Posts tagged ‘chlorine nail damage’


Today’s entry is one only fingerstyle/classical guitarists can love.

Recently I’ve begun to swim laps at the gym where I go to work out. Shortly after, and maybe not totally because of the swimming, the nails on my right hand were breaking off too easily and seemed dried out.  They were not standing up to the rigors of daily practice.  Partly because of the chlorine…and probably also that I was practicing a lot more for some concerts I had coming up.

If the swimming was to continue, then some measures would have to be taken to protect those nails which are so important to the sound of the acoustic guitar. It can be really frustrating to deal w/the unevenness when one or more is shorn off. A combination of desperation, trial and error yielded the following (see photo below)  – which I am sure looks like the makings of a crazy lab experiment.

Twice in the past week, my hand smacked the side of the pool..the middle nail, being on the longest finger, felt as if it was shorn off.  But underneath the protective gear, both times it was well protected and survived the impact. Happy to say!!!

So, here’s the breakdown – first, I tear small pieces of transpore surgical tape off of a roll (looks similar to a regular roll of scotch tape) and place over each of the nails on the right hand. Next, a latex glove over the hand secured by pieces of self-adherant elastic bandage wrapped around the opening on the wrist.  Last, seal that off with more surgical tape.  After the workout,  the nails are treated w/ cuticle oil to help restore moisture.

It WORKS!! It’s not totally water-tight, but having survived two dead-on collisions w/the side of the pool, I feel like it’s a real solution to the dilemma of dealing w/the chlorine’s effects.

On my last visit to the Swim Shop, I asked the clerk if she had any recommendations to protect the nails since I was a guitarist.  She SMIRKED at me.  Outright.  She said ‘maybe you should put vaseline on your nails before you swim.”  Well, I did try that a long time ago. It rinses right off once you’re in the water.

Wonder how she would react to the all the gloves and medical tape.  Probably I would get a nice eye-roll along with the smirk.

That’s OK.  I still have all of my nails intact, so I can take it.

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