Manicurist sprays antiseptic on the nails before treating old acrylic nails.

The Hidden Dangers of Low-Cost MMA Acrylic Nail Treatments

As nail salons have grown in popularity, so has the demand for acrylic nails. Acrylic nails have become a popular trend in nail fashion, and many salons offer them as a service. However, not all acrylic nails are created equal. Many salons use a cheaper, less durable type of acrylic known as MMA (Methyl Methacrylate), which can pose severe risks to your health. This post will explore the dangers of cheap MMA acrylic nails and why you should avoid them.

What is MMA Acrylic?

MMA Acrylic is a type of acrylic used in the nail industry that is cheaper and more accessible than other types of acrylic. This type of acrylic is made using Methyl Methacrylate, a substance not recommended for use in the nail industry due to its harmful effects.

The Dangers of MMA Acrylic Nails

MMA acrylic nails pose several dangers to your health. Firstly, MMA is a potent allergen that can cause severe allergic reactions. When nails are applied using MMA, it can cause an adverse reaction that can result in swelling, itching, and other symptoms. These symptoms can persist even after the nails have been removed.
Secondly, MMA acrylic nails are difficult to remove. Due to their strong adhesive properties, MMA nails are tough to remove, and the process can cause significant damage to your natural nails. This damage can lead to many problems, including nail infections and permanent nail deformities.
Another danger of MMA acrylic nails is that they are more prone to cracking and breaking. This can happen due to the poor quality of the product, which can lead to nail damage and even injury.
Lastly, MMA acrylic nails can also be harmful to nail technicians. Applying MMA acrylic requires using a strong-smelling liquid that can be harmful when inhaled. Prolonged exposure to this substance can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues.

How many types of monomer liquids?

There are several types of monomer liquid used in the nail industry, including:

  1. Ethyl methacrylate (EMA): EMA is a widely used monomer liquid that is considered safe for use in the nail industry. It is known for its low odour and ease of use.
  2. Methyl methacrylate (MMA): MMA is a monomer liquid that has been associated with health risks and is no longer recommended for use in the nail industry in many countries.
  3. Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA): HEMA is a relatively new monomer liquid that is considered safe for use in the nail industry. It is known for its low odour and low skin irritation.
  4. Butyl methacrylate (BMA): BMA is a monomer liquid that is known for its strong adhesive properties. It is used in some acrylic nail systems but is less commonly used than EMA.

It is important to note that the safety and suitability of different monomer liquids can vary depending on the brand and formulation. It is essential to choose a reputable nail salon that uses safe and high-quality products.

The difference between MMA and EMA

MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) and EMA (Ethyl Methacrylate) are two different types of monomer liquids used in the nail industry to create acrylic nails. Here are some of the main differences between MMA and EMA:

  1. Health Risks: MMA has been associated with potential health risks, such as skin allergies, respiratory problems, and nerve damage. In contrast, EMA is considered safer and less likely to cause health issues when used properly.
  2. Strength: MMA is known for its strong adhesive properties, making it popular for use in the construction industry. However, this strength can also make MMA acrylic nails difficult to remove, potentially causing damage to the natural nails. EMA is less adhesive, making it easier to remove and less likely to cause damage.
  3. Odour: MMA has a strong and unpleasant odour, which can be overwhelming and potentially harmful if inhaled over long periods of time. EMA has a much milder odour, making it a more pleasant and safer option.
  4. Availability: MMA is cheaper and more readily available than EMA, which is often more expensive and less commonly used.

In general, while MMA and EMA are both used to create acrylic nails, EMA is considered a safer and preferable option due to its lower health risks, ease of removal, milder odour, and overall suitability for use in the nail industry.

The process of removing gel polish from nails. Nails are wrapped in falga on a pink background.
The process of removing gel polish from nails. Nails are wrapped in falga on a pink background.

How to recognise if a salon is using MMA?

Recognizing whether a salon is using MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) can be challenging since it is often difficult to tell the difference between MMA and other types of monomers used in acrylic nail applications. However, there are a few signs that can help you identify whether a salon may be using MMA:

  1. Strong and unpleasant odour: MMA has a strong and unpleasant odour that is often described as chemical or fruity. If you notice a strong and unpleasant smell in the salon, it could be an indication that MMA is being used.
  2. Excessive filing: Since MMA is a very strong adhesive, it can be more difficult to remove than other types of acrylic nails. If the nail technician is using excessive filing or drilling to remove the acrylic nails, it could be a sign that MMA was used.
  3. Unusually thick and rigid nails: MMA acrylic nails are often thicker and more rigid than those made with other types of monomers, such as EMA. If your nails feel unnaturally thick or rigid, it could be an indication that MMA was used.
  4. Lack of transparency: Some salons may be reluctant to share information about the products they use. If a salon is hesitant to provide you with information about the type of monomer they use or cannot answer your questions about their products, it could be a red flag that MMA is being used.

It’s important to note that these signs are not definitive and could be an indication of other issues with the nail application. If you have concerns about the products or techniques used in a salon, it’s always best to ask questions and communicate your concerns with the nail technician or salon owner.

Why Choose a Professional Nail Salon?

Choosing a professional nail salon is essential when it comes to acrylic nails. A reputable nail salon will use high-quality products that are safe for you and your nail technician. They will also have trained technicians who are knowledgeable about the latest techniques and products.
Professional nail salons will also provide a clean and hygienic environment. This is especially important for acrylic nails, as the process can create debris that needs to be appropriately cleaned up to avoid infection.

In conclusion, MMA acrylic nails may be cheaper, but their risks to your health are not worth it. Choosing a professional nail salon that uses high-quality products and employs trained technicians is essential. This will ensure that you receive a safe and hygienic service that leaves you with beautiful, healthy nails. Remember, investing in your health is always your best decision.

Professional manicurist removing shellac from woman nails
*Professional manicurist removing Acrylic from woman nails

Do we use MMA or EMA acrylic at Fabulous Beauty Salon?

We can proudly say that we DO NOT use MMA acrylic in our salon. We only use the safe alternative which is EMA.

Share your love
Articles: 3

Leave a Reply



Typically replies within an hour

I will be back soon

Kia ora 👋
It’s your friend Janet. How can I help you?
Facebook Messenger