Can cold water dry nails quicker?

Nov 21 2018

It’s a question every time-poor gal has asked herself. But can cold water really dry nails quicker, or is there a better way?

Dry nails quicker

We get it. Spare time is hard to come by. Between your early morning yoga class, 9AM “coffee catch-up” that turned into morning tea, lunchtime rush to the post office, and delayed train home, finding a few minutes for yourself can seem impossible.

Sure thing, you can pick up flowers and a bottle of orange wine after work and make it to a birthday celebration halfway across the city by 7. Yes, you can definitely stop by twice a day to feed your friend’s cat while she’s off gallivanting in Portugal. And you can totally get your mani done in the ten minutes before your dinner guests arrive, while you thumb through the search results for “quick dry nail polish” on your phone and promise yourself that next time you’ll be better. All you’ve got to do is dunk your freshly painted digits into a bowl of ice water and you’ll be set. Right? Wrong. As Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson taught us in 2003, Something’s Gotta Give.

But cold water helps dry nails quicker, doesn’t it?

Well… not really. While in theory it makes sense – the idea being that the cold water will “freeze” the nail polish and help it form a solid surface quicker – the reality is far less exciting. When we talk about nail polish “drying” the word that we’re actually looking for is “hardening”. For your nails to have that even, smoother-than-a-fresh-jar-of-Skippy finish, all layers of the polish – not just the top coat – need to harden. This is a chemical reaction caused by the evaporation of the hardening agent, which is not something that can be sped up by temperature.

In short, while dipping your nails in cold water might help set the top coat, it won’t harden the base layers of your mani. And we all know that a good base is essential to keeping your colour in place and preventing chips, pockmarks, and surface bumps.

So, what’s a girl to do?

There’s no need to frantically Google “nail polish dryer” and buy the most sensibly priced search result just yet. While cold water won’t do much to help your nails dry quicker, below are a few things that will.

Quick dry nail polish

First thing’s first: get yourself a fast drying nail polish. All Kester Black breathable nail polishes are quick drying, meaning that they can help you get out the door and looking your best in about as much time as it takes you to read this blog post.

Thin layers

While we certainly understand the temptation to paint on one thick layer and call it a day, when it comes to coats of nail polish, more really is more. Applying three thin coats instead of one or two thicker ones helps nails dry quicker by allowing each coat to harden before you build on it with the next – how’s that for tapping into the layering trend? The process may take a little longer, but the results last forever (…not really. But Kester Black does promise 5-7 days without chipping!).

Cold hair dryer

If the top drawer in your bathroom looks anything like ours, you’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t need to add another gadget in the form of a nail polish dryer. Your hair dryer will do: switch the setting to ‘cold’ and go to town. Thank us later.

Fast dry top coat

You know those things that sound too good to be true but somehow…aren’t? Like cruelty-free dairy products, sweat-wicking active wear, and a two-for-one sale at your favourite store, fast dry top coats really are all they’re cracked up to be. A fast drying final coat like the Kester Black Top Coat is a valuable weapon for your nail care arsenal and – together with all the other above solutions – ensures that your mani sticks around for much longer than it took you to do.