Nail Glossary by NailMOB

Nail Industry Encyclopedia & Definitions



Definition of Etch

  1. The term “etch” is a misnomer in the field of nail technology. The true meaning of the word is “ the process of making a design on a hard surface by corroding its’ surface with acid”. This term is often misused to describe the filing process used to remove the surface shine from natural nails in preparation for a nail enhancement service. The correct terminology is to “remove surface shine” with a high-grit file or buffer. “Etching” on the other hand, is an over-aggressive and damaging method of nail prep, usually accomplished by using a heavy hand and a rough file (low grit such as 80 or 100). This not only removes the surface shine, but also disrupts the nail plate layers and “roughs up” the nail. Today’s products do no use this damaging method to ensure adhesion, as it can weaken the bond between nail and acrylic, leading to lifting.

Added to the Nail Glossary on November 10, 2016

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