Silk Wrap Nails: The Pros and Cons

Nails and Hair
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Are your nails damaged? Do they break easily? Or do you want to reinforce them and give them extra strength? Looking for a durable manicure? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you’ll love silk wrap nails!

In this post, we’ll tell you all that you need to know about silk wrap nails. We’ll go over Silk Wrap Nails Pros and Cons, the details of how they’re applied and removed, and the times when they are most useful.


What Are Silk Nails?

Nail Silk Wraps

Silk nail wraps are just that: nails with small pieces of silk wrapped around them. This process is perfect for shorter nails, and is used to help keep their strength.

However, nail wraps can also be used with longer nails, and can be shaped.

The process can also be used to add length to the nails (to some extent), but it doesn’t add as much compared to other methods like acrylic nails.

To keep the silk wraps in place, an adhesive is used. Additionally, a resin can also be used to further improve the strength of the nail.

They are great for nail repairs in situations such as having a broken or split nail. Silk wrap nails reinforce the natural nail and make the nail look better.

Here’s a great video that shows the basics of how Silk Wrap Nails work.

History Of Silk Wraps

Since the 1920s, manicurists have been using wrapping materials to reinforce the nail such as tea bags and coffee filters. A further look back tells rumors about Egyptians using papyrus to reinforce their nails.

It was in the 1980s when wrapped nails were finally popularized in the US by the brand Linen Batiste Nails.

Shortly after their introduction in 1983, Harper’s Bazar recommends using silk wraps for women who have a hard time naturally growing long nails.

Silk Wrap Nails: Pros and Cons

Silk Wrap Nails Pros and Cons

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the Silk Wrap Nail system:

The Pros of Silk Wraps

Applying Silk Wrap Nails

1. Strengthens The Nail

One of the main reasons to use silk wraps for nails is added strength. The silk nail wrap adds structure to the nail and the resin hardens it. This can help deal with cracks or splits on a weak nail.

The great thing about silk wraps is that they won’t damage the nail during the process of removal (assuming you do it correctly!) Other nail products may strengthen the nail when worn, but can damage the nails on removal.

Silk nail wraps will leave the nail looking and feeling better than they did before the application.

2. They’re Lightweight And Breathable

If you hate the feeling of thick nail extensions, silk wraps are for you. These are lightweight and breathable. You won’t really feel like your nails are suffocating, as can often be the case with other types of fake nails like acrylics and gels.

They are also thinner and more flexible than other artificial nails or nail extension products.

3. They Look Like Natural Nails

If you want a product that will look good, but aren’t going for out-there designs, silk nail wraps are a great choice. They look like natural fingernails even after you apply them. You don’t even need to paint them if you don’t want to!

That said, if you’re into nail art, you can easily design silk wrap nails with regular lacquer or gel nail polish.

Add color, do nail art designs, or simply wear them like natural nails.

4. Effective Cosmetic Treatment Of Nails

Not only does the silk wrap strengthen the nail, but it also acts as an effective cosmetic treatment. If your nail has been under the cover of acrylic tips for months, your nails need a break.

Silk wraps can help cover up the appearance of scratches or breaks on the nail.

The wrap can also help cover up the discoloration of the nails so they will look like your natural nail, or it can also be painted over with your favorite polish.

5. Easy To Apply And Remove

Unlike other artificial nail extensions like SNS Nails, silk nail wraps are easy to apply and remove. Silk wraps don’t require a UV light Nail Lamp to apply.

And you don’t need to soak your fingernails in acetone for a prolonged period of time to remove it.

You also don’t necessarily need to file it off the nails.

A detailed procedure on how it is put on and removed is found below.

The Cons of Silk Nail Wraps

Silk Wrap Nails with Art

1. Not As Tough As Other Nail Extensions

Due to the thinness and nature of the material, silk wrap nails are not as tough as other nail extensions like acrylics, gel nails, and dip powder nails.

Although silk wraps are able to strengthen the nails, they aren’t as hard as real fingernails. So there is still a greater risk of breaking the nail compared to acrylics or gel.

2. Can Be Easily Removed Due To Moisture Exposure

Some people love that silk wrap nails are easy to remove. But this can also be bad news for many!

