Both Polygel and Gel X nails can easily be used to DIY nail extensions at home. They were designed to be easy and quick to apply especially for beginners without much experience with nail products.
But which one will last longer, be easier to apply, and be safer for your nails?
I have been using both Polygel Nails and Gel X nails for many years now and have spoken to a lot of people who have used both and this is what I have found.
Differences Between Polygel & Gel X Nails
Gel X nails are premade full-covered gel tips that are glued onto your nails with a UV-cured gel. Gel X nails are similar to press on nails except they are made of clear gel so they can be glued onto your nails with UV gel.
Whilst, Polygel is a very thick gel that is used to build out the nails and then cured and hardened with a UV nail lamp. Polygel is thicker than conventional builder gel and has a consistency more similar to acrylic.
Both Polygel and Gel X nails are classified as a form of Gel Manicure this is because they both require a UV nail lamp to cure and set.
I highly recommend checking out my article on the Pros, Cons & Side Effects of Gel X – Can it Damage Nails
Comparing Polygel to Gel X
- Polygel is more durable and long-lasting
- Gel X nails are easier to apply, especially for beginners
- Polygel tends to look and feel better
- Gel X nails are easier to remove
- Gel X nails are safer for your nails be less damaging
- Both Polygel and Gel X come with the risks of exposing your fingers and hands to strong UV light.
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1- Polygel is more durable & long-lasting
This will vary greatly depending on the brand that you use but from my experience, Polygel nails are more durable and will last longer when compared to Gel X nails.
I have noticed the biggest issue with Gel X nails compared to other types of extensions is that they are more prone to lifting especially if you don’t apply enough gel to adhere them onto the nails.
Now both Gel X nails and Polygel nails once applied correctly can give you 4 weeks of wear easily but this will vary based on the brand that you use, your lifestyle, and how well you take care of them.
To make your Gel X nails last longer, check out my 9 Tips to Make Gel X Nails Last Longer & Prevent Lifting
You can click here to read my tips on How to Make Polygel Nails Last Longer.
2- Gel X Nails are Easier to Apply
Gel X nails are way easier to apply when compared to Polygel especially if you are a beginner. This is because Gel X nails don’t require you to actually build or make the nails since they are premade.
All you need to do is apply the gel glue, then apply the Gel X nails and then cure.
The biggest hassle with Gel X nails is picking out the right size and you might have to do some amount of filing to get it to fit right.
Polygel nails on the other hand will require you to have to actually make or build out the nails which for most beginners will take a while to master, When I first tried Polygel I found it easy to use but I have years of experience with these kinds of products.
Now because of its thick consistency, Polygel, from my experience, is easier to work with when compared to other builder and hard gels. You can click here to see the different ways to apply Polygel Nails.
Video of How to apply Gel X Nails
3- Polygel Looks Better & Feels More Natural
In my opinion, once applied correctly Polygel nails will have a more natural and light feeling when compared to Gel X Nails. I think this comes from the fact that Polygel is built with your nails giving it a more natural feel.
One of the drawbacks of Gel X nails is that they only come in transparent or clear and are not available in other colors. So they cannot be used by themselves for a colored manicure and will need to be used with gel polish.
Whilst Polygel comes in different colors and is also available in transparent, this allows Polygel by itself to create brilliant manicures, although you can use polygel with other nail polishes.
4- Gel X Nails are Easier to Remove
Gel X Nails tend to be easier to remove when compared to Polygel. From my experience, Gel X requires less soaking in acetone to come off.
Though this varies with the brand, some Polygel nails come off very easily whilst others require a lot of effort.
Gel X nails are soak-off meaning you can remove them with acetone and some brands of Polygel are also soak-off but you need to read instructions from the brand to ensure that it is.
You can click here to read my article on the 3 Ways How to Safely Remove Gel X Nails at Home
And you can click here to check out 3 Quick & Easy Ways How to Remove Polygel Nails at Home
5- Gel X Nails tend to be Safer for Your Nails
Most damages to your nails occur due to improper application or removal. And because Gel X nails are easier to remove means that there is a smaller chance of your natural nails getting damaged when compared to Polygel.
It’s important to note that both Polygel and Gel X nails can be completely safe for your natural nails once they have been applied and removed correctly.
I have been working with both Polygel and Gel X for many years now and have yet to have any nail damage occur.
6- Health Risks
Both Polygel and Gel X nails come with the risks of overexposure to strong UV light during the curing process.
Several studies have shown that strong UV light like those from nail lamps can potentially cause skin ailments like cancer. Thankfully you can easily protect your skin by applying sunscreen on your hands and fingers or by wearing manicure gloves.
I always wear my manicure gloves before doing any gel manicures and I recommend that you do the same. You can click here to learn more about manicure gloves.
And here for my Tips on How to Protect Your Hands from Nail Lamps.