slidedown

Q&A #5 Why are there white spots on the natural nail?

Q: Why am I seeing white spots on the nails after removal of Shellac?

A: White spots on the nail after removal of Shellac is typically due to slight dehydration of the nails.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Clients should be using Solar Oil daily and repeatedly. This will help moisturize their natural nails and keep their natural flexibility. It will also help maintain the natural flexible feeling of Shellac.
  • Minimize exposure of acetone by using Shellac Wraps. Soaking the nails and fingertips in a bowl of acetone is excessive exposure to acetone.
  • Apply Shellac base coat thin. The thicker you use it the longer it will take to remove.
  • If your clients natural nails are overly dry, try a warm Solar Oil soak. Use an oil warmer or place small bowl of Solar Oil in a larger bowl of warm water.Put just enough Solar oil to cover the tips of the fingers. Soak for 5 min after application of Shellac
  • When dry spots are found on natural nail after Shellac removal, apply SolarOil and buff with 1200 grit buffer such as CND Koala Buffer.  In mild cases, Shellac can then be reapplied.  In more severe cases, the client should take a break from wearing Shellac for a few weeks.
  • To remove any residual Shellac use an orangewood stick to gently scrape the nail. Do not use metal or hard plastic. Improper scraping may cause damage to the top layer of natural nail, thus making the nails more prone to dehydration.
  • Immediately after Shellac removal, wash the client’s hand with plenty of water using mild soap. Strong soap or detergents are also sources of dehydration.
  • Do not buff the natural nail prior to application.  The top layer of the natural nail is normally more dense or less porous than the other layers and acts as a protecting layer, preventing solvents from penetrating the natural nail and causing excess dehydration.

228 Responses to “Q&A #5 Why are there white spots on the natural nail?”

  1. Amanda says:

    I am not sure where to post this, but I NEED an answer!
    First, I had a client that had the “shrinkage” that others have experienced. I do the EXACT same thing with ALL my clients, but it only happened on her….weird!
    Second, on a couple clients, when I was finished the application and did the alcohol step to remove the tacky layer, the ENTIRE APPLICATION WIPED OFF!!! Its like it didn’t cure! Even though I used the lamp on an application after that, and those nails DID cure. WHAT IS GOING ON??
    My lamp is a CND lamp, the bulbs are new (i’m presuming you would send new ones!) and I do the same steps on every client, but only a few have experienced this.

    This has not only cost me time and money, but my clients look at me like they’re not sure I really know what i’m doing. Terrible!!!

    • CND says:

      Amanda,

      We are happy to troubleshoot with you.

      Shrinkage – most times is due to product separation. What color were you using?

      Curing- The bulbs that come in the lamp are new. Have you had any problems like this since the isolated case you mentioned?

      Thank you
      CND

  2. Amanda says:

    I was using Red Baroness. And I shook, and shook and shook. I even get my clients to shake it while i’m applying the base coat. So it was shaken for way more than 30 secs.

    I had 2 clients where the product wiped off. The first it was every nail, with the second it was just a couple nails.

    • CND says:

      Amanda,

      Check to make sure the bulbs are completely pushed in. If they are loose there’s a “slight possibility” that they may not be making connection on those 2 clients at that particular time. Let us know if this helps.

      Thank you
      CND

  3. Amanda says:

    I just checked, they’re all in properly.
    Would curing again help?? Or do you think its a curing problem, and start over? Cause that is VERY timely, not to mention costly.

    And any idea about the shrinkage?

    Could this be defecting product? Maybe with all the hurry to get it to the market there was some problems?

    • CND says:

      Amanda,

      Here’s a few more troubleshooting questions.
      Are the bulbs clean (is there any debris, bits of Shellac on them)?
      Is the inside of the lamp clean (dust and debris free)?

      Shrinkage- Sometimes with Frost colors there’s a tendency to apply a little thick. Try going thinner with your layers.
      Is this the only color that is shrinking?

      Thank you
      CND

  4. Marci says:

    I had a client today who has been doing shellac for several months with no problems, and when she came in this time she has dark discoloration spots on all her nails!! What is this?

