If your natural nails are not worth flaunting and you need a little help achieving the perfect manicure, your solution may be choosing between gel nails and acrylic nails. Both are great options for artificial nail enhancements, ideal for women who find it hard to grow and maintain their natural nails for a perfectly manicured look. But which one is the better choice for nail designs?
In the battle between Gel Nails Vs. Acrylic Nails, it helps to understand what each of these options has to offer so you can make an informed choice. While gel-based nails definitely look more natural and glossy, acrylic nails are sturdier and easier to find. So how does one go about choosing the true winner? Well, we explain it all right here so you can decide which nail treatment you should get.
Acrylic Nails: Everything You Need to Know
The most popular out of all artificial nails and a staple in the beauty industry, acrylic nails have been around since the early 1970s. Acrylic nails are artificially developed and glued on top of the existing nail bed after being cut and shaped into whatever shape you desire. Some women prefer a natural, rounded look while others prefer nails that are square or even spiked. The choice is yours. An acrylic substance in a liquid form is generally used to secure the artificial nail to your natural nail tip. The nail can then be colored in any shade you want, and the result is a durable nail that is easy to maintain even with a hectic lifestyle. But like everything else, acrylic nails come with their pros and cons.
Acrylic nails are long-lasting because they are more durable and can be maintained at home. They are also far cheaper than gel nails. What makes them more popular is the fact that these are often the only nail enhancement option available at ordinary salons, so they are easy to get done. They come with a matte finish and can be painted or adorned just like real nails.
The biggest disadvantage of acrylic nails lies in the fact that improper application can damage the natural nail bed. Therefore, it helps to always get these done at professional salons, as poorly applied nails can also lead to unwanted fungal infections. Some say you can apply these at home, but the results are usually poor. Going to a salon is essential, which can be expensive.
Another con of these nails is the nasty odor the acrylic substance emits during application. Some studies have reported that fumes emitting during application of these artificial nails could actually be hazardous to your health. That is precisely the reason why pregnant women are strongly advised against acrylic nail enhancement treatments.
Sometimes the very fact that these nails are durable can work like a drawback, as the nail is prone to chipping and cracking due to their inflexibility and can cost a lot in expert repair. These nails also require regular shaping and filing to look great, which can drive up maintenance costs. As your natural nails grow, a gap will form between the artificial nail and your skin. You have to get this gap filled in regularly, which adds to the maintenance costs
Removing your acrylic nails can prove to be a challenge, too. Upon removal, your natural nails are very thin and weak. It will take a lot time for them to grow out and feel healthy again.
Gel Nails: The Basics
As the name suggests, these are made of a gel-like formula, and are a more flexible option for women looking for artificial nail enhancements. What makes these nails one of the hottest current trends is the fact that these are thinner and more natural looking, while also being more flexible to work with. To get these, two or three layers of a gel nail polish is applied, with each layer being cured perfectly using a special UV lamp for the drying process. Even though there is a limited range of color options available in the special gel formula, they are still giving acrylic nails some serious competition.
The process of getting gel nails does not take much time and is an odorless process. They are touted as being very safe and pregnant women can have these nail enhancements done, too. They cause less damage to the natural nail bed, though there is a risk if the gel is scraped before is sets completely. The result is often a more realistic looking nail that is flexible, meaning it does not crack easily like the harder acrylic nails. They are also less likely to get damaged and require lesser shaping and filing. While acrylic nails come with a matte finish, gel based nails have a glossier finish. They give the nails a look that is sophisticated and quite natural, and while they cost more, they also last longer.
If the pros of gel nails have you all excited to give this trend a try, it makes sense to also acknowledge the fact that these are not without fault. To begin with, these are more expensive compared to acrylic nails and it is often harder to find a salon that offers this treatment. While the trend is picking up, it could be a while until they become more common. A more serious concern is the fact that the curing process exposes you to UV dryers, which can be damaging to the skin and can potentially increase your risk of skin cancer. Though most salons offering gel enhancements for the nails are taking serious precautions to limit exposure, the risk factor cannot be negated.
Additionally, these nails are less durable and while they do not crack or chip, they do shatter with wear and tear and often cannot be repaired, but have to be replaced entirely.
While acrylic nails are cheaper, gel nails work better in the longer run. They might be more expensive, but they are less damaging to your natural nail bed, which is their biggest draw. Also, since most of us are always pressed for time, having artificial nails that get fixed quickly and do not subject you to nasty smells and hazardous fumes is definitely worth paying a little bit extra for. Since they tend to last longer due to their flexibility, it is money well spent if you put in just a little effort to care for them right.