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What Is The Difference Between Gel And Acrylic Nails

Do Gel Nails Damage Your Real Nails

Acrylic vs Gel Nails

Gel does not damage your real nails. It helps strengthen them and promotes growth if done by a professional. If your nail plate is not appropriately prepared, and if the polish isnt applied or removed correctly, there could possibly be damage. Make sure to see a reputable technician and take care of your tips after youve left the salon that way, youll have nothing to worry about.

Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails: Comparison Table

The attributes of both gel nails and acrylic nails have been kept together in this comparison table to give you a precise idea about them.

Gel Nails Acrylic Nails
  • Gel nails are safe to have with respect to the products. But the curing process involves UV light which can be an issue for some people.
  • Acrylic nails are less safe than solar nails. The chemicals are not health-friendly. You may damage your nails if you use them for a long period of time.
  • The application process is simple applying the base coat, top coat, polish etc. You just have to add the curing part extra.
  • The mixture of liquid and powder is applied on the surface of the nail. When it dries up you have to fill the gap between the cuticle and the nail. Wait until the whole nails are covered.
  • Gel nails are not refillable. Once they are damaged, you have to renew them.
  • Acrylic nails are refillable.
  • Gel nails last longer than acrylics. Gel nails normally last for two weeks. With proper care, the time may be extended mostly to three weeks.
  • Acrylic nails last for two weeks on average. After this period of time, they should be refilled or removed.

Shellac Nails Vs Gel Nails All You Need To Know

While the processes for getting both manicures are similar, there are two significant differences between the two. The first one has to do with the formula. Shellac is a type of permanent nail polish , while gel polish is basically a gel in the form of polish. The second big difference is in the removal time. Shellac is faster and easier to remove than gel nails.

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Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails: Which One You Should Get

Worried for your nails? Confused about what to have gel nails or acrylic? We are here to guide you to the right gateway of nail design world. Gel nails and acrylic nails both are a variety of nail extensions. They differ from each other with respect to the look, materials, cost, application process, safety and the removal of the nails. You can have both the nails to design your nails but before that, a primary knowledge would help you choose the right nail extension for you. I have discussed the bullet points about the pros and cons of these two kinds of nails in this article. You will have a clear concept regarding the difference between gel nails and acrylic nails.

Have You Thought Of Becoming A Nail Technician

Acrylic vs. Gel vs. Shellac Nails: Whats The Difference?

Providing clients with the best products and services is an important step in becoming an excellent nail technician or cosmetologist. Evergreen College can help you learn the pros and cons of gel nails vs. acrylic nails so you can help clients make the best decision to fit their needs. Contact us for course details today.

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Whats Less Damaging For Nails

Both gels and acrylics will most likely cause some damage to the nail but should be safe as long as theyre correctly applied and removed by a certified Pro.

The overall damage to the nail doesnt increase or decrease depending on the application method, so both gels and acrylics should be equally safe. The overall health of your nails and your lifestyle may impact the damage done by fake nails. For example, those with soft nails may want to opt for acrylics since theyre more sturdy than gel.

Safe removal is also crucial to nail health. Removing acrylic nails usually involves soaking them in acetone, while removing gel nails may be a bit more involved because youll need to file the nails. You want to make sure you dont rush the process or force the nails off, which can damage the nail beds. Though removing them at home is an option, a Pro will do the best job.

How Do You Know Which Ones Are Right For You

In the end, all these manicures are going to give you beautiful, smooth, and long-lasting results. But if you have to pick, you need to know what youre trying to achieve. Here are some pointers to help you make a decision:

  • If you want longer nails, acrylics are your best bet.
  • If you want stronger nails and a long-lasting mani, gel or Shellac is the way to go as it will give you chip-free, durable nails.
  • Shellac works best if you want the most natural finish.

Since your nails provide important clues to your overall health, it is essential to take care of them just as much as you look after your skin and hair. For the best results, make sure you go to a well-trained technician and a reputed nail salon to get your manicure.

That was our take on acrylic versus gel nail polish. Which manicure are you looking forward to getting? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Budget Time And Maintenance

Your monetary budget plays a major role in making your choice, as does your budget for time spent per visit. While the cost seems to be the same for acrylic and gel nails, there is actually a big difference.

  • Acrylics: With acrylics, you pay for a full set of nails the first time you get them. This visit will be about an hour. Some salons suggest replacing the nails completely every four months, but that is not necessary. A full set will range between $30 – $60 at a reputable salon. That would be month one. Fill-ins are just that, filling in the new growth of the nail with acrylic and making any repairs. A visit for fill-ins will take about thirty minutes. This will cost $15 – $30 for the following months, once a month. In a year, the average cost would be between about $195 – $390 for acrylic nails.
  • Gel Nails: Gel nails are more costly money-wise. Gels only last between 10 – 14 days, though there are rare women who can get by with once a month. Gel nails are the same price regardless of whether it a new application or a return visit because it is essentially an upgrade to a regular manicure. The average cost of a gel application is between $25 – $60 at a reputable salon every time it is done. The average time spent in the salon is about thirty minutes per visit. If you become a regular gel client that cost could be between about $50 – $120 per month or $300 – $720 a year.

Gel Vs Acrylic Nails What Is The Difference

Acrylic vs Gel Nails | Which is better?

As mentioned previously, gel and acrylic nails deliver similar results. Both these nails lengthen your short natural nails, add strength, and make your fingers look longer.

With that in mind, what is the difference between the two? And which one is better? Lets look at several questions and break down the difference.

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Which Nail Type Is Right For Me

The answer to this question depends. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may want to go with gel nails. If you want something that is super robust, strong, and defined, try acrylics. Both have their own advantages. You can find out more about which one would be a better fit for you by talking to your nail tech. They can help you get the perfect look youre going for.

Gel Vs Acrylic Nails: Whats The Difference

When you visit the nail salon, you might already have an idea of the color or design you wantbut do you know which type of manicure would work best for your lifestyle? Your salon should offer various options, including the two most popular choices: gel and acrylic. Each style has its own set of pros and cons, but it all depends on what you want out of your fresh mani. But whats the difference between gel and acrylic nails? Are they similar in any way? Is one better than the other? You have the questions, and we have the expert answers.

Below, well break down everything you need to know about gel and acrylic manicuresthat way, the next time youre due for a nail treatment, you can feel confident choosing the best option for you.

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What Is The Price Of The Nail

  • Getting acrylic nails is usually cheaper than gel application. You can get a full set of nails for between $30 and $60. If you need monthly fill-ins, they are usually half the cost of a new set
  • Gel nails can cost between $25 and $60. Generally speaking, in the same salon, gel nails are more expensive. Another thing to consider, you need to pay that price every time you have the gel reapplied, which is not the case with acrylic nails

Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails

Differences between Shellac, Gel and Acrylic Nail Polish ...

Acrylic nails typically cost $35-$45 on average per application, whereas gel nails could cost $35-$100. The prices do vary depending on the nail salon and the service quality, but gel nails tend to cost more.

Well, why would you even want to go for gel nails when you have cheaper acrylic nails? The answer is that gel nails have a number of benefits that make them much better than acrylic nails.

If youve ever had acrylic nails, then you probably know that they:

  • Emit a foul odor since chemicals are involved in the application. The odor is not only unpleasant but also is a giveaway that you are using fake nails.
  • Are very difficult to remove without damaging the nail bed. Due to this, acrylic nails are either refilled or are left there until grown out by natural nails.
  • Are strong and durable but quite brittle.
  • Tend to yellow quickly.

Gel nails are designed to address these downsides. Namely:

  • Gel nails are odorless.
  • Gel nails are easy and safe to remove if primed correctly.
  • Gel nails are flexible and do not chip, crack, or peel easily.
  • Gel nails take longer to yellow.

And while gel nails do introduce a couple of new things to keep in mind, we think that the downsides of gel nails do not outweigh the benefits.

Available Types of Gel Nails

There are two main types of gel nails available at nail salons soft and hard gel nails. There also are gel polishes which have a bit different purpose.

Hard nail gel usually lasts 3-4 weeks before it needs to be refilled or removed.

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Do Acrylic Nails Damage Your Real Nails

Acrylics do not damage your nails. Again, nail prep is a crucial part of keeping your real nails healthy. Pair healthy nails with professional application and removal, and your nails will thrive. Maintain your tips by taking care of your skin and nails at home and returning to your favorite salon for any necessary upkeep.

Benefits Of Gel Nails

Weve talked about the benefits of gel nails a little earlier, but there are a few other things that you should know about:

  • Gel nails can be used by people allergic to nail resin or acrylic.
  • Gel nail coloring does not fade away like regular nail paint.
  • Gel nail coloring retains its shine for a long time.
  • Gel nails have a more natural look than acrylic nails.
  • The curing time under UV is a mere 5-10 seconds.

And, of course, the four advantages we mentioned above:

  • Gel nails dont have a chemical odor.
  • Gel nails can be easily removed without damage to the nail bed.
  • Gel nails are flexible and dont easily chip, crack, or peel.
  • Gel nails dont yellow as quickly as acrylic nails.