    • CND says:

      Marci,

      Can you explain the dark discoloration? Was it on the Shellac itself? Did it come off when you removed the Shellac?

      Thank you
      CND

  5. Marci says:

    They are like little brown spots. They are on the nail, did not remove with shellac. I did not reapply the shellac.

    • CND says:

      Marci,

      We have sent you a private message with a request to contact you for more information.

      Thank you
      CND

  6. Amanda says:

    So I took my lamp apart, cleaned the bulbs, put them back in and gave myself a mani with fedora. So far, so good.
    If you don’t hear back from me, then all is still well.
    Also, I will make a point of applying shimmery colours very thin next time and seeing if that helps with the shrinkage.
    Thanks for you help.

  7. Marci says:

    I also have several people who are expeiencing breaking. We change poilsh every 2 weeks and they are using solar oil. Concerned that my peoples nails are begininng to get damaged.

  8. fran says:

    I have been having a problem with the white doing a french manicure. The white seems to wrinkle after being cured. When I apply the romantic over the white, it kinda smoothes out but still has a cracked look. I have been shaking each bottle well, putting very thin coats and curing each layer. What is wrong???

  9. fran says:

    I recently went to a beauty supply place to purchase more white shellac and was told they are not getting any in right now for that very same problem of wrinkleing,so i now do not feel it is in my application. What’s going on???

  10. tara says:

    I have been getting shellac done every 2 weeks, my nails are breaking. This is happening to other clients also.

    • CND says:

      Tara,

      Weakness occurs when there is an overall loss of nail plate strength. Weak nails may be caused by low cross-link density (inherited) or by over- filing. Normally weak nails will make cleaner breaks without shattering or splitting and generally need a harder coating.

      When applied and removed correctly, Shellac will not weaken nails. In fact, many people report that their nails grow much longer when wearing Shellac. However, if Shellac is applied or removed incorrectly and a file is used to buff the natural nail, the nails could become weaker as the layers of the natural nail are removed. This is why it is imperative that Shellac be used as a system to include the UV Base Coat, UV Color Coat and UV Top Coat with no filing to prep the natural nail.

      Dry or brittle nails are often confused with weak nails because they may break easily, however this type of nail lacks moisture and/or oils in the nail plate, causing the nail to shatter or crack when force is applied.
      Nails can become excessively dry and brittle when exposed to solvents which are in most nail coatings and removers. The level of dehydration depends on the type and condition of the nails.

      Shellac has much less solvents in its formula than nail polish and is not as dehydrating as nail polish. However, Shellac removal requires 10 minutes of exposure to acetone, which may cause drying of the natural nail.

      To prevent excess drying with Shellac services, and maintain strong, healthy nails please use the following guidelines:
      • When removing Shellac use pure acetone and Shellac Removal Wraps. Pure acetone will lead to the fastest release of Shellac from the nail. If you use a lesser percentage, it will increase the length of time for release. Shellac Removal Wraps should be left on the nail for a maximum of 10 minutes. Do not soak the nails in a bowl of acetone.
      • To remove any residual Shellac use an orangewood stick to gently slide off any remaining product on the nail. Do not use metal or hard plastic. Improper “scraping” may cause damage to the top layer of natural nail, thus making the nails more prone to dehydration.
      • Immediately after Shellac removal, wash the client’s hand with plenty of water using mild soap. Strong soap or detergents are also sources of dehydration.

      Thank you,
      CND

  11. Fran-
    Have you been shaking the white for 20-30 seconds before use? The white and the brown tend to wrinkle under the following conditions:
    They have not been shaken.
    They have been applied too thick.
    Some non CND lamps also cause wrinkling.
    Did you look at the video to see if your application is thin so that we know to look at other things? I am happy to help you pinpoint the cause as so far everyone I have been troubleshooting with has found it to be one of those three things. If you would like to email me contact information for that distributor, I would be happy to contact them with troubleshooting information as well!

