Part 4 The history of Nail care and coatings (so far)

After the 1930s things slow down a little.

1950 Colour selection of nail polishes is extended still. Oval and lighter coloured nails are in fashion.


1952 the first pre formed plastic false nails that can be stuck to the natural nail are manufactured and sold in America.

1955 Frederick Slack accidently invented acrylic sculpting –nail extension technique. As a dentist experimented with hard material he used for dental treatments and when he broke his nail tried to repair it with acrylic sculpted on a piece of foil.


1957 – Frederick and Thomas Slack patented first nail forms for nail extensions and start the Patti Nails company known today as NSI.

1960 the “Juliette Wraps” System is created using clear polish and tea bags to coat and protect the nails. It was one of the first enhancement treatments and was popularised by celebrities.

1970’s is the time of fake nails –nails are very long and worn by wealthy people as they are expensive and not achievable for everyone.

The “Porcelain Nails” Look was made with a repurposed dental product if single linked polymers. Obviously this wasn’t originally intended for use on the Nails and caused challenges for both professionals and clients. Some of these fake nails are inserted under the cuticles to make them look as natural as possible, the glue used is not water resistant so they don’t stay on for a very long time. This is also the time for expansion of beauty salons.

1973 Square nails are in fashion –most probably because of nail competitions as it is easier to judge the shape and angle of stress arch and C curve on square nails.


1976 Jeff Pink creates today’s French Manicure in America. Originally for Hollywood actresses who spent too much time repainting their nails to match each dress they wear, they wanted a polished yet natural look. It was also popular with runway models for similar reasons. It had very little to do with the French!


1979 – Sogo company introduces first cross linked polymer, fibreglass system which can be sculpted thinly for a more natural look. It is expensive and the extremely long styles achieved were favoured by the wealthy.

Late 1970’s Dr Stuart Nordstrom invented the current professional liquid and powder system that is used in acrylic nails today. He is also the founder of CND, a leading brand in the nail industry today, responsible for creating CND Shellac, Vinylux and Creative Play which are my products of choice today.

I actually recently trained with Linda Nordstrom she’s Stuart’s Wife, and an amazing nail technician who was also involved in the development of CND Shellac, they now own and run Famous Names and have developed the amazing IBX system.

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