This Is the First-Ever Bond Builder for Nails

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In the last couple years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the bond-building and bond-repair categories for hair care, and it’s still on the rise. And now, OPI is introducing the concept in nail care with the first-ever bond-builder for nails. With the amount of handwashing, sippy cup washing, and damage I do to my nails on my regular basis (yes, I still pick off my gel polish every now and then—I know, I know), the brand’s new Repair Mode serum ($24) belongs in my cabinet.

Plus, when nails are smooth and healthy, nail polish applies easier and manicures look better. Here, my exclusive interview with Natasha Parikh, OPI’s senior manager of claims & testing R&D, who gave us the inside scoop on the new product, launching May 1.

What is Repair Mode?

“Repair Mode is the first bond-building technology for nails that provides 99-percent nail keratin repair, 94-percent protection of keratin protein from damage, and nails that are four times stronger when used as directed.”

Are the bonds in our nails similar to bonds in our hair, and how do they become damaged? 

“Protein bonds are present in our nails, and thy are similar to the protein bonds in hair. Daily activities like washing our hands, cleaning and showering, etc. [water can be particularly harsh on our nails, making them more susceptible to peeling and breakage] can break down these bonds and cause damage.”

How does OPI’s patented Ulti-Plex Technology work?

Typically, nail-strengthening products typically work by reinforcing the nail with polymer film formers to create a protective shield over the surface of the nail. But, when the product is removed, the strengthening effects are removed, too. “Ulti-Plex is OPI’s breakthrough patented technology that allows the Repair Mode serum to penetrate the nails, interact with the nail keratin and create new bonds. It repairs from the inside via the biomimicry of the nails’ natural keratin to restore nails to their natural condition.”

How do you use Repair Mode?

“Repair Mode is designed to be used on bare nails or to be applied as a prep booster prior to a nail service. Start with two coats, prep your nails as usual—shape your nails and push back cuticle as needed—while allowing Repair Mode to penetrate for 10 minutes before thoroughly wiping off any excess residue with alcohol. Then apply your base coat, nail color and topcoat as usual. [OPI is also introducing new Nail Envy nail color in eight shades, merging the benefits of its best-selling Nail Envy Strengthener and color ($19)]. Nails feel stronger after just two coats and natural nails are improved after the first application.”

How was it tested for performance? 

“The efficacy of Repair Mode is unconventional, and we used renowned external lab and leveraged industry methods from hair and skin to study and test the efficacy. These results are then validated from consumer testing. From these tests we were able to validate the efficacy of the product to reflect the claim that it makes nails four times stronger in six days and provides 99-percent repair. Consumers who tested it agreed it made their nails stronger and healthier in just six days.”

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