when I started.

  9. Hi, I was just wondering what your sources are for the information about how formaldahyde affects the bond in your nails. Can you please let me know....

  10. How do I buy the product that makes my nails hard.???

  11. do you have any experience with vitry nail repair? it's pricy, but if it works, I'll try it!