Are Silk Wrap Nails A Healthy Option? Plus, Nail-Strengthening Tips
We all know acrylic tips aren’t the best for your nails, but the allure of long and durable nails still persists nevertheless. Gel manicures offer a similar attraction strength-wise, but you can’t exactly fake a longer nail with gel—not to mention, they can wreak havoc on your natural tips.
So you’re left with your craving for long and strong nails and no realistic option that’s equally satisfying and healthy, right? Well, think again: This manicure technique might just be what you need to truly have the best of both worlds.
What are silk wrap nails?
Enter, silk wrap nails. As you can probably guess from the name, silk wrapping consists of applying a thin layer of silk to the nail, which adds some length and tons of strength. This technique is not new, but it has picked up popularity as of late.
“Although this technique has been around since the ‘80s, there is a resurgence of silk nail wraps, likely because of the growing appreciation of things that look and feel natural,” nail expert and owner of Lanula Salon in Brooklyn, Tina Wang, tells mbg.
While you can get a full silk wrap manicure to strengthen your natural nails, silk can also be used to fix broken nails. “It's a great restorative technique to damage-control a broken nail, preventing the imminent ‘one short nail’ look,” Wang says.
She adds, “It's also a more natural technique, because it salvages your natural nail, which is generally preferred over having to sculpt and build with UV gel extensions.”
Are silk wrap nails good for your nails?
It may sound too good to be true, but silk wrap nails are, in fact, a healthy addition to a manicure.
“A huge benefit is that this doesn't require UV exposure and helps to reinforce your natural nail with a thicker but still pliable layer,” Wang explains. "Since silk wraps are made with woven fabric, and not plastic, they definitely feel more natural and breathable. Since they are more porous, they mimic the composition of the natural nail more easily."
What’s more, you don’t have to chip them off like acrylics or gel nails. “The removal process, which is often an indication of relative nail damage, is much gentler than the removal process of acrylics and gels,” she notes.
While this type of manicure won’t be quite as durable as hard gels, they still add strength and structure while reducing the risk of breakage.
Who should get silk wrap nails?
“Someone with extremely weak or damaged nails might be a good candidate for a silk wrap manicure, but unless all your nails are very weak, it's likely not worth investing the time and money for silk wraps on all your nails,” Wang notes.
The silk wrap add-on generally costs anywhere from $40 to $75 depending on what salon you visit. In some cases, this will include the price of polish, but other times polish will be separate. Still, it’s fairly comparative to acrylic nails and oftentimes cheaper.
“Sometimes people experience weaker nails at certain points in their lives,” Wang says. If you are experiencing weak nails for any reason, use your hands often, or you’re prone to broken or brittle nails, silk wrapping may be a great option to try for the time being.
Silk wrap nails offer a healthy way to add strength and length to your natural nails. This manicure method is particularly beneficial for anyone who has fine, brittle nails or anyone looking to even out their nail length. If you're looking for more tips on growing long and strong nails, make sure to check out our guide—trust us, there are plenty more tips where this came from.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.