Gel nails are amazing, they have a ton of advantages but they also have a few drawbacks. So they are not for everyone.
Now in this article, I am going to highlight the benefits of gel nails and the drawbacks to help you decide if they are right for you.
Types of Gel Nails
When people refer to gel nails they are usually referring to either:
- Gel Polish – these are polishes that need a UV lamp to cure and harden.
- Gel Extension – is an alternative to acrylic nails and is used to build nail extensions to make your nails longer.
Now, this article will be divided into two parts; in the first part, we will share with you the benefits and drawbacks of a gel polish manicure.
And in the second part, we will discuss the pros and cons of gel nail extensions. Or you can click here to read Gel Vs Acrylic where I also cover in-depth the pros and cons of Gel Extensions.
Benefits of Gel Polish Manicures
Gel polish manicures are the most common type of gel manicures and are usually what people mean when they refer to gel nails.
They are basically a manicure that uses gel polish instead of regular nail polishes. The benefits of them are:
1- Looks Amazing
Gel nail polishes give you an amazing finish, much better than regular nail polishes.
They tend to be more pigmented. So they require fewer coats to create a solid color, though this will vary with the brand that you use.
2- Long-lasting & Very Durable
Now the main advantage that gel polishes have is that they last much longer when compared to regular nail polishes.
Gel Polishes can last for 2-3 weeks once applied and cared for correctly. Whilst regular nail polishes usually just go for 5-7 days before starting to peel and fade.
Gel manicures are also much more durable than manicures made from regular nail polishes. Gel nails are less like to peel, lift, or chip. And they are better suited if your nails are exposed to harsh environments such as heat and strong chemicals.
You can make your regular nail polish last a lot stronger by applying a UV gel top coat over them – click here to learn more.
3- Faster Application
Gel Polishes use a UV-Led Lamp to cure and harden rather than air-drying like regular nail polishes.
Gel polishes cure within 30-60 seconds. Whilst regular nail polishes take 10-14 minutes, depending on the brand, to dry.
This allows gel polishes to be applied much faster than regular nail polishes.
You can check out the video below to see how you can apply gel polishes at Home.
How to Apply Gel Polishes
Recommended Gel Products
4- Easier to Fix Mistakes
Gel polishes only harden when they are exposed to a UV lamp and would stay liquid until then.
So if you are making nail art or doing basic designing and you make a mistake. You can easily wipe away the gel polish and start over again once you have not cured it yet.
Whilst with regular nail polish you might need to use acetone to fix your mistakes.
Related Articles: How long do Manicures Really take & What to Expect
Disadvantages Of Gel Polish
1- Harder to Remove
Now because gel polishes are so durable and long-lasting also makes them more difficult to remove when compared to regular nail polishes.
Removing gel polishes takes longer and most salons would soak your nails in pure acetone which is the fastest method
But I have a great article where I guide you through How you can remove gel polishes without acetone, click here to check it out.
2- Harsher on Your Nails
Gel polishes are more likely to damage your natural nails. This is because they are more tedious and difficult to remove and thus mistakes are more possible.
Most salons would soak your nails in pure acetone. And some salons might even use an electric nail file to speed up the removal process.
Both acetone and an electric nail file can potentially damage your natural nails especially if used incorrectly.
3- More Costly
Gel Polishes will cost more than regular nail polishes both at a salon and when buying them to DIY at home. And in some cases, you might actually have to pay to remove them.
But Gel Polishes will give you better value since they are more long-lasting. So you can end up saving money and time with gel polishes once you keep them on for atleast the full 2 weeks.
I have an entire article that will guide you through what you can expect to pay for gel manicures. You can click here to read it – How much does gel nails cost & How much to remove Them.
4- Exposure to UV Light
Gel Polishes will require you to have your hands under a UV-led Lamp. So if you are trying to avoid too much exposure to UV radiation, then you might want to avoid gel nails. Citation.
Or at least take some precautions like applying sunscreen on your hands and fingers or wearing manicure gloves. You can click here to learn more about manicure gloves.
Or check out the 6 Ways to Protect your Hands from UV Lamps- Safer Gel Manicures
5- Less Variety of Colors to Choose From
Gel polishes don’t have so many shades of color to choose from when compared to regular nail polishes.
This is because regular nail polishes have been around a lot longer and is more popular.
Related Articles: Dip Powder Vs Gel – Which One is Right For You
Benefits of Gel Extension
Gel Extensions are used to extend the length of your nails. They are used as an alternative to acrylic nails.
The benefits of gel extension are:
- Naturally glossy.
- Tend to be less damaging to your nails compared to acrylic
- Lighter and feels more natural
Disadvantages of Gel Extension
The disadvantages of gel extensions are:
- Not as durable and long-lasting like acrylic
- Most Costly
- Requires exposure to UV light
We cover the pros and cons of Gel extensions more in detail in my article Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails you can click here to read it.