What is the difference between Gel and Acrylic Nail Extensions?

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There are many types of Nail Extensions, and it’s easy to confuse or misunderstand the methods and techniques used in each. In this article we look at the various methods and explain how each one works.

In this article we are looking at the differences between Gel nail extensions and Acrylic nail extensions. Gel nails are very popular for a beautiful natural look as well as providing both strength and elasticity. They can last you up to 4 months, but to get that kind of life-span you will need to have regular infill appointments. You also need to book a bit of time to the first nail appointment – it will usually take 2-3 hours!

If you are trying to choose between gel or acrylic nail extensions, read on. The next section provide some rather more in-depth information that should help you make your decision.

Gel Nail Extensions

The gel nail extension method is the most popular and widespread. The gel substance used to form the artificial nail hardens under a UV lamp. Once hardened, the gel becomes both incredibly hard and elastic, which makes wearing this type of nail extensions really comfortable. The gel’s special qualities give a natural shine and a lovely smooth texture surface too.

Besides the physical and chemical properties of the gel, both gases and liquids can flow in both directions though the gel. This means that your natural nails can “breathe”, which means your nails can continue to grow as normal.

Gel has a unique chemical composition, which makes it hypoallergenic. This means that gel nail extensions are not only harmless to the natural nail, but are also more durable, and they protect against mechanical damage. In addition, because ultraviolet light is used to harden the gel, any harmful fungal bacteria that may be present on the nail plate are destroyed.

Acrylic Nail Extensions

Acrylic nail extensions involve an advance preparation of a substance that is used directly in the process of nail sculpting. In order to prepare such sculpting substance the acrylic material, which is usually a powder, is mixed with a special liquid which has a monomeric form.  The resulting substance, called acrylate, is formed. Acrylate tends to harden in the air in about 1-2 minutes. The time element is why acrylic extensions are usually only done by a professional nail technician – to be able to use the acrylic material efficiently before it becomes solid is quite a refined skill.

After it is dry, the acrylic layer is filed and polished to give it the desired shape. A correctly conducted procedure of acrylic nail extensions will give you gorgeous nails that are really difficult to distinguish from natural ones.

Nail color can vary widely and depends on the color range of additives which may be added ​​to the acrylate. The main positives of acrylic nail extensions are the time required for building the perfect nails, the strength of acrylic substance that is perfect for creating really long nails, and the fact that they can be safely removed by soaking them off in a special solution.

Andy Larkum