Image Source: Getty / Maryna Terletska
Going to the nail salon is a great self-care activity, but it can also be a little stressful if you don't know the ins and outs of the services available to you. There are regular manicures, acrylic nails, Gel-X extensions, regular gel, and dip powder. And that isn't even an exhaustive list of the types of manicures out there - you also have silk-wrap nails.
If you've never heard of this term before, that's because it's not particularly popular or commonly done. However, some salons offer the service to their customers. Silk-wrap nails are a type of nail enhancement, but they're usually used in tandem with a basic or gel manicure.
To learn more from a professional about silk wrapping for your nails, keep reading.
What Are Silk-Wrap Nails?
Silk wrapping is a type of enhancement for natural nails in particular. "A silk-wrap manicure is given to a client when they need strength and durability added to their natural nails," manicurist and LeChat Nails educator Syreeta Aaron tells POPSUGAR. "This method of using silk fabric is excellent for repairing a chip or breakage to a natural nail for a client who does not want enhancements such as acrylic powders."
It can save you from having to cut a broken or torn nail so that the length matches your other fingers. Unlike Gel-X extensions or acrylics, silk wrapping is not necessarily intended to be used on every fingernail and instead is for repairing specific nails. That said, there's nothing stopping you from getting it on all your fingers (except maybe the price).
How Is Silk Wrapping Applied?
As the name suggests, silk wrapping involves applying a piece of material to the nail to reinforce it. "Silk wrap is a peel-and-stick weave natural material that is placed on top of the natural nail by using the sticky layer," Aaron says. "Once placed on the natural nail, you then apply resin/nail glue to make the silk material transparent and hardened." Once that layer dries, the nail is buffed and filed to a smooth surface and painted as usual.
How Long Do Silk-Wrap Nails Last?
The length of time that silk-wrapped nails last depends on your lifestyle. "Silk-wrap manicures can last anywhere from a week and a half to three weeks depending on your day-to-day activities and how fast your nails may grow," Aaron says. "Keep in mind that silk-wrap manicures are made for natural nails and best done for active length."
The Benefits of Silk-Wrap Nails
The process of silk wrapping nails is actually "quite simple to do" and doesn't take much time. The main benefit is adding strength to your natural nails, making it great for someone with weak or breakage-prone nails who still wants to maintain length. Unlike acrylic manicures that weaken nails, silk wrapping is gentler and actually improves them. However, you won't be able to replicate the extreme length you can get from acrylic and Gel-X extensions - with the silk-wrap technique, you simple reinforce the existing length of your nails rather than build off of it.
Why someone would choose silk wrapping over another type of nail enhancement is a matter of personal preference. "With acrylics, most times it is much thicker, and a silk wrap is very lightweight when applied to the nail," Aaron says. "With gel polish and the silk wrap, they can give pretty much the same durability and natural look." Silk wrapping just doesn't require the LED lamp like gel manicures do.
How Much Do Silk-Wrap Nails Cost?
The price of any nail service largely depends on the salon and the area it's in. "This is because you want to stay competitive in your surrounding area when it comes to available services and pricing." That said, Aaron estimates the average price is around $40 to $60. "This is, of course, without adding services like gel polish or designs," she says. The hard part is finding a nail salon that offers it. "Although a silk-wrap manicures are something that has been around since the beginning, this service is not one that is currently widely used - however, it is slowly making a comeback."