Tip Tuesday: Cutting the Proximal Nail Fold

Cutting the Proximal Nail Fold Tip Tuesday
PNF = proximal nail fold, often, mistakenly, described as the cuticle. Medical institutes and nail experts advise against cutting the proximal nail fold. Yet, it’s become common practice across many nail professionals with ‘nail fold-less’ seen all over Insta!

The proximal nail fold has a very important job when it comes to nail health. It creates a protective barrier for the nail matrix and surrounding tissue. Cutting or damaging the proximal nail fold can increase the risk of infection and other complications. The skin around the nail can become red, swollen and sore.
If you continually cut or remove the nail fold, the tissue can grow back thicker and can lead to scar tissue and callouses. We always like to put nail health first and we don’t train to trim back the nail fold, on nip hang nails.

With proper aftercare and client education, there shouldn’t be a need to trim it! Oil daily and push back cuticles gently. You can recommend a rubber pusher, so clients don’t do any damage. The overgrown tissue can retract giving the ‘trimmed’ look without needing to get the nippers out! It just takes time.

However, we do understand, sometimes it is not practical to have extremely long or split nail folds that mean you cannot carry out your treatment. If you choose to trim or your client wants it removed, only trim the smallest amount possible so you can carry out your service, do not cut it all the way back. Use it as an opportunity to talk about the benefits of daily cuticle oil and pushing back the nail fold at home!

You can read more about the PNF and some nail anatomy on the great Nail Knowledge website here and here.