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador
    Holly.schippers at cndeducation.com

  12. fran says:

    I recently went to a beauty supply place to purchase more white shellac and was told they are not getting any in right now for that very same problem of wrinkleing,so i now do not feel it is in my application. What’s going on???
    I haven;t received an answer is there a problem with the white tip or not???? Thank you fran

    • CND says:

      Fran,

      We have not encountered any issues with the new batches of Shellac. However we would greatly appreciate it if you would allow us to contact you to discuss and see if this is a defective bottle. May we send you a private message asking for your contact information?

      Thank you,
      CND

  13. lisa says:

    I have been getting the shellac done for a couple of months now. The last 2 times I have gone in when the new shellac is applied, there are little dots and a smudgy look to some of my nails. Why is this?

    • CND says:

      Lisa,

      If less than 99% Isopropyl Alcohol is used to remove the tacky layer, it can cause cloudiness and or pitting in the top coat.

      Thank you
      CND

  14. Sharon says:

    I am finally using Shellac. My clients all love it. I do need to tell you that I am very disappointed in CND. I have been using your products for many years. I love all of them. With no help from you. I asked for your help weeks ago to find a distributor. And help me find Shellac. I found some on my own. I found a supply with lots of excess. How do you expect me to adverstise your products if I can’t find it. Or even a response from you. It would just be nice to know that I am not alone. I will continue to use your products but will never ask for help again.

    • CND says:

      Sharon,

      We are sorry you missed our response to your post. Please see the response below.

      2010/10/30 at 7:25 am | In reply to Sharon.
      Sharon,

      Visit our website for a list of your local distributors. Click on locate and find a distributor. http://www.cnd.com

      Thank you
      CND

      Thank you
      CND

  15. Behnaz says:

    I have different challange with Shellac application! Nail polish chips at the free edge in a couple of days eventhough we seal the free edge with each application and the polish is applied thinly! All the steps are followed as directed. Thanks for your help.

  16. fran says:

    Yes, that would be great!! you have my email address. Thank you

  17. Behnaz
    Sometimes there can be chipping at the edge if the product is undercured, how are your bulbs? Do you clean them daily with alcohol and a soft cloth? Also if the nails are dry that can contribute to it as well. Ask clients to be faithful about their Solar Oil!!

    Hope that helps :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  18. Betsy says:

    Did you (CND) find out about the brown spots? Nov. 12th comment. Please advise. Thanks

    • CND says:

      Betsy,

      We have submitted the information to our Research & Development department. We will respond as soon as possible.

      Thank you

  19. BRIDGET says:

    I just got shellac applied (first time) on Nov. 13th, I keep reading about solar oil, and I am wondering why the nail tech didn’t tell me about applying this product. Do I need to start? And how do I use it? How does it penetrate through the shellac to get to the nail? Please advise. I have brittle natural nails to begin with and am worried about damage because I didn’t get educated by my nail tech about this solar oil.

  20. fran says:

    Hi
    You said you would contact me regarding a possible defective bottle, Zihave not heard from anyone!11

    Fran

  21. Bridget,
    Please do start using Solar Oil. For best results massage it into your nails 2-3 times daily. Your nails are made of protein just like your hair, can you imagine what your hair would be like if you stopped using conditioner? Similar to what your nails are like! Solar Oil contains Jojoba which is a carrier molecule that gives it the ability to reptate through polish, Shellac, and enhancements to keep them flexible and your nails moisturized. I think you will be pleased at the difference you notice in your nails if you are using the Solar Oil faithfully 2-3 times a day. Ask your nail tech if the salon has Solar Oil available for you, some are too shy to retail.

    Hope this helps :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  22. Gloria says:

    I love your product, one challenge though, I have had it on for 6 days now. On the 6th day the polish completely peeled off (very cleanly) on two nails. I am not sure why this happened. Can you help me.

  23. Gloria,
    Are you in water or chemicals without wearing gloves frequently? Washing dishes etc? Do you have weak, flimsy natural nails? What color are you wearing? Did you have it done in a salon? Are you using Solar Oil?

