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*Counterculture (Noun): Way of life and set of attitudes that is deliberately different from the main culture in society.
Breathable Or Water Permeable Nail Polish Does Not Mean Halal Nail Polish - Read Our Analysis
Picture: Halal Beauty Nails
We clamoured for the big name brands to cater to our modest fashion needs and they have started responding but, and this is a very big but, there is a lot of work and research to be done by these brands in order to effectively meet the needs of modest fashion consumers and also so as not to misguide younger modest fashion consumers or reverts who are still slowly garnering as much information as they can about the deen.
Some cosmetics brands (Andreia, Orly, Inglot, Acquarella etc) have launched a type of nail polish called breathable/water permeable nail polish, and this nail polish is often described (marketed) as an halal nail polish and it is being targeted at Muslim women because they claim this breathable nail polish allows moisture to permeate it after a while, so they say a Muslim woman can make wudhu (ablution) while wearing the nail polish.
If you are not a Muslim woman and you don't completely understand what the above sentence is about, let us explain. Muslims pray five times a day, and before each prayer, wudhu is made, if it has not been invalidated after it was made the first time in the morning or in the middle of the night. (Wudhu can be invalidated by passing wind, deep sleep, excretion, urination, sexual intercourse, sexual discharge and touching your lower privates). The validity of each prayer starts from the wudhu, if your wudhu is invalid, your prayer is also said to be invalid. In order for your wudhu to be valid, it has to be performed in the right way, and water has to thoroughly cleanse all the areas that need to be washed.
This brings us to the breathable nail polish, one of the main ingredients of nail polish is a film-forming polymer dissolved in a volatile organic solvent. Yes, you read that right, "a film-forming polymer" so whether it's a breathable nail polish, an oil based nail polish or a water based nail polish, if it is a conventional nail polish, one of its main ingredients is a film-forming polymer that creates a screen on the nails. So, when a nail polish is marketed as breathable, what they are actually saying is that after a while, moisture can seep through to your nails through the film created by the nail polish. You won't have control over how the moisture gets to your nails, you won't be able to directly wash your nails with the quantity of water you need to cleanse your nails, but after a while, moisture will seep through to your nails.
In an interview modest fashion blogger, Shea Rasol (Shea Rasol passed away on a Friday in the month of Ramadan 2017, may GOD forgive her all her sins, Amin) had with the people behind the Acquarella brand for Aquila Style, it was reported that Acquarella's internal testing concluded that it takes four minutes for water (we think moisture) to seep through to the nails of a person wearing the Acquarella breathable nail polish.
Imagine, this scenario, it is time for prayer, and you make wudhu while wearing the breathable nail polish, so you have to wait for a while say, four or ten minutes until you are a bit sure some moisture has seeped through to your nails before you can now start praying. We speak for a lot of Muslim women when we say wearing nail polish is not that important to our lives in this world and in the hereafter to warrant praying with a probably invalid wudhu or waiting for some extra minutes before praying with a probably invalid wudhu.
Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of ALLAH, peace and blessings be upon him said, "Whoever performs ablution in the best manner and then says, 'I bear witness that there is no god but ALLAH alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and Messenger, O ALLAH, make me among those who repent and make me among those who purify themselves', then the eight gates of paradise will be opened for him and he may enter through whichever he wishes."
Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhi 55. Grade: Sahih (Authentic) according to Al-Albani.
The only wudhu friendly and halal "nail polish" we know of is painting the nails with henna. The picture above is of henna painted nails. Henna was used during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and it was endorsed by him, and henna is still being used today by Muslim women.
Henna is a flowering plant with the botanical name Lawsonia Inermis. It contains a red-orange pigment - lawsone also known as hennotannic acid. This pigment is released by crushing the henna leaves in an acidic medium. The lawsone molecules will then have the ability to stain, and when applied to the skin, hair or nails, they migrate to the outermost layer of the cuticle and stain them. Commercially available henna powder is made by drying the henna leaves and milling them to a powder, which is then sifted.
To use henna, the powder is mixed with water and or lemon juice, to form a smooth paste. The henna mix must rest for six to twelve hours so that the leaf cellulose is dissolved, making the lawsone available to stain the skin, hair or nails. The longer the paste is left on skin, hair or nails, the more the lawsone will migrate, thus making the staining darker.
The suggestion to cosmetics brands regarding the production of a truly wudhu-friendly and halal nail polish is to produce a ready made nail polish made from henna.
There are some brands already bottling henna in a variety of colours to make it much more convenient and fun to apply.
The following are the bottled henna nail stains we discovered: