Choosing Between Acrylic and Gel Nails

When it comes to getting your nails done, there are more options than just a color coat of your favorite polish. For years, you’ve been able to add on the acrylic fake nails, which have been used to create longer and more lasting nail decorations. You don’t have to grow out your nails now to have that gorgeous look, and these days, you don’t even have to choose just acrylic! Now there’s the choice between acrylic and gel nails, and while both of them have amazing choices, some suit others better. So how do you choose between acrylic and gel nails? Even if you’re not a professional, or just considering whether becoming a nail technician is right for you, knowing the difference between the applications could change the way you see beautifying your nails!

Acrylic- the Old Standby

For years, women have been able to get a set of acrylic nails and walk around like a model for a couple of weeks. But are they really the best choice? It depends on the person. In order to get an acrylic nail set, you’d have to have chemicals applied to your nails. They combine a liquid monomer with a powdered polymer to create that hard plastic you’re used to. It’s a pretty simple process, and it leaves your nails with a hardened and protective layer that can look fantastic no matter where you are.

Gel- the New Contender

On the other hand, getting a gel set of nails requires little more than a specific type of polish and some UV light. Theoretically they’re easier to apply, and look more natural than acrylic nails do. They’ve become more popular because of this, despite having three different layers to apply. Each time, you’ve got to have the layers dry under a UV light, for at least two minutes before the next layer. Despite how it may sound, it’s actually a less time-extensive application than the acrylic nails.

Pros and Cons of Acrylic

Acrylic is definitely the cheaper option in the end, as most nail salons do not charge as much for this service. If you somehow manage to break your nail, it’s not that hard to fix it yourself, as long as you have the items for it. It’s also pretty easy to get rid of the nails, once you’re done. Instead of filing off the nails once you’re done, you can simply soak them off in a chemical bath. You probably don’t want to try and remove them yourself, as it’s always better when done by a professional, but it is an option. They last a long time, and break a little more smoothly than a real nail does, so they can be fixed.

On the other hand, they’re incredibly smelly. The chemicals used in acrylic nails can be damaging when smelled constantly. Pregnant women are discouraged from getting their nails done with acrylic, because of the health risks with the chemicals in the air. Most manicurists wear protective gear while applying them. If you try to apply them at home and mess up, they can look horrible, and obviously fake. Finally, using acrylic nails often damages the nail bed, causing your own nails to regrow weaker, and more susceptible to bacteria and fungus.

Pros and Cons of Gel

Gel nails are definitely a more natural look, and they don’t take as long to apply. When getting gel nails done, it’s a little harder to see whether they’re actually fake or not, especially at a glance. They’re easier to apply, and don’t take as long as acrylic nails do. They don’t smell as bad, and have fewer chemicals to worry about.

On the other hand, gel is more expensive to have done at a salon, and they’re harder to do at home. They require a UV source, which most people don’t have sitting around, and will not harden any other way. While they’re more expensive, they don’t last as long as acrylic does. If they break, they experience a shatter effect, making the entire nail useless, and requiring you to simply remove the entire layer of gel, rather than just fixing the break. Most versions of the gel nails require filing in order to remove them, which can damage the nail underneath. However, there are some versions that can be soaked off in the same method as acrylic nails do.

When it comes to choosing between gel and acrylic nails, it doesn’t take a professional degree to find which one is best for you. However, in order to be able to know both sides of it, it’s easier when you’ve trained in cosmetology. If you’ve found any of this something you might want to get into, why not consider trying out some cosmetology in our nail tech school? You’ll learn all about nails, and then some! Check out our nail tech school programs today, and see whether you might want to start calling yourself a nail technician.