If you tend to wash your hands often, or if work involves frequent wetting of the hands and nails, then silk wraps are not for you.

The silk wraps will easily be removed with prolonged exposure to water.

Another point you may want to consider is the professional availability of this service. Some salons only offer more popular procedures like gel, acrylics, and lacquer.

It may be difficult to find salons that offer professional silk wraps. But you can do it at home on your own when you purchase silk wraps like the Supernail Swiss Self Adhesive Silk Wraps or the Soft Touch Dispense-A-Wrap System online.

Are Silk Wrap Nails Right For Me?

Silk nail wraps are best for those who don’t want their nails to feel thick and bulky. The process can be used to add a bit of length if the nails are too short. It’s a good choice for home use, as the tools are easily available online, and are easy to apply. But some professional salons don’t do silk wraps.

This type of manicure is also great for people who may be allergic to acrylic or primer.

It is also a good choice for the elderly, as they may have more sensitive skin and nails.

Silk wraps can be great for both the fingernails and the toenails. It especially helps with damaged toenails when they need to be repaired.

Many nail technicians also suggest this method for “transitioners” from acrylic nails who want to grow out their natural nails. The strengthening capabilities of silk wraps are perfect for these cases.

Nails in these circumstances are relatively weaker than those that don’t have artificial nails. It is possible for their nails to break as they grow them out. But using silk wrap nails prevents this.

Also, those who are used to having acrylics may be used to not being very careful with their nails. Acrylics are tough and can take a beating. That’s not the case for natural nails.

Reinforcing the nail while in transition provides protection to the natural nail as you get used to having natural nails instead of acrylics.

Lastly, anyone who has naturally weak nails or those who simply want to strengthen them because they are prone to stress cracks can use silk nail wraps.

It is a beautiful way of strengthening the nails.

How To Apply Silk Nail Wraps

Silk Nail Wraps

Silk wrap nails are relatively easy to apply. It takes several steps to do, but the steps are simple enough that you can DIY it with a kit.

Here is how to apply silk wrap nails:

1. Prepare all the items you’ll need

For applying silk wraps on your nails you will need silk wraps, nail polish remover, nail trimmer, nail glue, nail file, cotton balls, a sealing substance like the IBD Brush-On Gel Resin, and a compressing sheet.

2. Clean the fingernails

Silk wraps are best applied to clean nails. Remove any nail polish, glue, or nail extension residue using the nail polish remover. Trim your nails to the desired length and shape. Just don’t cut too close to the finger or it will be more difficult to apply the silk wrap.

3. Prepare the nail surface

After cleaning the fingernails and shaping them, it’s time to prepare the surface. Use a nail file to remove the shine on the fingernails. When the nail isn’t shiny anymore, it means that the surface of the nail is somewhat rough.

Be careful with a nail file and don’t overdo it.

4. Cut the silk wrap into the right size or shape

You’ll need to cut your wraps to size. Silk wraps like those from KADS come in a roll that you have to cut depending on your nail size. Others like those from Jaeshay come already shaped. Just find the right size and cut to your desired length.

5. Wrap the nail with the silk wrap

Most of the silk wraps available online already have an adhesive. All you need to do is to wrap them around your fingernail starting from the base to the tip. Make sure not to wrap over the cuticles.

If your silk wrap isn’t the self-adhesive kind, then you need to apply some glue on the surface of the nail first before you stick and wrap the silk wraps.

6. Add the sealing substance

Apply the sealing substance (which is usually water-soluble) to the nail with the silk wrap. Once it is dry, the nail can now be buffed to make the surface smooth and even. Buffing it will also eliminate the possible bumps formed by the silk wraps.

7. Paint the nails

Once the sealing substance is dry, it can now be painted with your choice of color or just a clear coat if you prefer.

How To Remove Silk Wrap Nails

Silk nail wraps are very easy to remove — easier than removing SNS Nails, certainly! In fact, they might come off when you wet your fingernails or hands. This is because the sealant is usually water-soluble. By washing hands or getting in contact with water, the layer thins out.

If you used a resin over the silk wrap, removal can be more difficult.

In that case, use an acetone-based nail polish remover. You can also use pure acetone to make it easier to remove.

