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How do you avoid curing problems?

Op 21 02 2018 in


How do gel nails cure? How can you avoid heat-spikes? Read everything about curing here!


How do gel nails cure?

LED/UV gel nails are a mixture of molecules (monomers and oligomers) which link together to create a long chain called a polymer. These polymer chains then become further entangled and continue to cross-link to form a strong network of cured gel. A photoinitiator is used to start this chain reaction. 


What is a Photoinitiator?

A photoinitiator is a molecule which causes the LED/UV gel to cure when exposed to UV light at the correct wavelength and intensity. There are many types of photoinitiators which react at different wavelengths of UV or LED light. ProNails LED/UV gels contain a combination of photoinitiators which cure under both wavelengths of LED and UV light.


Why do nail gels generate heat?

During the polymerization process the molecules open their double bonds to link together and hereby release energy in the form of heat. The more double bonds, the faster the reaction will be and the more heat this will generate.


Why do gels release more heat at the beginning of the curing process?

This heat is more noticeable at the beginning of the curing process because there are lots of double bonds which massively cross-link with each other. The longer the reaction time, the slower the reaction speed becomes. This is because less double bonds remain available and it is more difficult for the chains to link together as they are hindered by the already formed polymer chains. That’s why most heat is released at the beginning of the curing process as the reaction speed is at its highest.


How does curing time influence heat?

LED gels typically cure twice or four times faster than UV gels. The shorter the curing time the faster the reaction speed and the more concentrated the heat emission will be. That’s why LED gels typicaly generate more heat at the start of the curing process than UV gels. At ProNails we control this by using the right molecules in the formula as well as the correct type and amount of photoinitiators.


3-in-1 gels and heat-spike

Any 3-in-1 gel will always have a higher heat spike that a regular 3-fase gel. This is because this gel must not only cure to become a strong base and builder gel, it must also form a shiny and strong top layer as a gloss. The harder and more shiny the gel, the more it needs to cross-link to achieve the required end result. The more cross-links the more energy is released.


What is the influence of room temperature on heat spike? 

The temperature inside the nail salon, and of the product itself, plays an important role with regard to perceived heat sensation. The reaction speed doubles with a temperature increase of 10 °C. This is because the particles move more easily and rapidly. Therefore they cross-link faster and release their energy simultaniously.

6 tips to avoid heat-spikes

There are 6 things you can do as a nail stylist to avoid excessive heat spikes in your salon.

  1. Use the correct curing lamp from the supplier of your gel. Nail brands design their curing lamps and gels for a perfect curing match.
  2. Do not over-file the nail plate. This is often the main cause of heat spike as the nails become too thin and the damaged nail bed becomes over-sensitive.
  3. Make sure you control the temperature of your salon and your products. Each temperature increase of 10°C will double the reaction speed and therefore also the heat emission.
  4. Do not apply more product than necessary and work as thinly as possible. The more product you use, the more heat will be released. The new ProNails LED/UV gels are more self levelling and require less filing, which allows you to use less product.
  5. If you have clients with damaged or over-sensitive nail beds you can reduce the heat sensation by applying thin individual layers and curing each layer separately.
  6. Cure with the NEW ProNails SMART LIGHT (Soon available). Thanks to the SOFT START function possilble heat-spikes are reduced.

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