It actually doesn’t matter how good you are as a nail tech, how carefully you have done your work, we have probably all been through it…. “The Greenie” or as the ancient Romans called it, “Pseudomonas”.
I think here and there – with clients, in newspapers, on social media and actually once on myself. However, I rarely see a nail tech put the cards on the table and snap a picture of just this. So now I will explain in a few words what the green scary thing actually is.
It is a bacteria that is formed when there is moisture between the material and the nail. In other words, it can be formed regardless of which salon you have been to. It has nothing to do with clean tools or hygiene. Lifting can occur if you hit your nails, have been in water a lot, have a job where you use your hands a lot, even the keyboards can be an issue here. Of course, it can also occur if your nail tech missed a previous lifting, used a gel that was too hard or a too soft for the nail or missed some skin residue / oil on the nails during prep. It may also have been created by air bubbles in the gel that ended up near the nail at the time of adhesion.
When lifting starts, it is easy for water to enter between the material and the nails. It settles and snuggles into the small lifting and bacteria starts to grow. If you have a opaque color on your nails, this is not something you’ll see until you have removed the color on your refill visit or if you peel off the material yourself, which is not recommended. Once the color is off, you see a green discoloration on the nail.
What do you do now?
There’re different advice and tips on this topic. But what I usually do is:
- File the material off completely
- Clean the nail carefully
After that, you don’t need to do much more. The bacteria thrives only between the material and the nail. Do not file off the green color, it will only thin out the natural nail and probably feel quite unpleasant for your client. Also, do not try to bleach the discoloration or exaggerate the moisture of the nails by using oils. It still does not help. The green will grow out with time.
IF now the customer does not want to walk around for a few weeks until this has grown away, you can put material on again. What you do then is to be extra careful when you do your prep. Scrub thoroughly with a cleanser and make sure that the nail is super dry when you start your work. Should it be very green on the nail, I myself would have refrained from building, but this is where you and your client need to discuss what feels best. Some clients are simply not comfortable to walk around “naked”.
One tip is to take a picture of your nails before you start applying material. Then ask the client to come back in two weeks and check that it does not get worse. If this is the case, it is best to just remove the material and let the nail rest.
This kind of thing can happen to anyone! Sometimes it’s easy to go really hard on yourself. We all do our best and some things we can not control. Learn from your mistakes and continue to do your best and clients will continue to have confidence in you and your craft.