Tammy Taylor Nails

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Structure of Fingernails


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Nail FAQ's by Topic

Cuticle Area Lifting - WHY? - and 1/32" of an inch  
Cuticle Skin Clipping! or Cutting! Whoops...  
Fingernail Anatomy  
Flip Up, Flip Down & Curve Away fingernails  
Lifting & Cuticle notes 1: Product too close at cuticle  
Lifting & Cuticle notes 2: Product too thick at cuticle  
Pterygium Stone  

Pterygium Skin (membrane): A most common term used in the Beauty industry to refer to a thin membrane of skin type material, that coats the fresh keratin cells of the nail-plate, and needs to be removed with the "Pterygium Stone", before applying any artificial nail enhancement.  For the most part, this membrane of pterygium skin is removed when the fingernails are towel-dried; but there can be minute particles left on nail-plate, and these particles can cause "lifting" if not removed with the Pterygium Stone.  Tool: Pterygium Stone by Tammy Taylor

When your Cuticles (skin) grow forward over the nail, your doctor will call this: 'Pterygium'. This condition can result in splitting and loss of the nail plate. Never attempt to remove 'Pterygium': you should consult a physician/dermatologist for advice and treatment.
'Pterygium' is most commonly a result of severe trauma (ie: burns), blood circulation disorders, and lichen planus.

Synonyms: Pterychium, Dorsal Pterygium, (Inverse Pterygium)

Fingernail Anatomy
Your nails are made up of layers of keratin — a protein that's also found in your hair and skin. Each nail is comprised of several parts, including:
Nail Structure

The structure we know of as the nail is divided into six specific parts - the root, nail bed, nail plate, eponychium (cuticle), perionychium, and hyponychium.
Each of these structures has a specific function, and if disrupted can result in an abnormal appearing fingernail.
Nail Root The root of the fingernail is also known as the germinal matrix. This portion of the nail is actually beneath the skin behind the fingernail and extends several millimeters into the finger itself.
The fingernail root produces most of the volume of the nail and the nail bed.
This portion of the nail does not have any melanocytes, or melanin producing
Nail plate. The nail plate is the actual fingernail, made of translucent keratin. The pink appearance of the nail comes from the blood vessels underneath the nail. The underneath surface of the nail plate has grooves along the length of the nail that help anchor it to the nail bed.
Nail folds This is the skin that frames each of your nails on three sides.
Nail bed Your nail bed is the skin beneath the nail plate.
Cuticle The cuticle of the fingernail is also called the eponychium.
The cuticle is situated between the skin of the finger and the nail plate fusing these structures together and providing a waterproof barrier.
Your cuticle tissue overlaps your nail plate at the base of your nail.
Lunula The lunula is the whitish, half-moon shape at the base of your nail.
Perionychium The perioncyhium is the skin that overlies the nail plate on its sides. It is also known as the paronychial edge. The perionychium is the site of hangnails, ingrown nails, and an infection of the skin called paronychia.
Hyponychium The hyponychium is the area between the nail plate and the fingertip. It is the junction between the free edge of the nail and the skin of the fingertip, also providing a waterproof barrier.
  Information from: http://www.naildoctors.com/nail_anatomy.html




Flip Up, Flip Down & Curve Away fingernails

Also, fingernail that "curls" away from underneath the free-edge


If the natural fingernail flips up, curves down, or does anything funny, clip it off.

Clip it off Clip it off Clip it off

You will also need to use the drill (also see "Peeling away...") every other fill-in to clean away the natural fingernail as it starts to pull away or curl away from the acrylic underneath the free-edge.

