Acrylics are the oldest type of nail extension and have been favoured due to their durability. The acrylic is a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which when combined form a hard protective layer that is sculpted over the natural nail or tip. When the process is complete the acrylic becomes a fantastic base for applying a polish.
- Very strong and durable
- Great for adding length to short nails
- Can sometimes cause damage to the nail bed, and leave the natural nail weak and brittle
- Uses chemicals so pregnant women are advised to avoid this treatment
Gel is a special mixture applied either on top of the natural nail or artificial nail extension. If applied to the natural nail it allows the natural nail to strengthen and grow below the layer of gel. The gel is applied in layers and built up, with it cured in-between each layer using a UV light so that when finished the gel nail is hard but still flexible. Gel nails have a natural glossy finish which dry instantly and are chip resistant.
- No damage to the natural nail and promotes natural growth and strengthening whilst protecting the natural nail
- Gel is odourless, unlike acrylic
- Gel is considered to be more environmentally friendly
- Some clients may find gel nails are less durable than acrylic nails
- Gel nails have to be cured under a UV light