Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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UV gel nails

22 March, 2009

Question:

My nails crack and break continuously even with regular manicures. The suggestion came up to do something with uv cream. It will help the nails grow and not break. Can this become part of my permanent state once they are on or is it a problem when I go to mikvah? I believe there is some clear coating that stays on the nails. It costs 60 dollars and takes an hour but lasts two to three weeks so I do not want to do this if I have to take it off for Mikvah.


Answer:

Based on the parameters for chatzitzah, there is a basis for permitting mikveh immersion with items intended for beautification that are not meant to be removed. However, it is not the general custom to immerse with artificial fingernails. 

A case could be made that permanent UV gel nails with no hard acrylic layer would be preferable to other forms of acrylic nails, since it becomes impossible to separate the gel layers from the nail fully.  If a rabbi rules that a woman may immerse in this way, the local mikveh attendant usually needs to be informed that this practice was permitted in this case.  Prior to immersion, a woman should have her nails trimmed and refilled and should clean them well.

However, no artificial layer of any sort would still be strongly preferred, since we remove all barriers from the body prior to immersion.  So we suggest first exploring other solutions with your manicurist, such as taking biotin and using enriched hand lotions, etc.


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