Why are my natural nails ruined after gel?

Some individuals may find that their natural nails feel weakened or damaged after using gel nail enhancements. In this article, we'll delve into the potential reasons why some people experience nail damage after using gel nails, particularly builder gel, and how to mitigate these issues.

The Appeal of Gel Nails

  • Gel Nails Overview: Gel nails are artificial nail enhancements made from a gel-like substance that is cured under a UV or LED lamp. They offer a glossy finish, natural appearance, and are known for their strength and durability.

  • Builder Gel: Builder gel is a specific type of gel used to extend and shape the natural nails, providing a foundation for nail enhancements and designs.

Potential Reasons for Nail Damage

  1. Improper Application and Removal:

    • Cause: Incorrect application or removal of gel nails, especially builder gel, can weaken the natural nails and cause damage.
    • Impact: Rough handling or aggressive filing during application and improper removal techniques can thin the nails, making them prone to breakage.
  2. Overuse or Prolonged Wear:

    • Cause: Continuous use of gel nails without giving the natural nails sufficient breaks can lead to weakened nail beds.
    • Impact: Overuse may prevent the nails from getting adequate oxygen, causing them to become brittle and prone to damage.
  3. Nail Dehydration:

    • Cause: Harsh chemicals used during gel application and frequent exposure to acetone during removal can dehydrate the nails.
    • Impact: Dehydrated nails become brittle, leading to peeling, splitting, and breakage.
  4. Nail Allergies or Sensitivities:

    • Cause: Some individuals may have allergic reactions or sensitivities to the ingredients in the gel products, causing damage to the nails.
    • Impact: Allergic reactions can result in nail bed inflammation, redness, and discomfort.
  5. Inadequate Nail Care:

    • Cause: Neglecting proper nail care routines such as moisturizing and using cuticle oil can leave the nails vulnerable to damage.
    • Impact: Without proper care, nails can become weak and prone to breakage, even after gel nail application.

Mitigating the Impact and Preserving Nail Health

  • Choose a Reputable Technician: Ensure that you visit a skilled and reputable nail technician for gel nail application and removal.

  • Give Your Nails a Break: Allow your natural nails to breathe and recover by taking breaks between gel applications.

  • Proper Hydration and Maintenance: Regularly moisturize your nails and cuticles using cuticle oil or nail cream to maintain hydration and prevent dehydration.

  • Monitor for Allergic Reactions: If you suspect an allergic reaction to the gel products, consult a dermatologist for guidance.


While gel nails, including builder gel, are celebrated for their durability and aesthetic appeal, improper application, overuse, nail dehydration, allergies, and neglecting proper nail care can lead to damaged nails. It's essential to follow correct application and removal procedures, provide breaks to your natural nails, maintain proper hydration, and seek professional guidance if needed to enjoy the benefits of gel nails while preserving your nail health.

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