As much as I'd like to get the nails and have pretty hands again, my work just does not support the beauty of it all. I bust open big pails of butters and oils, am formulating sugar scrubs, cream, shea butters. I wear UN-latex surgical gloves when I need to mix with my hands and I am constantly getting into the dirt when I plant in my garden, so having nails makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for my lifestyle, but one day perhaps I will be less hands on in scrubs and dirt. :) Maybe.
Penny is the nail professional I speak of and she writes Sugarlicious blog and Zularis Naturals Natural Nail Care blog and if you are into nails and nail care, you should definitely read some of her posts.
She has given me permission to reprint her post on the topic of nail breathing. Thank you, Penny.
The truth is your nails DO NOT BREATHE! EVER!!!! The only breathing taking place in your body happens in the lungs. Your nails are made up of keratin...a fibrous protein. This is the same stuff that your hair is made of....and your hair doesn't breathe either. Once the nail grows from the matrix (the part of your finger that the nail grows out of) it is basically dead. It does not feel, has no blood supply, etc. Which is why you can trim your nails as well as hair without feeling pain.
Because your nails do NOT breathe there is no logical reason for removing all your nail enhancements to give your nails a rest. The enhancement covers the dead portion of the nail so your nail will continue to grow out. At times, whatever material your enhancement is made of, may begin to age or breakdown after being exposed to various chemicals, etc. When this occurs the material covering the nail can become brittle, begin to discolor or even crack/flake off. Some people keep their nails too long and the constant banging on the nail can also cause problems with the enhancement. This is why it is important to regularly maintain your nails once enhancements have been applied. If a problem is caught early then your tech can re-balance the material rather then soak off the entire enhancement.
As a side note: people sometimes also refer to their skin breathing as well. Actually what they are talking about is the fact that the body controls it's internal temperature through perspiration. If you didn't sweat then your internal temp would rise and damage your organs. Nails do not sweat either....but that's another popular nail myth to be tackled in another post.