What’s The Difference Between Acrylic, Gel, & Shellac Nails?


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Nowadays, many options are available when visiting a salon for a manicure, which makes it challenging to figure out where to begin! There is an option for everyone, whether you want something extra shiny, chip-free, incredibly durable, wild in design, or truly attention-grabbing in length. Because of this, you may have a lot of inquiries about gel, shellac, or acrylic nail extensions and what they all entail.

The choice of nail extension depends on your personal preference, occasion, and lifestyle. However, you must know the basics of these extensions and their differences to choose the one that will suit you and your lifestyle the best. In this article, we will cover all the information you need to make your decision. So, let’s get started!

Shellac nails are quickly becoming popular due to their beautiful, natural finish. They are a nail polish and gel mixture and do not extend your nail but add durability and strength. Shellac is far less harmful to nails than conventional gels (or acrylics), and if you don’t want to make your nails longer, they’re an excellent choice. Shellac resembles a thick, glossy gel polish; its main advantage is lessening chipping.

Acrylic is a transparent mixture your nail technician creates that hardens when exposed to air (instead of UV lights). It forms a hard, thick nail topper, achieving the dramatic length many clients’ desire. It’s also an excellent base for art, as the length and space provided by the acrylic surface make a perfect canvas for your crazy creations! You could also add a gel topping to help the design last longer.

Besides, acrylic is ideal for nail biters because it protects your natural nails and makes it easier to break the habit. An acrylic manicure also lasts a long time and can be easily refilled to make it last even longer! Because acrylic is so versatile, you can have the nail size and shape of your dreams without waiting for your natural nails to grow. Acrylic is also the least expensive option in most salons.

Gel nails are the reason for the revolution of nail extension. For gel nails, your nails will first be shaped and polished to get the ideal surface for the gel to adhere to while removing any natural oils. After that, the fingertips are exposed to a UV light to cure the gel polish after you have selected it. This process transforms the conventional mani into a superhero version that is glossier, shinier, and more durable.

Gel manicures provide a durable base for subtle artistic designs that last a fair amount of time (at least 2 weeks, and possibly longer with some maintenance). Besides, they are anti-chip. It makes them ideal for those who perform more manual labour.

If you want strong and natural nails, shellac is an excellent option because it is gentle on your nails and leaves a beautiful natural finish. It is also the least damaging to your nails, so it will keep your nails from becoming weaker with each manicure.

However, gel and acrylic extensions are your best options for long nail extensions. The results of gel manicures and acrylic are similar but with some differences. The outcomes of gel and acrylic manicures are identical, but some differences exist.

They both help to lengthen short nails, strengthen them, and make your fingers appear longer. However, depending on your lifestyle, the occasion, and the length of time you require them to last, one may be a better option. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to assist with selecting which nail application to use.

Pros of acrylic nails If your acrylic nails break, you can quickly repair them at home. When done correctly, they are highly durable and can last very long. Acrylic nail application is less expensive than gel nail application.

They can cause damage to your nail bed, which can serve as a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. If applied improperly, acrylics may appear less natural than gel nails.

Pregnant women are not advised to get acrylic extensions because the application process uses strong chemicals and fumes. Pros of gel manicures Gel nails could appear glossier and more natural than other types.

The curing process is quicker than acrylics.

Gel nail mixtures are safer and more environmentally friendly than acrylic nails because they don’t produce the same fumes.

They don’t last as long because they are less enduring than acrylic (even though they cost more) Most gel nails need UV light to cure.

Gel nails typically shatter and are challenging to repair when they break.

Now that you understand the fundamentals of acrylic, gel, and shellac nails and their benefits and drawbacks, you can select the best option. The decision on which is better is based on one’s needs, and one extension may be ideal for one situation but not at all suitable for another. As a result, you must make an informed decision.