Cuticle Area Lifting - WHY? - and 1/32" of an inch

  • When the "natural fingernail" was "Etched", the cuticle skin was also shoved back!
  • The fresh fingernail that is now exposed, where the cuticle skin was, is still moist because it has not yet been exposed to the air.  (Note: It will take a day or two for this area of the fingernail to dry and become a firm fingernail.)
  • Acrylic will not adhere (stick) to this moist area of the fingernail, even though this area of the fingernail was Etched properly.
  • Also note "too thick": Do Not leave the acrylic too thick, at the edge, near the cuticle area.  When the acrylic is too thick around the edge, the acrylic will not flex and will lift.  On Step 9, when filing the Cuticle & Contour area: File acrylic smooth to the natural fingernail, leaving a little "road" between the cuticle skin and the acrylic.  Best file for Cuticle area: Long-Lasting Zebra 180-grit.
  • Solution: Do not place the acrylic on this moist area of the fingernail.  Stay away from the cuticle skin at least 1/32 of an inch (about the thickness of 2-3 business cards.
  • Please take note that on Tammy's "12 Step for Sculptured Nails Application", on Step 8, Ball #3, the words are "Stroke & STAY AWAY from CUTICLE 1/32 of an inch".  And whenever Tammy does a presentation, she always stresses staying away from the cuticle skin with the acrylic.
  • Also printed on Tammy's "Practice Sheet", on the picture showing the #3 Ball, item "b.":
    b. apply like nail polish leaving 1/32” space around cuticle Again the 1/32" inch spacing is indicated.
  • Also see notes on the Pterygium Stone on this page, for more about lifting.
  • And see Problem Nails One, in Nail FAQ's by Topic.
  • Note for comparisons, about "Staying away from the Cuticle": This is critical; at least 1/32 of an inch (0.8 mm, almost 1 mm), about the thickness of 3 business cards, or the thickness of a man’s thumbnail. 

  • Note to keep in mind: Please remember that the fingernail plate that was exposed when the fingernail was etched is moist (new) fingernail, and this moist area of this newly exposed fingernail needs to be exposed for at least 2-3 days before it will be dry enough to apply an acrylic nail.  When the Client comes back for a fill; the previously exposed nail is now dry & ready for acrylic; but the newly exposed fingernail that was just etched for the fill, again needs 2-3 days to dry out.

  • Summation: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS stay away from the Cuticle Skin 1/32 (0.03125) of an inch or 1 mm, or the thickness of 2-3 business cards.

Lifting & Cuticle notes 1: Product too close to cuticle (acrylic must stay away from cuticle skin at least 1/32" of an inch)  (1/32" of an inch is about the thickness of 2-3 business cards).

Lifting & Cuticle notes 2: Product too thick at cuticle - You must not be able to feel a bump at the cuticle area with your own fingernail.  When the acrylic product is too thick near the cuticle skin; the acrylic will not be flexible and will not bend as the natural fingernail bends.  When the acrylic will not bend or flex, it will have a tendency to lift.

When applying acrylic nails, the Technician applying the acrylic MUST Stay Away from the Cuticle Skin, at least 1/32" of an inch (about the thickness of 2-3 business cards).

Pterygium Stone

Pg2-ptery-19-01.jpg (35118 bytes) * Improper Etching.  If the natural nail is not properly etched, the acrylic cannot adhere to the nail.  This causes 75% of all lifting.  The 100-grit Purple Terminator file is the best for etching.  Etch only the way the nail grows – from the cuticle to the free-edge, until there is no shine on the nail-plate.  Etching will create little "hills and valleys" in the natural nail, which the product will flow into.  Acrylic cannot stick to skin, so to further ensure no lifting, use the Pterygium Stone to push back excess cuticle & skin that has grown onto the nail-plate.
Pterygium Stone  
Scrub the Pterygium Stone with your plastic manicure brush and Peach Anti-Bacterial Soft Soak.  Then submerge in your First Choice solution or spray the Stone with Disinfect-Disinfect-Disinfect.  

the Pterygium Stone finally gets dull & smooth, it would be a good time to replace with a new one.






Eliminate Lifting:
Eliminate 99.9% of lifting caused by excessive cuticle on nail-plate by using the Pterygium Stone. This stone removes cuticle even in hard to get areas around the cuticle grove.  No more deformities of the natural nail caused by sharp edged cuticle pushers.


Making the Pterygium Stone last & "Breaking" the Stone:
If the Pterygium Stone is dropped on a hard surface, it will probably break in two.  The Stone is still good, but it will be a little shorter.  Actually, you will now have two Pterygium Stones.
Note on "Replacing": If you break off a little of the tip area, you can have a fresh "like new" Pterygium Stone.




Cuticle Skin Clipping! or Cutting!  Whoops...

Do not cut the "cuticle skin" unless it is standing up, and waving at you!  Tammy never recommends cutting the cuticle skin, when it does not need to be cut!









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