Overall, if you have the budget, the gel nails may be the best option for you in the long term thanks to the better durability, quality, appearance, and safety compared to acrylic nails.

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Are Gel Nail Extensions Safe

If applied and removed properly, gel extensions are very safe. “They’re considered a healthier version of acrylics especially because they don’t have the powder or harsh chemicals like methyl methacrylate and toluene,” says Seney. You just need to be sure to find a professional you trust and one who has good reviews.

How Do They Affect Your Natural Nails

What’s the Difference? Acrylic vs. Gel Nails

While gel and acrylic nails are commonly used and generally safe, there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Most acrylic nail applications require a primer to be used. If these primers are applied excessively, it can be damaging to the nail bed. It can also cause irritation if it comes in contact with the skin. For this reason, many people who have sensitive skin choose to go with gel nails.
  • Both acrylic and gel nails can be tricky to remove. The removal process if done incorrectly can damage your nail bed. The best thing to do is have a professional remove them when youre ready for a new look.

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Gel Nails Or Acrylic Nailswhich Is Better

Gel and acrylic nails have similar results. They can lengthen short nails, strengthen nails, and make your fingers look longer and more slender. There are some pros and cons that might help you decide which nail application to choose.

While both types of nails can be applied at home, application might be best left to a professional. Acrylic nail fumes may overwhelm you at your house, and without a UV light, you won’t be able to get gel nails to harden.

As far as finishing touches, you can paint, you can do French tips, or create other designs on either type of nail. Some people think that airbrushing looks better on gel nails because they have a more glossy finish.

What Is Shellac Nail Polish


Shellac is a patented nail product by the company CND . It is basically a hybrid of gel and regular nail polish. As it is like polish, it cant be used to extend your nails. However, it does a great job at adding strength and durability. Shellac also happens to be a lot less damaging to nails when compared to traditional gels or acrylics.

  • Does not chip, peel, or fade
  • Free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP
  • Not meant for brittle or thin nails

Heres how shellac nail polish differs from gel nail polish.

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Pros Of Acrylic Nails:

  • Acrylic Nails are very strong and long-lasting.

  • They are easier to repair at home due to their strength where they crack rather than shatter. As always it is advised that you visit a professional nail technician for the nail related issues instead of tackling them by yourself.

  • They are generally cheaper than gel nails which is important in these times.

  • There is a higher availability of them in america, meaning you will find more nail salons offering acrylic nails. Gel nails are only starting to pick up in popularity in america. This is not the case in Europe.

  • They have a matte finish to them, this is up to personal taste and preference

What Are Gel Nail Extensions

Acrylic Nails vs. Gel Nails: What is The Difference?

Gel nail extension is a process that involves hard gel built on a natural nail and cured with UV light. The manicurist uses a nail form, which is basically a sticker that goes under the free edge of the nail, to extend the length of the nail.

Top manicurists like Davis and Seney are also relying on a newer method. “It’s an already shaped full soft gel nail tip that you secure on the natural nail with gel,” explains Davis. They come in different sizes and shapes like stiletto, round, coffin, square. As it doesn’t need filling, it’s even quicker than the actual gel extension building. “I definitely recommend brands Kiara Sky Gelly Tips and ,” says Seney.

The only prerequisite is that your nails can’t be bitten to the quick. “For a gel extension, your nail needs to have a little length, not a ton but just a bit,” says Davis. “If your nails are too short, there isnt anything for the extension to stick to.”

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Whats The Difference Between Gel And Acrylic Nails

Although gel and acrylic nails can provide similar results, there are key differences with each nail style. As we mentioned, gel nails typically consist of brushing coats of polish on your natural nails and are cured with a UV lamp. The process is much faster than applying acrylic, and the nails often look more natural too. These days you can find online kits that let you get gel nails right at home. Once complete, gel nails will usually last for around 14 days without chipping. Toward the end of this period, they may start to peel or lift at the corners.

When youre ready to remove gel nails, all you need to do is soak them off, and youre good to go. Typically, a cotton ball soaked in acetone is placed over the nail, then each nail is wrapped in aluminum foil. After around 10 minutes, the gel polish is easily able to be removed. While gel nails can be prone to peeling, they are known to be more flexible than acrylic nails, although be warned that both styles run the risk of damaging your natural nails with continuous wear.

Editors Tip: You can actually mix the two styles and get gel polish cured over your acrylic nails for the ultimate manicure that has strength and lasting power.


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