A close-up shot of a hand holding a smartphone displaying a social media app, while the other hand flaunts beautifully manicured nails, suggesting the question: "Does SNS help nails grow?"

Does Sns Help Nails Grow? A Comprehensive Guide

Gorgeous long nails are the envy of many. If you’ve ever wondered if SNS or dip powder manicures can help your nails grow longer and stronger, you’re not alone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about SNS manicures and their effects on nail growth.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: SNS and other dip powder manicures can help protect your nails, allowing them to grow longer before breaking. However, the powders themselves do not make your nails grow faster genetically.

What is SNS?

Dip powder manicure overview

SNS is short for Signature Nail Systems. It is a type of dip powder manicure that uses a powder polymer and a UV light to create a durable, long-lasting manicure.

Unlike traditional acrylics or gel manicures that require harsh chemicals for application and removal, SNS dip powder uses materials that are relatively gentle on natural nails. The SNS process bonds layers of polymer powder to the nails with a powder adhesive for a smooth, polished look that can last 2-3 weeks with no chipping or peeling.

How SNS works

The SNS dipping powder process works by layering on special polymer powders that form strong yet flexible bonds. Here’s a quick overview:

  • A primer prep layer is applied to clean bare nails first.
  • Powder layers are then “dipped” onto the nail one at a time to build thickness and strength.
  • Each layer self-levels for a smooth finish.
  • The nails are finally cured under a UV lamp to set the bonds.

The finished SNS manicure is durable, chip-resistant and can last as long as a gel manicure.

SNS process step-by-step

Wondering what actually happens when you get SNS nails? Here is a typical SNS dip powder application process:

  1. Prepare – Remove old polish; trim and file nails into desired shape.
  2. Prime – Apply dehydrator + primer mix onto nails.
  3. Base dip – Dip nails into adhesive powder activator liquid, then dip into a SNS colored base powder.
  4. Build layers – Apply 2-3 more thin layers of colored SNS powder, allowing to dry in between.
  5. Shape – Shape and refine nail edges; buff for a smooth finish.
  6. Top coat – Apply gel top coat and cure under UV light 30-60 seconds.
  7. Finish – Wipe off tacky residue and apply cuticle oil if desired.

The whole SNS application process takes around 1 hour for most salon manicures. Proper technique by an experienced nail tech ensures long-lasting, protected nails!

Does SNS Make Nails Grow?

SNS, or silk nail system, has several benefits for natural nail health that may help promote growth. However, it does not actually affect the rate at which nails grow genetically.

Protective Benefits for Nails

The SNS powder overlay helps protect the natural nail from cracking and breaking. The hard shell-like coating shields the nail plate from trauma and damage. This allows the nail to grow out longer without splits and chips forming.

The SNS process also deposits keratin protein and calcium onto the nails, providing added strength and resilience.

No Effect on Genetic Nail Growth Rate

While SNS can help nails remain intact as they grow out, it does not make them grow faster. The average rate of nail growth is about 0.1 mm per day. This growth rate is primarily determined by genetics and the nail matrix underneath the cuticle.

SNS does not alter the nail matrix or affect the genetic factors that regulate nail growth speed.

Maximizing Growth with Proper Application

Although SNS will not accelerate growth, a proper application can help maximize the amount of growth you retain. Avoid filing off the natural nail plate during prep. Use forms that do not pinch or damage the nail bed.

Prevent lifting and premature loss of the enhancements with careful application and infills every 2-3 weeks. This allows the natural nail to grow out to its full genetic potential.

Pros and Cons of SNS for Nail Growth

Benefits of SNS for Growth

SNS can help strengthen nails. The SNS powder, gel and primer used in the manicure help harden and reinforce nails to resist breakage better. This allows nails to grow longer without splitting or peeling.

The SNS process can also stimulate blood circulation to nails and cuticles, bringing more nutrients to promote healthy growth. One study by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) found that regular manicures may boost nail growth by up to 78%[1].

Additionally, the durable SNS shell protects natural nails underneath. This shields nails from daily wear and tear that might impede growth. Having an intact SNS overlay means you won’t be tempted to bite or pick at nails either.

Potential Downsides and Risks

While SNS has benefits, improper application or maintenance can damage nails. Failing to completely remove previous SNS layers leads to product buildup and extra pressure on nails over time.

