Various options exist for artificial nail coverings. Acrylic nails, either full-set or tips, sit on top of a bed of glue and nails that look and feel thick. Nail wraps come in silk, fiberglass or linen. Fiberglass wraps provide the strength of linen with the natural look of silk. However, silk wraps absorb the glue that holds them in place allowing the wrap to fit flush with the nail.
Provides Natural-Looking Nail Cover
Silk wraps are much thinner than linen wraps or acrylic nails. Also, once glued in place, silk wraps are clear, allowing the natural nail to show through. Linen wraps appear white and acrylic nails can appear cloudy, making it necessary to wear nail polish.
Silk wraps bond to the nail plate and provide strength to weak or thin nails. Manicurists also apply silk wrap to hold acrylic tips in place when a client has chosen to forgo the application of a whole acrylic nail. The flexibility of silk wraps allows the nail to react normally to pressure, unlike acrylic nails which feel as if they are pulling on the whole nail plate when pressure is applied to the tip. However, silk wraps are not intended for a woman who works with her hands or continuously has her hands in water.
Cracked or Torn Nail Repair
If a nail does break, an additional piece of silk wrap applied to the crack or tear can hold the nail in place until it grows out. Silk wrap works as a band-aid for natural nails as well as existing wraps or acrylic nails.
Prevent Nail Fungus
Acrylic nails come with a risk of nail fungus. According to the Mayo Clinic, if the acrylic nail becomes loose and moisture becomes trapped beneath it, fungus might grow in this area, causing damage to the nail plate and possibly the nail bed and surrounding tissues. However, because of the thin nature of silk wraps, air passes through to the nail plate, allowing moisture to evaporate like a natural nail. Be aware, application of nail polish will nullify this particular benefit of silk wraps.
Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.