by Heather Grecko
We all have that one client that will have lifting no matter what you do or how you prep the nail or what product you chose. Sometimes all the nails will be intact but every visit there is that one nail that lifts. Either way, we scratch our heads trying to figure out a solution, and each time she comes back, we get a feeling of being defeated by that mysterious onyx and it floods our souls. Yes, it can feel that dramatic! You have determined it is nothing she has done or that you have neglected so now what?
AFO an acronym meaning “ALL FOR ONE” is the lift saver for this type of client. The products are AFO foundation, AFO bonding gel and AFO building gel. All the bonders are compatible with any LCN builder. However, all three versions used together provide perfect results for all nails that are lift prone. As well, there are so many products on the market that have acidic properties that the clients are coming to us with an altered pH on their nail plate. Therefore, we need a product like this for transitioning the client into LCN gel.
AFO foundation is a liquid which acts like an adhesion promoter, similar to Connex plus, however with an acidic level of 1.6%. It is applied liberally to the natural nail area and left to air dry for 2 minutes. We do not want to use too much as this will saturate the nail and take longer to dry. You may also want to avoid putting it on existing product or tips because you will have yellowing. We can build with any LCN builder at this point but a follow up with AFO bonding gel for maximum results for that later lifter (mid-term pre-fill) is ideal.
AFO Bonding gel is a light-cured bonder that has an acidic property of 16.5, as well as powerful NON-ACIDIC bonding properties. It makes “later lifting” almost impossible! It is a UV contact facilitator that works wonders on a moist nail, people who work in water, swimmers, and our challenging lifters. It is sparingly brushed all over the nail and cured for 2 min UV or 60s LED. At this point, we can apply AFO Building gel or any LCN builder.
AFO Building Gel is an acid-free, high bonding modelling gel that is slightly viscous and very self-levelling. It has a smooth surface after cured and files like a dream! As well as being highly break resistant and flexible due to its strong elasticity yet can be used to sculpt, build and lengthen the nails. If we use all three of these products together as stated and do proper nail prep procedures, it will result in no lifting.
With that being said, NAILS ARE JEWELS AND NOT TOOLS. We can use all these beautiful products, but we must also educate our clients on aftercare of their nails. Nail extensions are not invincible, and they are an investment to feel good and look good and must be treated with LCN nail oil every day to hydrate and prevent peeling. They must be treated to rubber gloves when housecleaning and most certainly not used as screwdrivers or box openers. As well, maintenance or fills in a timely fashion. AFO products and educating the client on how to wear her nails will result in a long-lasting relationship for you and your client.