Glossary: I to L

This Glossary series contains some of the terminology associated with natural and artificial nails, procedures, and a few important product or additive definitions as I understand them. Many of these terms are confusing, difficult to pronounce and understand at first , especially the chemical and medical ones! I’m an interested Nail Technician and by no means a scientist or expert. This glossary is something I wished I’d had access to when I was just starting out.

Occasionally I will edit these posts to add or amend information, as and when I learn more or come across new terminology. The beauty of this industry is that it’s constantly evolving as new scientific discoveries and product developments become available.

I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions, additions or edits to this series. It’s definitely a work in progress and has taken over a year to get this far. I’m hoping this will become a useful up to date resource for all professional nail technicians and students

Infills: The process of correcting the structure of nail enhancements following a period of growth typically every 2 to 4 weeks. Also know as Rebalancing. SEE Rebalance.

Interpenetrating Polymer Networks (IPN’s): A polymer that weaves through other polymers and increases cross-linking. SEE Cross linked.

Keratin: is one of a family of fibrous structural proteins. It is the main structural material making up hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, calluses and the outer layer of skin among vertebrates. It’s usually the protein in the nail that nail enhancement products are designed to bond to.

Lateral Nail Fold: The lateral nail fold is the surrounding soft tissue around the sides of the natural nail, it creates a seal between the side of the nail and the finger.

Lecentè: a nail art and gel polish supplier, offering the best glitters and a the Lecentè Create range of gel polishes. They are the queens of glitter and all of their glitters and gels have SDS.

Leukonychia / leuconychia: is a medical term for white discolouration appearing on nails. The most common cause is injury to the base of the nail (the matrix) where the nail is formed, it’s nothing to worry about and isn’t an indication of any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Liquid and powder: The professional name for Acrylics. Nail enhancements created by mixing liquid monomer with powder polymer.

Lunula: The lunula, or half moon, is located at the base of the nail. The area under the lunula is the front of the matrix. The light colour and spongy feeling of the lunula is due to the soft newly formed nail cells that are full of moisture. SEE Matrix

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