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What is the Difference Between Gel, Acrylic, and Shellac Nails? 

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When you go to the nail salon, there are a dizzying array of choices. However, one of the first decisions to make is what kind of manicure you want. The main reason that people choose to use anything other than their natural nail is because the manicure can last much longer with a fake or synthetic nail. It is not always easy to know the differences between gel, acrylic, and shellac nails. This article will prepare you with a summary of each, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they differ from each other.

Gel Nails

gel nails

Gel nails are fake nails applied with base and top coats and then a gel layer in the middle. People choose to get gel nails because they are more resistant to damage and can hold polish longer than regular nails. Other benefits of gel nails include a medium-length wear period, a more giving surface than acrylic nails, and less time to apply the nails. Disadvantages include being a higher price than other fake nails, being difficult to fix at home if they break, and long-term nail damage.

Acrylic Nails

acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are also fake nails. They make your nail as long as you want it to be and hide inconsistencies or nails that easily break. Acrylic nails are made of polymers that create a hard bond between the air and your natural nail. The acrylic nail must be painted after it is applied to the nail. Some key benefits of acrylic nails are that they are hard, last for a long time, are easy to take off, and easy to repair. The disadvantage are that they significantly weaken and ruin the natural nail bed and that there are chemicals involved when they are attached to the nail bed.

Shellac Nails

shellac nails

A shellac nail has gel in it, so many people get confused and think that it is, in fact, a gel. However, it is actually a composite of gel and nail polish. It was created and patented because of its composition. Shellac can be applied directly to nails and has a much faster drying time. Shellac is less damaging to the underlying nail then either gel or acrylic. Because it has less layers then other synthetic nails, it is more flexible. It lasts for around 14 days, and perhaps the biggest benefit is that it does not ruin the underlying nail bed at all. Some downsides to consider with shellac is that it is not useful for lengthening your nails and because it is proprietary it is not something that can be bought at home.

Which Should You Choose

The type of nail you choose at the nail salon will depend partially on your preferences and partially on your fingernails. If you want a longer lasting, less expensive option but one that definitely weakens the underlying nail bed then acrylic is a good choose. If you want a manicured look with a choice that is less damaging then gel nails are for you. Finally, if you want a product that does not actually weaken the underlying nail then shellac is ideal. For shellac nails, your underlying nail bed must be healthy.

Now you have been equipped with some more meaning behind words you have probably hear before. The choice is totally up to you between if you get any of these manicures, or if you just roll with your own nails!

Lady Rebecca

Lady Rebecca is a lover of fashion and beauty. She doesn't claim to be the most fashionable girl in the world and sometimes wears odd looking clothes. I wear my sunglasses at the slightest hint of sun and enjoy cocktails with friends!

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