Last night I had my nails shellacked for the first time.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it?  It’s where someone puts this polish on your nails that is super sturdy and promises not to wear off for (at least) 14 days.  In fact, they say your nail will grow out before this polish wears off!


Because I am a recovering nail biter (15 years sober!) this is appealing.  My nails are weak from years of ravaging by my teeth.  And now that I no longer sport bloody stumps for hands, I want my nails to look nice.


My hairdresser told me she will shellac nails for $15, so I decided to do it.

It’s pretty much like a regular manicure (the part where coats of polish are applied), except that between coats you stick your hand (one at a time) into a small white box that glows blue on the inside.  To say I could feel nothing would be a lie…it’s oddly like sticking your hand in an Easybake oven.  Not that I would know this – because I was always very carefully supervised using mine.  But, ok, so it feels like sticking your hand close to a light bulb.


So, in my usual fashion, I started making jokes.

“I feel like my hand is being microwaved.”


*make sound like bacon sizzling*

“Am I not supposed to look directly at the light?”


After a couple of sizzle jokes, my hairdresser said, “well, it is a UV light…like a tanning bed”.

Me:  “I’ve only ever done a tanning bed once.  It freaked me out.”

HD:  “Yeah, they are weird.  When the shellac machine came out, we were given a talk about how there’s a small chance it could cause cancer…blah blah blah.  But I think you’d have to be doing it every day for that to be an issue, you know?”



Did my hairdresser just use the word CANCER?  In reference to the glowing (now nuclear reactive looking) box THAT MY HAND IS IN?


You know what.  I get what she’s saying.  They say the same thing about cell phones, and it does not stop people from using those.  And I am not aware of increased cancer cases resulting from cell phone use.  But if there is a report that says this, please don’t tell me about it.


And for the record, my nails look great.  The weirdest part being that they are set and dried when you’re done.  Like, immediately.  My hairdresser had a good laugh watching me delicately hold my nails away from things out of habit – because I didn’t need to.  These things are like rocks now!  Almost worth the risk of cancer.


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