A silk wrap is an overlay system designed for strengthening and beautifying weak, brittle nails. Silk is a delicate and lightweight natural fiber, but when it is affixed to a natural or artificial nail, it adds strength and support – and looks pretty doing it.
For your clients who may be in search of a natural-looking overlay, there’s nothing like silk wraps, so make it your goal to become a master of the silk wrap manicure and you’ll be rewarded with a steady stream of devoted clients.
Refining the Art of the Silk Wrap Overlay
An initial nail technician program leading to state licensure will provide you with training in silk wraps and other overlays, but taking an advanced course in silk wraps and practicing the process is a must to become proficient in this type of manicure.
You will find advanced training courses in silk wrap overlays and extensions are available through many beauty academies that offer full cosmetology and nail technician programs.
Silk wraps consist of pieces of actual silk – the same luxurious material that garments are made from – that are bonded to the nail plate with nail adhesive to strengthen natural nails or nail extensions. Smaller silk pieces are also used to repair cracked nails.
As a delicate, natural material, silk does not reinforce nails as much as other types of overlays, including acrylic and gel, but it does provide the natural appearance that many clients prefer.
Unlike a thick, acrylic overlay, silk allows the nails to breath while supporting them, which aids in the repair of weak and brittle nails. Wraps are also ideal for rebuilding and strengthening nails that have become weak and brittle due to long-term acrylic use.
Silk wrap manicures can be adhered to real nails or over nail tips.
Applying Flawless Silk Wrap Overlays
Silk wraps are usually sold in pre-cut strips to allow for easy placement onto the nail. Some nail technicians choose to roughen up the nail bed with a rotary nail drill so the silk adheres better to the nail, while other nail technicians find this step unnecessary, instead choosing to buff the nails.
Before applying the silk wraps, the nails are painted with a sticky primer that adheres the silk to the nail. The silk wraps are applied using tweezers for precise placement, and the silk is trimmed to fit the shape of the nails. A small amount of overlap is folded over the tip’s edge. Additional layers of silk may be applied.
A nail surface resin is then applied to the silk wrap, securing it onto the nail.
Once the resin is completely dry, the nails are buffed and filed until smooth, the cuticles are moisturized, and a sealant is applied to produce a high-gloss finish.
Silk wrap nails should be maintained every two weeks by refilling the area of the natural nail growth and sealing the nails to maintain their smooth, shiny appearance.