Nails and water

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
DevonBadger
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 8:03 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Nails and water

Post by DevonBadger » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:45 pm

I understand about washing up and household cleaning products being bad for the nails, but what about just water on its own?

If my hands are in warm water for even a short time - and just water, nothing else - my impression is that my nails become a little bit bigger and perhaps a bit thinner.

Does water hydrate our nails, which I assume would be a good thing, or does it damage them and hence contact should be kept to a minimum?

dory
Posts: 1636
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 am
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Re: Nails and water

Post by dory » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:22 am

I did hear on a medical program on the radio that the absolutely worst thing for nails is dish soap and that we should wear rubber gloves whenever washing up. I hate rubber gloves and can't get myself to use them, and to make it worse we have sonfar avoided getting a dishwasher because we have been unwilling to give up the cabinet space. We would rather have the extra storage. Of course that means that my hands get maximum exposure to dishwashing soap.
Dory

tyke
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 8:51 am
Location: Ynys Mon, Wales, UK

Re: Nails and water

Post by tyke » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:24 pm

I'm probably in the minority here but my nails seem to be OK with washing up. In fact I prefer to have washed up, or at least had my fingers in hot water, prior to playing CG.

Not that I'd do any unnecessary washing up !!

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guitarrista
Posts: 826
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Nails and water

Post by guitarrista » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:13 pm

DevonBadger wrote: Does water hydrate our nails, which I assume would be a good thing, or does it damage them and hence contact should be kept to a minimum?
Nails absorb water - with time. So it is probably a good idea to not soak them in water for a long time before you play guitar. But I imagine washing up hands for what is typically a short time is fine - it has been fine for me.

But the other thing to keep in mind is that the level of water content in the nails varies with ambient relative humidity. This may account for at least some of people's different experiences with nails and guitar-playing. According to this recent article, the dependence is linear up to about 70-75% relative humidity; then the rate of absorption increases after that:
nail_water.JPG
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Konstantin
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