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  24. dawn weatherwa says:

    Question- what I am noticing is a increase with my clients and myself… is a nail breakage on one side or the other in the stress area or below. The nails are sport length. Any suggestions to prevent this or the causes.
    Thank you

  25. dawn weatherwa says:

    Question- I also have 2 clients complain about their french shellac discoloring on the whites..one client states “the white are black”. She is coming to have them removed and doesnt want shellac back on (I know the product was completely cured when she left the salon. Second client had french shellac on her toes…after a wk the over-all look was tarnished yellow/brown. Could it be from the dye in the leather shoes ?(again product was completely cured) Does uv sun screens react to the shellac in a negnitive way? any suggestions

  26. Gloria says:

    I am not in water often. I have strong nails and the color is Red Baroness which I did myself. Wanted to see before I start using on clients. I do use Solar Oil. Since this morning another one peeled, this time on the thumb. It did last 6 days. 3 down – 7 to go :)

  27. Dawn-
    The breakage could be due to the nails being dry. Be sure that you and your clients are using Solar Oil 2-3 times a day faithfully. Imagine if you only conditioned your hair every once in a while after you washed it, it would be dry the way nails are!

    Shellac is formulated with Acetone Soluble Polymers (tiny tunnels) making it removable in 10 minutes with pure acetone. These tiny tunnels allow the acetone to travel all the way down through the coating and finally down to the base layer where the acetone breaks down the “quick-release” polymers releasing Shellac from the natural nail without the use of files or buffers which can be extremely damaging to the natural nail.

    These tiny tunnels also make Shellac less chemically resistant than gels, liquid & powders or other enhancement products. Thus some surface staining can be possible. Heavily dyed clothing or bed sheets can cause the staining as can lotions with bronzers.

    Gloria-
    Sometimes it is easy to apply the shimmery colors thick without realizing it and when it is thick it does not get a proper cure. Undercuring can lead to peeling. Make sure those layers are super thin, none of the Shellac is touching the skin including the base coat, and that all the edges are sealed with the top coat. An indication that it is not sealed on every edge with top coat will be some color on your pad when you remove the tacky layer with alcohol.

    Hope this helps :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  28. Gloria says:

    WOW Holly, thanks so much, sometimes I do notice that there is a slight color tint which removing the layer with alcohol. Question – is I do notice that some color on the pad when using the alcohol, do I have to start all over again or can I just put on another clear coat. Thanks again

  29. Pam says:

    Why is it not good to take off Shellac by soaking them in acetone?

    • CND says:

      Pam,

      Soaking in acetone vs using Shellac wraps is exposing the entire finger and underside of natural nail to acetone. By using the Shellac wraps it concentrates the acetone directly to the Shellac for easy removal in 10 minutes.

      Thank you
      CND

  30. we find putting oil on the nail before the acetone, helps not to dry out the nail. great product but very drying to the natural nail. we only do natural nails so we are very careful. we do not scrape the nail, we buff it. we are very careful ,so it is time consuming

    • CND says:

      MaryBeth,

      Using Solar Oil on the nail before the acetone will slow down the removal process. If you want to use Solar Oil, use it around the nail on the skin. This will protect it from drying out.

      Thank you,
      CND

  31. samantha says:

    I have 2 customers who have been using Shellac for about 3 months. The polish use to stay on for 2 weeks. Now it only last about a week and then they have 3 or 4 that are chipped. Both customers have very dry nails.
    I’m using the removal wraps and they both use Solar Oil every day.
    Any suggestions. Both customers are very frustrated now.

    Thanks,
    SAM

    • CND says:

      Samantha,

      Do you live in an area where a colder climate or dryer air season is upon you? This could be the a factor and your clients may need to use Solar Oil “more often” during the fall and winter months. If your clients are using Solar Oil regularly, (regular use = 2x’s a day) they should go through an 1/8oz bottle of Solar Oil. This is a great way to gauge their usage. Let us know if this helps.

      Thank you
      CND

  32. samantha says:

    Yes I live in the Kansas City area. The weather has been around 40 to 50 degrees. How quickly should they go through a 1/8 oz. bottle of Solar Oil.

