In 2016-going-on-17, you can be a "real woman" whose hands are perpetually in a state of disrepair because you are busy slaying at your job, fighting the patriarchy, supporting other individuals who identify as female, and finding your personal style, regardless of what type of produce your body most resembles. You can also do all of the above while scheduling regular manicures. There is nothing shameful or unimportant about looking after yourself. But with self-care comes the usual side of anxiety: How often can you have your nails treated without rendering them weak and prone to shattering like so much peppermint bark?
Probably just as or more often than you think, says Danielle Candido, Morgan Taylor Lacquer and Gelish lead educator. (Let's assume you're not Sally Singer and only having regular polish applied, as opposed to gel.)
"Once a week is fine," Candido says. [Editor's note, even though this doesn't really apply to her: 💅.] "But if you are having a Brazilian-style manicure, where the cuticle and eponychium (tissue surrounding the nail) is all cut away, only have that done once a month or even less, because problems can stem from removing the cuticles, such as hangnails, cuts along the cuticle line, infection, and dry, broken cuticles."
Aggressive sawing with an emory board also factors in, says celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards. "Make sure they only buff your nails every other manicure because it thins out your nail beds, and always add a hardener as a base if you have soft, brittle nails."
So, in short, restrictions apply, as they do at participating KFC locations serving Nashville Hot Chicken. (I really need to upgrade to Spotify Premium.) Keep your standing appointment, but pay attention to both how they're handling the cuticles and what condition your nails are already in. Put a limit (twice a month, max) on gel. Keep applying oil, and give your fingers a breather when you can.
Funny, isn't it, that you have to be high-maintenance to be even *more* high-maintenance?