What's the Difference between Gels and Acrylics?
Basically the size and structure of the molecules which make a difference in hardness and durability of the nail enhancement.
- this causes acrylics to be harder than gels
- gels tend to flex more and they tend to conform to the shape of the natural nail they are being applied to which gives them a “natural nail” look and feeling.
- acrylics come in a liquid and powder form – gels come a in honey-like form.
So the application of each of these systems looks a little different.
How they cure or harden.
- Acrylics are chemically initiated (heat cured) - acrylic liquid and powder which contain catalysts begin the curing (hardening) process when they are combined.
- Gels are photo initiated (UV light) – they come partially cured. The curing process is completed when they are put under a UV light.
- Gels have an inhibition layer (sticky layer) that must be removed before filing or finishing the nail –
acrylics do not have this layer.
- Acrylics have a detectable odour; gel odour is much more subtle.
- Gel products inhibition layer minimizes evaporation during the curing process.
- Acrylic odor is more detectable simply because it doesn’t have the inhibition layer.
Both Acrylics and Gels
- are safe products.
- require the same natural nail preparation before application of the nail enhancement.
- can be used in conjunction with each other; mixed together in some cases and very often applied one over the other when having a fill done.
- can support any length or shape a client prefers.
- can be applied so the nail enhancement appears thin.
- can be applied as a sculptured nail enhancement or as a tip and overlay.
- are available in many colours making it possible to customize a French manicured service - from a natural look to a dramatic look.
- have the potential for a variety of nail art.
A person’s nail shape, habits and lifestyle should be the measure that determines which nail enhancement system would best suit their needs.
Clients be aware that some salons will provide you with acrylics and add a top coat of gel while charging you more for gels.
Other salons will claim that BIO gel or solar gel will let your nails breathe, but since nails are layers of dead skin, they don't need to breathe, don't be fooled!!