The SNS process also requires nail filing and dehydration with primer. This thinning of nails may weaken their structural integrity if done too aggressively or frequently. One study estimates up to 25% of people experience nail problems after acrylic or gel manicures[2].

Furthermore, picking or popping off SNS instead of having it properly soaked off can tear natural nails and hamper growth. Fungal infections are another risk if tools aren’t properly sanitized between clients.

Pros Cons
  • Strengthens nails
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Protects from damage
  • Can damage with improper application/removal
  • Frequent filing weakens nails
  • Increases infection risk if tools not sanitized

Caring for Nails Before and After SNS

Pre-manicure nail prep

Properly preparing the nails before an SNS manicure is crucial for getting the most out of the service. Start by gently pushing back and trimming cuticles, as excess cuticle can prevent proper application and reduce longevity.

Use a nail file to shape nails and remove surface shine so the SNS powder adheres well. Finish prepping with a 5 minute soak in warm water mixed with a dash of soap or oil to soften nails and cuticles.

Post-manicure care and removal

Once SNS is applied, be extra gentle with nails for at least 24 hours while curing occurs. Avoid water exposure during this time. Afterward, take care to avoid chipping by using a light touch, wearing gloves for wet tasks, and avoiding nail tools.

When it’s time for removal, do not peel off SNS yourself as this can damage nails. Visit your manicurist for proper soak off using acetone or another professional removal product.

Daily care for optimal growth

Healthy nails are a must for getting the most out of any manicure. Drink plenty of water and consume biotin, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and E. Moisturize cuticles daily with oil to prevent hangnails. Protect free edges with nail hardener.

Avoid excessive filing and give nails a chance to regenerate between manicures. Take occasional nail breaks by going polish free. With diligent daily care, nails will thrive and lengthen noticeably over time.

Alternative Options to Grow Nails

Vitamins and supplements

Getting enough vitamins and minerals is crucial for healthy nail growth. Some key nutrients include:

  • Biotin – This B complex vitamin helps produce keratin, a protein that makes up your hair and nails. Studies show that getting enough biotin can significantly increase nail thickness.
  • Iron – Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood so it can reach nail beds. Low iron levels have been linked to brittle, spoon-shaped nails.
  • Zinc – This mineral is needed to make cells and enzymes that enable tissue growth and repair. Zinc deficiencies can cause white spots and increased infections in fingernails.
  • Folic acid – Getting adequate folic acid has been shown to reduce chances of nail deformities. Good sources include citrus fruits, leafy greens, and legumes.

You can get more of these nutrients by eating a balanced diet or taking supplements. But consult your doctor before starting any new vitamins.

Nail treatments and strengtheners

Over-the-counter products can also improve nail health and growth rate. Look for strengtheners containing ingredients like:

  • Biotin – As mentioned, biotin supplements support keratin production for hard, strong nails.
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein – This moisturizing agent helps condition brittle nails prone to cracking and peeling.
  • Glycerin – Draws moisture into nails to increase flexibility and prevent breakage.
  • Calcium – This mineral fortifies and thickens weak, soft nails.

Many people find success using thickening polishes and hardening base coats. But avoid very harsh acrylic/gel manicure removal, as this can damage nails.

Natural remedies

You can also use home remedies to bolster nail health. Popular DIY options include:

  • Olive/coconut oil – Rich in vitamins A, E, and K, these oils moisturize cuticles and condition nails when used overnight.
  • Lemons – Contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that assists collagen production for strong nails. You can apply fresh lemon juice or make a paste with olive oil.
  • Tea tree oil – Has antifungal properties to treat nail infections. Dilute with a carrier oil before use to avoid irritation.

While home treatments aren’t magic bullets, they can complement other nail care when used properly. Be patient, as it takes time for damaged nails to regenerate completely.


While SNS and other dip powders don’t inherently make nails grow faster, they do provide a protective layer that can help nails grow longer before breaking. With proper prep, application and removal, SNS manicures can be a great option if you’re looking to grow out your nails.

Consistent daily care and nail treatments can also help maximize growth potential. Remember to always consult with your manicurist if you have any concerns about the health of your nails.

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