    Thank you,
    SAM

  33. Gloria,
    Yes you could do that!
    -Holly

  34. Cathy Heine says:

    I have been using the Shellac since we got it in back in June. As we use it more and more I have been tweeking it to get the best results. I have had the problem with the entire product coming off when I wipe the tacky layer but I have realized that it is because it didn’t cure. This usually only happens on the thumbs and that they are not completely face up. I have gone to curing the 2 thumbs by themselves and the problem stopped. I also have realized that when doing the french, the product MUST be applied very thin in order for it to not wrinkle. Another thing I have realized is that if I perform a manicure before the Shellac, I can NOT use any oils or lotion or the product will not stay on. I do the massage and oil after the Shellac applicaiton. Hope these tips help. My clients and I love the product!

  35. BRIDGET says:

    My shellac peeled off on a couple of nails, starting lifting at tips and then peeled off, it had been exactly 13 days so I’m not concerned about that. What I want to know is why there are vertical ridges on SOME of my nails? what is causing this? Please advise, thanks!!

    • CND says:

      Bridget,

      Vertical ridges in the nail commonly can be caused by dryness or the natural aging process. We suggest you use CND Solar Oil 2-3 times per day. This may not eliminate the issue as it can also be hereditary. If it is caused from dryness it will help to re-moisturize the natural nail. Your natural nail takes approximately 6 months to grow from the matrix (where the cells are created) to the tip of the nail bed.

      Hope this helps.
      Thank you
      CND

  36. bobbie says:

    Just had shellac applied for first time 5 days ago. The shellac is wearing off of the nail tips and many of my nails, not all, are looking dirty at the tips. It looks like I have dirt under my nails. The provider denies seeing it but offered to remove the shellac since I am so unhappy about it. Could the pink pearl color be the problem? Also I use a bronzer makeup. This is not working out for me.

    • CND says:

      Bobbie,

      We need to ask a few more questions to help determine the source of the problem. When you say the Shellac is “wearing off the nail tips” can you describe it a little more? Is it just discolored or is it exposing the natural nail? Are you wearing a French look or a color? When you say you are using a bronzer makeup is it a self tanning makeup or just a bronze color?

      Thank you,
      CND

  37. sonya b says:

    I heard from two nail techs from Toronto that their Rep claimed that Shellac was being pulled & re-vamped due too various issues that shellac has been having Is this true?

    • CND says:

      Sonya,

      This is definitely NOT TRUE. Shellac is being produced with substantially greater velocity. Each week, many more Shellac bottles are making their way to your distributor shelves.

      Thank you
      CND

  38. Beth says:

    I am about to have my first Shellac manicure done this week. After reading all these comments, I’m a bit concerned. I was turning to Shellac as an alternative to more damaging gels/acrylics as a way to ‘care’ for my natural nails and have a long lasting manicure. The last thing I want is to dry my nails out with a product. I am a regular polish wearer (and have been using Solar Oil for years!) so I am not new to wearing polish and doing my own nails.

    Should I be concerned that the Shellac process will damage/dry my natural nail? Is it best NOT to get Shellac manicures back-to-back and give my nails some time off where I just use solar oil and rehydrate them?

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    • CND says:

      Beth,

      As long as Shellac is done properly according to manufacturers directions following the Shellac Step-by-Steps you shouldn’t need to worry about drying out your natural nails. As a client it is important to follow a regimen of home care and treat your nails with care. Such as regular used of Solar Oil, wearing gloves when cleaning and using products that may be drying to the natural nails and hands. It sounds as if you do this already.

      Thank you,
      CND

  39. Beth says:

    Thank you for the fast response. One last question, Holly from CND has said that Solar Oil will actually penetrate Shellac because the oil has tiny molecules that can get into the ‘tunnels’ in Shellac. If that’s so, what’s keeping water from doing that since water has smaller molecules than oil? My concern (as it was in the past when I used to wear acrylics) is water getting underneath the nail treatment. Is this an issue with Shellac? I.e. lifting or water penetrating beneath the treatment? Thanks for your help!

