Would you be able to tell me which salons near me use EMA instead of MMA?

Q: Hi Penny! Would you be able to tell me which salons near me use EMA instead of MMA?

A: I would love to be able to give you that information but I can’t imagine an MMA salon ever making that information public! Here are a few tips for making a judgement call –

  • Labels – If I were you I would ask to see their bottle of Monomer and look at the ingredients list. It will either say Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA) or Methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Then again, we hear a lot of stories of nails bars pouring MMA into EMA-labelled bottles so even then it wouldn’t be a fail safe test.
  • Price – EMA Liquid costs around $200 a litre and MMA Liquid costs around $20 a litre so price is another good indicator of whether a salon is using safe products. I personally wouldn’t pay less than $85 for a set of Acrylic Enhancements.
  • Nail Prep – MMA has terrible adhesion so the nail surface needs to be much rougher for it to stick. Nails Bars using MMA will need to use an electric file (drill) or an extremely coarse file to prepare the surface of the nail. EMA adheres well, so the nail plate should only need to have the shine removed with a 180-grit soft buffer.

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