Color Gels, LCN, Dangerous Nail Lamps – It’s All So Confusing!

May 17, 2013
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By Alana Larsen

Martha walked into my salon a few weeks ago and said, “This nail stuff is getting so confusing. I have on LCN, should I get Color Gels instead? What about the nail lamp that the famous doctor said was harmful? Am I going to get cancer?”

To the Marthas of the world: Relax, enjoy your beautiful hands and nails and let me explain.

So what is this “LCN” sign you see hanging in the windows of so many salons? LCN stands for Light Concept Nails. This product was developed in Germany by a laboratory that makes gel resins for white dental fillings. The company changed the dental resin molecules to match those of the fingernail molecules and LCN was born. LCN caps the natural nail to add strength and LCN can also be used to sculpture length onto the nail.

The tip of the nail is usually applied with white gel to create the look of a French manicure. Last, a high gloss sealant is applied giving the LCN nail its famous non-yellowing, high gloss finish. After the application of LCN, the client can just leave – no waiting for nails to dry. Many clients describe LCN as liberating as they do not have to worry about their nails for at least two weeks. Also, with a French manicure, clients can wear anything from jeans to a sequin dress, because it goes with everything. LCN is one of the most expensive products on the market and I feel it is one of the best.

Buyers beware. Because of the popularity of LCN, there are many salons counterfeiting. The salon owners are ordering it once then putting cheap gels in the LCN containers (from who knows where?). Clients see the LCN container and think they have the real LCN product. Usually these products turn yellow after a while and do not keep that clear beautiful finish for which the LCN’S are famous.

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OK, I’m going to say this again and again so get used to it and pay attention: Make sure you are going to a reputable salon where you are confident that they are doing the right thing. Remember, nails are an extension of your skin and must be treated with care. If you would like to make sure your salon is actually using LCN on your nails, you may call the LCN company and ask them if your salon purchases its products from them and when it last placed an order. The number for LCN is: 1-800-86NAILS.

As I explained in my last article, Color Gels is color that is applied to the nail and hardened under a UV nail lamp. Color Gel’s main purpose is to give clients polishes that last for an average of two weeks without chipping. Another advantage of Color Gels is that after the service is finished, the nails are dry which eliminates drying time. Color Gels cannot extend the length of the nail or give strength to the nail like the LCN product.

Now, what about this UV lamp being dangerous? This misinformation came from a report by two women who lived in Texas and who had nonmelanoma skin cancers on their hands. Most people know that Texas summers get so hot and the UV sunrays are so strong that a Texan can fry an egg on a driveway. However, this report chose to blame the cancer on the UV nail lamps and they actually compared the UV nail lamps that have only four 9-watt UV bulbs (a total of 36 watts) with tanning beds using twelve 100-watt UV bulbs (a total 1,200 watts). Do the math. That is a 1,164-watt difference!

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Another thing you should realize is that one of these women had only been under the UV nail lamp eight times. You get so much more UV rays from the sun when driving with your hands on the steering wheel of your car (especially in Texas) than you will ever get from being under a lamp with four 9-watt UV bulbs for an average of 8 minutes a visit two times a month. I’m surprised that such a lame report got so much publicity. For a report to have credibility every consumer should make sure it was conducted in a controlled study. A controlled study has very strict guidelines that the researchers must abide by. That report was more of an opinion – and a poor one at that. If you are still worried after reading this, just apply sunscreen on your hands before your nail service.

I hope I cleared things up for you so that you feel comfortable knowing what service to ask for and that you now feel safe in getting that service. So call a quality salon now for your nail appointment; after all, you know you don’t feel just quite right until your nails are done.


style-ALANA-newww-IMG_6815Alana Larsen is the owner of Alana’s Salon, 731 River Road, Fair Haven.

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