Many companies making breathable nail polish have claimed that their nail polish allows water to go through it and therefore is halal nail polish & wudhu friendly. However, upon proper inspection of the scientific methods used to validate these claims, we found that breathable polish is NOT water permeable. Here’s why:
The most common method of doing the permeability test with breathable nail polish is placing a few drops of water on the dry polish and then rubbing the water for several seconds. However, from a scientific perspective, this method of experimentation may lead to false results for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, contamination of the water and or nail polish may occur if the experimenter is not wearing any gloves. If you’ve seen any of the online videos, you’ll notice all the experiments have been done bare handed. From a strictly scientific perspective, contamination with oils, dust, or any other residue on the experimenter's hands automatically red flags the experiment as being faulty due to the lack of purity of the chemicals and solvents involved.
Secondly, this method may also lead to false results due to the different and unmeasured levels of pressure used per experiment. Although each company recommends rubbing the polish for different amounts of time, none of them explain how much pressure should be used while rubbing the nails. Therefore, your wudhu could be invalid, simply because you didn't use enough pressure when rubbing your nails.
Finally, when doing the permeability test on the paper towel or filter, the addition of friction may also rub away fibers of the absorbent surface and nail enamel causing micro abrasions (tiny holes) in the surface of the nail polish. Technically, if you rubbed hard enough, you could burn a hole through the surface of any paper product. The creation of these micro abrasions may allow water to pass through creating a false positive result.
To learn more about the scientific facts and fiction of halal nail polish, click on the video below.