  40. Beth, water does travel through the nails and their coatings as well. Because the Solar Oil molecules are larger than the water molecules, but small enough to reptate through the product and the nail cells, it can slow down the water and block it from getting in and out so quickly making the nails more flexible and less likely to dry out. The Solar Oil does not get trapped between the Shellac and the nail, it travels through one into the other.
    Hope that helps :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  41. Cheri says:

    Having shrinkage issues. We got our colors back in June, but didn’t receive our light until early November. I shake-shake-shake and apply thin, but any color I apply does alittle shrinking action. Should I replace the colors, due to them having sat for so long? Also, when will you release the next set of new colors? Thanks! We use only CND products by the way.

  42. Yvonne says:

    Can the warm solar oil soak be used before applying the shellac if it is rinsed off or would it prevent the shellac from adhereing properly

  43. BRIDGET says:

    When I went to my salon to have my shellac removed and reapplied, they soaked my entire nails in a bowl of acetone which they heated with warm water (like a hot water bath) They said the warming of the acetone makes it work better for easier removal of the shellac. I’ve read that this soaking is more drying to the nail, question…Should I say something to the nail techs? I noticed that all of the techs were soaking the nails.

    • CND says:

      Bridget,

      We recommend using Shellac wraps for removal as it targets the acetone specifically to the nail. Avoiding drying out the surrounding skin. Talk to your nail professional about your concerns. Ask for Shellac remover wraps for your next appointment.

      Thank you,
      CND

  44. Cheri, Since the Shellac has been sitting you may need to shake it far more than usual once to get everything mixed back together. Try thumping it against your hand and rotating it like this:
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1510184426812

    They have a 2 year shelf life unopen so once you get them mixed back together you should be fine. Keep in mind this includes top and base coat. Let me know if this does not fix the shrinking issue. New colors come out in March 2011.

    Yvonne, your best bet would be to do it after the Shellac for optimum adhesion results. If you absolutely must do it before, rinse the nails with soap and water afterwards!

    Bridget, soaking in the bowl is more drying to the nail, not all salons are aware of this so feel free to print the above Q & A about the white spots if you like.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  45. Beth says:

    Bridget, the salon I go to uses the exact same procedure for removing the Shellac (warmed acetone). They told me that the wraps actually take longer and make application more difficult because since the nail is curved, the wrap does not make great contact with the entire surface of the nail – making it take longer and requiring more ‘work’ from the tech to get the Shellac off. That being said, they were able to get the Shellac off in about 5 min with the bowl soak. The nail tech told me that if they used the wraps on everyone that, because they are so expensive, they would have to charge much more for Shellac manicures. I think, whether they are saying this or not, this is another reasons salons are choosing to soak (bowl) the Shellac off rather than using the wraps.

  46. Beth-
    Cost may be a factor in some salons opting not to use the wraps. When used properly they are very effective on all nails shapes and less drying to the nails and end of the finger. When frequenting a salon opting to use a bowl of acetone, please use your Solar Oil very faithfully to get moisture built back up in the nails and prevent white spots and cracks.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  47. Robin says:

    I have been using shellac since may. I have noticed the white spot on several clients. Recently I had a client with brown spots Immediaty removed product Did a regular manicure. What is the cUss of these brown, very concerning.

  48. Kathy says:

    Just purchased Shellac and CND UV lamp for curing. I am a hairdresser and my hands are always in water. Question: Is there a problem of Shellac peeling off because of this?

    • CND says:

      Kathy,

      As a hairdresser exposed to more water than is usual. We recommend you use Solar Oil several times a day. As well as making sure that when using chemicals, wear chemical resistant gloves.

      Thank you,
      CND

  49. Sarah says:

    I received my first Shellac manicure today and so far I love it. The technician that applied it filed the tops of my nails before beginning the application. From what I have read it seems it is more appropriate to buff. I was a little concerned watching my nails get filed in this way as it seems bad for the natural nail. Should I find another salon for my next application?

    • CND says:

      Sarah,

      There is NO need to buff the natural nails during Shellac application. Speak with your nail professional and voice your concerns. Shellac is designed to be applied without filing the natural nail. To do so will cause the Shellac to adhere less.

      Thank you
      CND

  50. john ngo says:

    i think Red baroness has a defect. I try it so many times but it still gets a shrinkage.

Leave a Reply