A lot of ladies LOVE to get their nails done, but when heading to your favorite nail salon you face a lot of questions. What color do you want on your nails? How long, and what shape? And the biggest question that faces the woman is of course: do you want gel nails or acrylic nails? It’s certainly a tough decision if you don’t know the facts, so we’re here to help break down the pros and cons of gels and acrylics.
What’s the Major Difference in Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails?
There is one major difference that separates the two nail types: acrylic nails require a powder and liquid combination to form, becoming firm with the exposure to air. Gel nails on the other hand require UV light to harden and firm up and have a more natural appearance when complete. However, they are similar in terms of strength.
Pros to Acrylic Nails
–Strength. Acrylic nails are unbelievably strong, there is no doubt about that. If you care for your acrylic nails properly and don’t do any rough activities using your nails, they can last for weeks to months without problems.
–Easily Repairable. If by chance you break your acrylic nails at home, they can almost always be fixed right from the comfort of your home without needing another trip to the nail salon.
–Easy Removal. Removing your acrylic nails is incredibly simple: all your stylist needs to do is soak them and they will fall off, as opposed to needing to be filed down completely.
–Cheaper. Acrylic nails are the cheaper option when it comes to choosing whether you want acrylic or gel nails.
Cons of Acrylic Nails
-Less Natural. As opposed to the natural appeal of gel nails, acrylic nails appear more fake and give off the impression that they are not your real nails, but something you paid for at the nail parlor.
–Possible Nail Bed Damage. Acrylic nails are more prone to causing damage to the nail bed, which sets up the possibilities for fungus and other bacteria to start growing.
–Strong Chemicals. In order to apply acrylic nails, the nail artist will need to use a number of strong chemicals that give off heavy fumes. They are very unhealthy to the body when inhaled, which is why pregnant women are strongly advised NOT to engage in acrylics when going to the nail salon.
Pros of Gel Nails
–Natural Appearance. Gel nails are said to be the most natural looking ‘fake’ nails, with a glossy appearance that resembles your real nails.
–Dry Faster. If you’re the impatient type, you’re going to love this pro to gel nails: they dry much quicker than their acrylic counterpart. This is because gels require UV light instead of exposure to air to dry.
–No Harsh Chemicals or Fumes. This one doesn’t really need much explanation, right? But basically, gel nails do not require any of the harsh chemicals associated with acrylic nails, which means you won’t have to inhale any nasty fumes or chemicals that are bad for your body. Definitely the safer option, especially for pregnant women.
Cons of Gel Nails
–Not as Long-Lasting. Compared to acrylic nails, gel nails are not as durable and don’t tend to last as long as acrylics.
–Can’t Do at Home. Unless you have a UV light at home for drying, you can’t do your own gel nails like you can acrylics right from home.
–Not Fixable at Home. When gel nails break, they don’t just chip or crack like an acrylic nail. Acrylic nails are easily fixed at home, but gel nails on the other hand, tend to shatter and need professional help to fix.
–Must Be Filed Off. For the most part, gel nails have to be completely filed off, unlike acrylic nails which can be soaked off (although there are SOME gel nails that can be soaked).
–Cost More. Gel nails are somewhat of a new phenomenon and have a more natural appearance, so they tend to cost more.
So, Are Gels or Acrylics Better?
It really depends on the person. Both are strong and beautiful, but each have their own set of pros and cons. Review the lists and then decide which nails are right for you.
Do you prefer acrylic or gel nails?