DescriptionA cuticle is the first part of a cuticle to be seen, since its job is to provide a first level of protection to hair shafts and the skin. Cuticles are made up of several layers, composed of keratin, a protein, debris, and mucilage. A cuticle also has numerous functions. It is the major protectant of hair shafts, preventing damage from sun exposure, air pollution, and harsh chemicals such as perms, coloring solutions, and hair sprays. The cuticle helps to determine the hair's quality by determining if the cuticle is homologous, meaning it shares the same structural and chemical make up as the rest of the strand, and homogenous, meaning that it does not contain any foreign matter that might affect the strength, condition, and thickness of the hair.
Types: There are a number of different types of cuticle removers. They can be applied to the nail plate, under the cuticle, from the nail bed, from the cuticle itself, and even from a cuticle scraping machine. Each type requires a different method of application, so it's best to talk to a dermatologist about what is best for your type of cuticle. Also, don't let anyone sell you a cuticle remover that is intended for your cuticle type, because this is completely wrong.
Applying to the Nail Plate: Cutting out the dead and damaged cuticle layer on the nail surface with a nail clipper is the most common way to apply cuticle remover. If you're comfortable using a nail clipper, it's recommended to use one with a sharp blade for better results. However, in some cases, especially those that occur regularly, it may be difficult to cut out the thin, dead cuticles on your nails without scratching the nail plate or the cuticle itself. In this case, instead of using a nail clipper, simply scrape away the extra cuticle from the cuticle bed with a small Emery board or soft toothbrush. After scraping, wash your hands and apply a small amount of nail polish remover or cuticle oil to cover the scratch.
From the Nail Plate: It is a less common method, but also one that do not damage the cuticle layer and can be quite effective in removing cuticles. A cotton ball dipped in alcohol is used to apply to the cuticles, while using a cuticle remover or other product. Once applied, the cotton ball is then squeezed until the remover begins to loosen the cuticle.
From the Cuticle Scraping Machine: A small electrical device, such as a nail clipper or a small Emery board is used to scrape the cuticles away from the nail bed. This can be very effective if you are just removing some extra cuticles or very small ones, though it will not damage the cuticle matrix itself. However, it may damage the cuticle glue that holds cuticles together if it is not removed completely and if this glue is not thoroughly cleaned afterwards.
Aftercare: Just like any other beauty product or treatment, regular maintenance is important for cuticle removers to ensure that they work best. If the remover becomes blunt or dull, it can damage the cuticle matrix. To restore their shine and beauty, always rub them with a cuticle oil (such as Lanolin) after each use. This will restore the shine and condition the cuticles.
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