ACRYLIC VS HARD GEL NAILS

We get asked a lot what the difference is between acrylic and hard gel nails. Once applied to the nail, filed and shaped, it is very difficult to visibly tell the difference between the two, but there are some slight variations.  Hopefully this will assist you with understanding the differences. Note, all gel enhancements that are mentioned below, refer to hard gel which is sculpted in a similar way to acrylic.

To ensure that your gel or acrylic manicure lasts, always use rubber gloves when you wash dishes or do any housework or cleaning that requires you to immerse your nails in water. This will help to protect the nail enhancements and prevent any water damage. See our home care information 

To get the most out of your manicure, you need to take care of it on a daily basis. Massage cuticle oil onto your nails and cuticles twice a day to ensure that your nails are well nourished, moisturised and hydrated in the correct manner. This will also help maintain your manicure as well as condition your natural nails underneath the enhancements.

Avoid picking at your nail polish or peeling off your gel or acrylic enhancements, as this will lead to damage of your natural nails and may result in you peeling off layers of nail with the polish or enhancement. If this happens your nails will become thin and soft and will be prone to tearing and breaking.

If your gel or acrylic nails do begin to lift at all, get them seen to by a professional nail technician as soon as possible. When enhancements begin to lift, germs and bacteria can get under the enhancements and this can lead to nail infections.

Always have a professional remove your gel or acrylic enhancements to prevent doing any damage to your natural nails. If gel and acrylic enhancements are applied and removed correctly, there should be no damage to your natural nails.

ISSUE

APPLICATION

SMELL

THICKNESS

STRENGTH

FLEXIBILITY

CURING TIME

FINISH

LOOK

IMMERSION IN WATER

DURABILITY

REMOVAL

IMPACT ON NATURAL NAIL

GEL ENHANCEMENT

Nail Art: varies depending on art applied. 

French tip: same as acrylic

Odourless

Worn slightly thicker than acrylic

Similar to acrylic but not as hard

More than acrylic, less than natural nails

Cures under UV light or LED lamp. Less curing time than acrylic: 2 mins per coat for UV lamp and 30 secs per coat for LED lamp

Glossy

Looks more natural

Better than acrylic, although prolonged exposure to water can result in lifting or water being trapped under enhancement

2 weeks or longer. Backfill and maintenance will be necessary after 2 weeks

Filed and buffed off

Same as acrylic. If removed properly, it will not damage natural nails

ACRYLIC ENHANCEMENT

Nail Art: varies depending on art applied. 

French tip: same as gel

Some fumes or smell

Worn slightly thinner than a gel

Strong and hard

Hard and robust

Cures when exposed to air

Longer than gel (approx. 15 mins)

Less glossy than gel

Looks less natural than gel

Can be affected and start to lift. Prolonged exposure to water can result in lifting and water being trapped between nail and enhancement

2 weeks or longer. Backfill and maintenance will be necessary after 2 weeks

Soaked off

Same as gel. If removed properly, it will not damage natural nails

Hand on hand with nice manicure. Shellac

SALON HOURS

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00am - 8:00pm

Wednesday: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm

Friday: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Sunday: Closed

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Suite 5, La Cova Hair Design

190 Fisher Parade

Farm Cove

Auckland 2012

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