Place the acetone solution in a bowl and soak your fingernails for a couple of minutes. Then use a cotton ball dipped into the acetone to gently wipe across the nail. The silk wrap will usually easily come off in this manner.

If it doesn’t, repeat the soak for another 2 minutes until it comes off.

After removing the silk wraps, wash your hands in warm soapy water then rinse. Dry your hands with a towel and apply some hand lotion. It is best to heavily moisturize the fingertips and cuticles because acetone will dry your skin.

If you have some cuticle oil, applying it will help prevent possible damage due to the acetone.

Silk Nail Wrap Application And Removal Tips

Though silk wraps typically strengthen the nails, it’s possible that they can be damaged through improper technique. Here are some tips for how you can properly apply the silk wrap:

  • Avoid Over-filing The Nail – Before you apply the silk wraps, file the nail surface. This process removes excess oil on the nail surface so that the adhesive can work properly. Do this gently or you’ll damage the nail surface.
  • Don’t Use Too Much Glue – Too much glue or sealant won’t just be messy, it can also weaken the natural nail. Many manufacturers produce silk wraps that already have an adhesive on them so all you have to do is stick them in place. Regardless, make sure the sealant you put over them isn’t too thick.
  • Avoid Touching The Mesh With Bare Hands – Preparing the nail involves removing the oil from the surface so the adhesive will stick. By touching the wraps, you can deposit dirt and oils on them, which can cause adhesion issues.
  • Don’t Cover The Cuticle – The best thing to do to prevent the silk wrap from going over the cuticle is to leave about a 1mm margin around it. Making sure the silk wrap doesn’t cover the cuticle makes the wrap last longer because you can avoid lifting.
  • Don’t Simply Peel Off Silk Wraps – It may seem like the easiest thing to do to remove the silk wrap is to peel it off. Don’t! Silk wraps strengthen the nail and can be stronger than the natural nail, especially with a sealant. Peeling it off can lift the natural nail off the nail bed. That can provide a pathway for fungus to grow under the nail. Only pull off the silk wraps when the glue has already broken down after soaking the fingernails or fingers in nail polish remover.

How Long Do Silk Wraps Last?

Nails with Silk Wraps

Silk wraps are very effective in improving the strength and durability of your natural nails. Although they can be used to help those with damaged nails, wraps typically last for about two weeks.

If you’re looking for a manicure that will last for more than 2 weeks, then you should find something more sturdy than silk wraps like gel or acrylic. But these have their own advantages and disadvantages as well.

Aftercare And Maintenance

Aftercare and maintenance are important. If you don’t take proper care of your nails, then it’s unlikely they’ll last for two weeks until infills are done.

Here is how to properly care for your silk wrap nails:

  • Apply cuticle oil regularly to prevent the nails from drying.
  • Protect your nails from moisture by wearing gloves while washing or cleaning.
  • Don’t use the nails as tools. Even if they are strengthened, they can still break.
  • Regularly push back cuticles. About once a week is a good schedule.
  • Schedule for infills every 2 weeks.

Silk Wrap Infills

Silk wraps can last a good while. And when paired with gel, acrylic, or resin sealant, they can even last longer. Once you’ve grown a significant amount of natural nail, you can go for infills at the salon, or you can do it on your own.

Make sure your hands are clean. Then sanitize the nails you’ll be working on. The cuticles should also be pushed so that you can see the length of the silk wrap that you have to use.

Remove the shine on the nail by filing gently. Remove the nail dust. This will prevent any fibers from getting stuck under the silk wrap.

Apply the adhesive on the nail and place the silk wrap over it (or use the self-adhesive). Once the silk wrap is in place and the adhesive is dry, add the sealant.

Once the sealant is dry, buff the nails. Apply a final coat of colored or clear polish, or design them as you wish.

Final Thoughts

Silk wrap nails are a great way to strengthen and shape the nails. It is a type of fake nail that has seen a significant resurgence over the past few years. Ideally made for shorter nails, it helps make the nails remain durable while proviging a beautiful, natural look.

Like any other nail manicure procedure, Silk Wraps has its pros and cons, and many salons don’t do silk wraps. However, you can easily do it on your own by following the procedure above.

If you want to make sure your silk wrap nails last, be sure to properly care for them and be sure to follow the instructions for removal to avoid nail damage.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).