First, the chemicals used to perform either nail technique described above are abrasive and strong-smelling, as anyone who has ever walked into a salon specializing in artificial nails can tell you. Seeing a nail technician file down your natural nail can also be startling, since it seems to defy everything we have been taught about what to do to keep nails strong.
The condition of nails after tips have been removed can also be an unsettling sight. In some cases, the natural nail is weakened and soft, while in other cases the difference between new nail regrowth and the area where the acrylic overlay had been is clearly visible and, to say the least, unattractive. This happens when the nail technician has filed the natural nail too much prior to applying the adhesive or acrylic overlay. A good technician will file just enough to allow the adhesive to take hold. Unavoidably, the part of the nail that has been filed will look different from the part that hasn't, but not so much that a standard manicure won't cover it all smoothly. If the difference is so dramatic that a manicure won't cover it, that means the manicurist who did the original application of false nails filed excessively and you should not seek out her services again.
The worst-case scenario is fungal infection, which can happen even after a regular manicure or pedicure if a salon's hygienic standards aren't up to par. And fake fingernails done in the best salon in town can harbor infection if not touched up every two weeks. The most important thing to remember (and something any good nail technician will stress when you have them applied for the first time): Fake nails are not low-maintenance; they require a commitment of money and time. Even though nail color itself lasts much longer on a set of wraps or tips - although most technicians still suggest you reapply a top coat every few days-you must commit to going to the salon every two weeks to have a refill or touch-up. If you don't have the money or the time for the upkeep fake nails require, don't get them.
What every first-timer should also know is that removing wraps and tips is less than fun. In fact, the first time you have tips removed, you realize why so many women keep theirs on. After the nail polish has been removed, you have to keep your fingertips dipped in a special solvent (which is essentially a really strong nail polish remover-smell and all) for up to 15 minutes. The nail technician then takes an orange stick or a metal cuticle pusher and begins to loosen the material from your natural nail bed. This process, especially when done by a bad technician, puts a lot of pressure on the natural nail. Clippers should never be used to remove acrylic nails-it damages the nail plate-and you should not try to remove them yourself at home.
And finally, what most women know but refuse to admit: No matter what anyone tells you, fake nails almost always look fake. There is really no way around it. Due to the thickness of the nail with acrylic or wraps on it, it is virtually impossible to recreate a natural-looking fake nail. There is no shame in this; just don't fool yourself