Gel Nails Vs. Acrylic Nails


Women who want to get their nails done often have a choice: gel nails vs. acrylic nails. Basically, the war between artificial nails are fought between these two types, each of which has its own pros and cons.

Comparing Gel Nails Vs. Acrylic Nails

Before getting nails done, here is a comparison of gel nails and acrylic nails that you can use to decide which treatment to offer:

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are made from methacrylate, a type of monomer liquid that is mixed with a polymer powder called PMMA (Poly(methyl methacrylate)). Once combined and processed, these chemicals can dry to a hard substance that looks like fingernails. It first came around in the 70s and was worn by women who liked the idea of having instantly long and polished nails.

The Pro & Cons of  Acrylic Nails

Pros – Due to the chemical makeup, acrylic nails are more durable than gel nails and typically last longer. If applied properly, acrylic nails can even provide a hard and sturdy layer of protection for the real fingernails underneath. They are cheaper in general due to their wide availability.

Cons – Acrylic nails are artificial nails and they do live up to that characteristic. If the client is going for a more natural look, then acrylic nails may not be a good choice. Once applied, acrylics also take a while to cure and set. These are hard and will not flex, not even slightly and there is only one texture to choose from. To make the nails appear as natural as possible, it takes a good bit of skill from the nail technician.

What Are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are made from the same combination of polymers and monomers as acrylic nails. The only difference is that a type of oligomers is added to make the them more flexible and thus, more natural-looking. Gel nails are usually offered in two types: light-cured and no-light. Light-cured gels harden and are set in place using UV light while no-light gels are cured and set using a gel activator.

The Pro & Cons of  Gel Nails

Pros – Gel nails appear and feel more natural than acrylic nails. They also tend to set more quickly and do not always require the application of a primer to bond the nail and the gel, so there is little risk of damage to the nail bed. With proper and skilled application, gel nails do not leave an impression on the fingernails. They are also available in different textures.

Cons – Gel nails typically have a higher price tag than acrylics and often do not last that long, so they have to be replaced more often. Light-cured gel nails also have to be set using UV light, so there is some concern regarding their long-term effects.

Have You Thought of Becoming A Nail Technician?

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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Good article. Thank you for explaining the difference!