Our focus in this article is to discuss the differences between gel nails and acrylic nails as well as the benefits of each.
Not everyone has the patience to sit and use nail polish every morning (or evening) and get their nails perfect for the day ahead. This is why there are a lot of people who look into fake nails although, after some quick research, they find that there are different types of fake nails and in this case, we are referring to acrylic nails and gel nails. While they look very similar, they are two very different types of fake nail.
Acrylic nails are one of the most common, not to mention one of the oldest, types of fake nails. These nails are a combination of liquid monomer and powder polymer which after being applied to your nails, will add an extra protective layer.
After the acrylic has been applied it will quickly air dry and can make applying nail polish a lot easier.
How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?
Acrylic nails last a lot longer than gel nails, considering that gel nails last about 2 weeks. That being said, it’s recommended that you have a standing appointment at your salon once a week to have them maintained for you – we’ll discuss this later on.
Ultimately, acrylic nails will last as long as you went them to and if you take care of them and maintain them properly, you could have them for several years without any problems.
Pros and Cons of Acrylic Nails
- Acrylic nails cost less than gel nails, although you have to pay for regular maintenance.
- If an acrylic nail is damaged then you don’t have to visit a salon to have it fixed.
- Acrylic nails last a lot longer than gel nails.
- You can get rid of acrylic nails at home without visiting a salon for professional removal.
- Acrylic nails are durable and promote nail strength.
- Depending on the quality of the acrylic substance that is used, acrylic nails look faker than gel nails.
- The chemicals that are used can be harmful if the fumes inhaled.
- Acrylic nails require frequent maintenance and upkeep.
Maintaining Acrylic Nails
How your acrylic nails are maintained varies between each person. Some people will require their nails to be touched up once a week while others can get away with having them touched up once a month – it depends on factors such as how well you look after them, whether or not you use your hands a lot at work, and the quality of the acrylic that was used.
You’ll notice that if you do a lot of manual labour throughout the day then you’ll be visiting the salon regularly, whereas if you are retired or your job doesn’t entail using your hands that much then you won’t be visiting too often.
Acrylic Nail Repair
One of the benefits of having acrylic nails is that if you damage them or you change your mind and want to get rid of them, you can take care of them from home without having to pay for a professional to take care of them for you.
You can easily find an acrylic nail repair kit from any cosmetics store although if you follow the salon’s guidance and have them maintained, no repairs should be necessary.
Gel nails are similar to acrylic nails with the exception that they look a lot more natural. Gel nails, as their name implies, are made up of several carefully applied layers of gel. After the gel has been applied, the layers are bonded together using UV light and afterwards, your nail will be a lot stronger.
How Long Do Gel Nails Last?
One of the differences between acrylic nails and gel nails is that gel nails only last a couple of weeks, possibly longer. To add to that, there are some gel nails which will dissolve when they are soaked in acetone after about 2 weeks, while other gel nails must be filed off by a salon.
Pros and Cons of Gel Nails
- There is no damage inflicted on the natural layers of your nail as the methods used to apply gel nails are not intrusive.
- Gel nails are a lot more flexible than acrylic nails.
- Given how there are less intense chemicals used with gel nails, there is no unpleasant odour given off.
- Studies have shown that in comparison to acrylic nails, gel nails are environmentally friendly.
- Unlike acrylic nails, no maintenance is required.
- Gel nails are not as durable as acrylic nails.
- If you damage your gel nails then you aren’t able to fix it at home and have to contact a professional.
- Certain gel nails have to be filed to be removed.
Maintaining Gel Nails
Fortunately, after you’ve had gel nails applied there is no need for you to maintain them given their short lifespan. This is one of the benefits that there are to gel nails in comparison to acrylic nails as no regular touch ups are required.
Gel Nail Repair
If you break a gel nail then your only choice is to contact a professional at your salon. There’s no way for you to fix it at home and if you do, you’ll most likely make it worse. Fortunately, there’s less of a chance of a broken gel nail damaging the outer protective layer of your nails.
Choosing Between Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails
Now that you’ve learned about both gel nails and acrylic nails, take into consideration all of the pros and cons before deciding which is best for you. If you’re still struggling to decide then below are some of the factors that you should take into consideration.
Do you have time to maintain your nails?
If you don’t have a lot of free time to keep up with maintaining your nails and visiting a salon frequently, your best choice would be gel nails. Choosing acrylic nails requires a lot of maintenance and if you don’t have the time, they’ll deteriorate within a few months.
Does your job consist of a lot of manual labour?
When doing manual labour a lot, there is a greater chance of your nails breaking and so you want to consider the stronger fake nails option. In this case, we would have to recommend gel nails.
To add to this, if you have an active lifestyle or you are frequently washing your hands, gel nails are your best choice. This is because if you have acrylic nails, constant exposure to liquids will cause the acrylic to slowly detach from your natural nail.
Do you want them to look real?
For those whose main priority is making their nails look real, your best choice is to have gel nails as they look more realistic than acrylic nails.