Years ago my natural nails were long and beautiful, but I made the mistake of getting acrylics. I wore them for several years, and to my horror my nails were extremely damaged! I had indentions in my nail beds, and they were very weak. It took almost a year before my nails were strong again, and guess what? I did it again! Nuts huh? I am now recovering from that mistake and wondered if overlays would help protect my nails, but from reading the above comments that will be a mistake as well. I guess I will just keep my natural nails, and hope they will get stronger. The one thing that is frustrating for me is not being able to keep polish on for a long time. With acrylic nails, the polish stays on long and they look so pretty, but with natural nails after a day or two the polish is fading, and chipping so I typically go bare, or put on clear polish. I miss the colors, but at least I have my natural nails and they are getting healthier each day with Sally Hansen's hard as nails.