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How Long Have Artificial Nails Really Been Around?

When you think of artificial nails, it is likely that you think of them as a fairly recent invention. With society as obsessed as it is about the way that it looks, it is not hard to see why many people would assume that artificial nails were created within the last decade. However, surprisingly they have been around for centuries and the meaning behind them has changed dramatically as time has gone by.

Artificial Nails in History
It was Egyptian women who started the nail extension phase. Wanting to create a symbol of wealth, women decided that nail extensions would be perfect. Long nails showed that the person didn't have a manual job and that they had slaves and servants to do their jobs for them. It was very much a status thing and back then the materials used were also quite extravagant.

Ivory, gold and bone were all used to create ancient nail extensions. They were sculpted into beautiful designs and the women wore them with pride. It was more than just a cosmetic obsession; it was the symbol of extreme wealth.

It wasn't only Egyptian women who wore artificial nails as a status symbol. Women in the Far East also wear them for the same reason. However, they do not always use nail extensions; they simply grow their natural nails as long as they can.

Artificial Nails Today
Artificial nails evolved as time went on and acrylic materials were used to create more modern designs. It was actually dental professionals who discovered acrylic nails after they mixed Polymers and Monomers together to create a hard material to place onto teeth. They discovered that the acrylic material could be used to harden and protect nails as well as teeth and that is how true artificial nails were discovered.

As time has gone on and society has changed, these days artificial nails are mainly used for cosmetic reasons. They are a sign of femininity and long nails are seen to look better than shorter ones. It is purely a girly thing and not a status symbol at all. This is probably because the materials that are used are not extravagant at all. In fact, most artificial nails today are created using plastic. This makes them cheap to purchase and easy to apply.

Overall artificial nails are extremely popular today. There are many nail technicians who will claim that they introduced artificial nails into the business in the last thirty years or so. However, they have actually been around for hundreds of years and if anything we owe our nice looking nail extensions to the dental industry!

By Una Pecatti

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