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"Waterless" Manicures Are On The Rise

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Posted on August 05 2019

One of the biggest trends on the rise in wellness beauty is the waterless manicure. As we start becoming more eco-friendly, we're constantly searching for more alternatives, including...the waterless manicure. Besides being better for the environment (according to The Zoe Report, one service can save up to 15 gallons of water), dry manicures and pedicures are also better for your health, nails, and polish.

A waterless manicure is exactly what it sounds like. The only difference is that you don't soak your hands at any point during the service. Varnish Lane is the first nail salon to offer a full menu of dry services. "We have seen firsthand how much better going waterless is for your health, your nails, and the planet," says co-founder Lauren Dunne.

Health Benefits

"Waterless services are best because of the cleanliness factor," says Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of Glosslab in New York City. Water is the primary carrying agent for bacteria and germs, so when you eliminate that step, your manicures and pedicures are more sterile.

Glass adds, "Water can also change the shape of the nail, allowing for more room for fungus and germs to cause an infection." Nails are porous and can expand and swell when soaked in water. When they're dry, they shrink back to normal size. This often causes polish to chip prematurely. Additionally, polish doesn't adhere as well to wet nails as it does to dry nails.

Environmental Benefits

Waterless services save hundreds of gallons of water per day. "One of the key benefits of getting a waterless manicure is reducing our water footprint on the environment," Dunne says. Dunne also says that her salon has a special recycling program for old nail polish bottles, and they switched to a plant-based polish remover free of petroleum.

Can You Feel A Difference?

According to TZR, a waterless manicure or pedicure doesn't feel that different from a standard service. In the waterless method, cuticle remover or cuticle oil replaces the water when it comes to softening the skin around the nails. From there, the preparation steps are standard: clipping, filing, buffing, moisturizing. So basically, you get the luxury of a full service without the bacteria and infections. Why wouldn't you go waterless?

Where Can I Try A Waterless Manicure?

No-soak salons are popping up throughout the country. If you're in New York, stop by Glosslab or M Salon. If you live in the D.C. area, try any of the three Varnish locations. If you're in the Los Angeles area, visit Can Can Parleur or the Maalou Salon. If you're not near any of these salons, don't worry! You can ask any salon to skip the soak and get the same effect.

Can I Do This At Home?

Yes! All you need is some cuticle oil to moisturize the skin around the nails during prep. Then go about your manicure as usual. Before you start painting, wipe the nail plates with acetone or polish remover to get rid of excess dirt and oil.

 Have you gone waterless? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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