Polygel Nails are one of my favorite types of manicures. This is because they allow you to easily and quickly build nail extensions without needing too much practice and effort like acrylic and gel.
But they are some common mistakes that many people, especially beginners, make that can lead them to break easily or lift prematurely.
That’s why in this article I am going to share with you the 6 main reasons that causes your Polygel Nails to break or lift. And importantly how you can fix and prevent this from occuring.
1- Polygel Was Not Cured Correctly
One of the main reasons why your polygel might be prone to lifting or breaking is due to it not being cured correctly.
This usually occurs when you don’t leave the Polygel under the nail lamp for long enough or the nail lamp is too weak or broken.
If you notice your polygel nails are soft and easy to change shape and break then it is highly likely that they were not cured correctly or sufficiently.
Related Article – 3 Easy Ways to Fill Polygel Nails at Home (w/Video)
How to Fix & Prevent
If your Polygel is soft and easy to break you can try to continue curing, to see if you can fix them but prevention is always better.
So to ensure that your polygel is cured correctly you should:
1- Ensure that you leave them under the nail lamp for as long as directed by the brand. Now each brand will be different so you need to read the instructions.
Also, you need to factor in the wattage of the nail lamp most brands will make their calculation for either a 36 or 48-watt UV-Led Nail Lamp. So if your nail lamp has a lower wattage you will need to leave your polygel under longer.
When in doubt it is always better to over-cure your polygel than under-curing them. Now if you are worried about UV light exposure click here to read 6 Ways to Protect Hands from UV Lamps
2- Cure Both Sides of the Polygel – When working with Polygel I always cure underneath my Polygel. To do so just turn your hands over and let the light from the lamp get to the underside of your polygel.
3- Invest in a Good Nail Lamp – I recommend using a 48-watt UV-Led nail lamp, these are affordable yet powerful enough to ensure your polygel is cured completely. Click here to see the price for one on Amazon.
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2- Nails Were Not Prepped Correctly Before the Application
If your nails were not prepped correctly before application means that the Polygel will not adhere well to the natural nails which can lead to lifting and chipping.
How to Prevent
To correctly prep your nails for Polygel you need to:
- Firstly push back your cuticles, you can use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles – this ensures that the Polygel bonds to your nail plate and not onto your cuticles. Polygel will last longer when it goes directly onto your nail plate and not on your cuticles.
- Next, use a medium grit nail file to gently buff your nails – this roughens up your nails allowing the polygel to grip onto your natural nails better.
- Finally, clean your nails with a cotton pad soaked in acetone or rubbing alcohol. This removes any leftover residue and allows the Polygel to bond with the nail plate.
3- Polygel Extensions were not Built Correctly
Polygel Nails like most types of extensions tend to be stronger when they are built out correctly.
One of the most important aspects when building nail extensions is to have a good apex. This makes them more structurally sound giving them strength and allowing them to last longer.
How to Prevent
To ensure your Polygel Nails are structurally sound you need to build them out correctly. You can click here to see the 4 different ways how to correctly apply and build out your Polygel nails.
One of the easiest ways to make your Polygel Extensions correctly with a nice apex is to use plastic dual forms.
You can check out the video below to see how to easily make polygel nails using plastic dual forms.
4- A Gel Base Coat & Top Coat Was Not Used
Using both a gel base coat and a gel top coat is essential to preventing your Polygel nails from lifting and breaking. This is because Polygel was designed to work with both a gel base and a top coat.
A Gel Base Coat creates a nice sticky layer for the Polygel to adhere to. This makes the Polygel hold onto the nail plate better and thus prevents it from coming off. Click here to learn more about Base Coats for Polygel Nails.
A Gel Top Coat creates a very hard and tough layer over your Polygel Nails. This hard layer protects your Polygel from being exposed to harsh situations and chemicals that can slowly damage them.
Related Article – Top Polygel Questions Answered & Mistakes to Avoid
How to Prevent & Fix
Always use a good quality gel base coat and gel top coat when working with Polygel.
If you forgot to apply the top coat you can just reapply a new layer onto your Polygel.
Also, if you notice your Polygel Nails becoming dull and looking a bit flaky you can reapply a coat of the Gel Top Coat to add some glossiness and reinforce the manicure to make it last longer.
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5- Polygel Nails Were Exposed to Harsh Situations
Polygel like all nail products will get damaged and worn out faster when exposed to harsh chemicals and situations.
Chemicals from cleaning products, detergents, painting, gardening, and heat like from cooking can take a toll on your Polygel nails leading them to become weaker and more prone to breaking.
Related Article – Polygel Overlay on Short Nails- How to Apply, Pros & Cons
How to Prevent
I recommend wearing gloves to protect your Polygel manicures when doing activities that may expose your Polygel to chemicals and heat.
You can wear gloves when; doing the dishes, cleaning, painting, and gardening all of which can expose your nails to chemicals that can wear away at your manicure.
6- Poor Quality Polygel Was Used
Not all brands of Polygel are created equal. Some brands are just lower quality and create extensions that are weaker and prone to breaking easily.
This is why you need to invest in good quality Polygel which will be tougher and more durable. I have an entire article where I review some of the best brands of Polygel that I have tried, click here to read it.