Gel extensions are one of the most popular and well-liked methods for achieving longer and stronger nails in the present day. Despite the fact that every length and shape gives us a plethora of options for our nails, sometimes the goal is simply to add long, durable tips to the ends of each nail or to provide more space for nail art and polish in general. This is when they become useful.
This nail technique may be the answer to our beauty-inspired prayers, but it is not without its own advantages and disadvantages. It may last up to four weeks, just like acrylic nails (one of the first salon-approved ways to extend your natural nails), but both have a reputation for being damaging. You need to know about nail extensions before you go deep into it. Here you will find a comprehensive guide by experts who have reveled every aspect of gel nail extensions, how to apply them and in what ways they are dissimilar from acrylic nails. Let’s get started!
What Are Gel Extensions for Nails?
Gel extensions are a type of cosmetic nail enhancement that can be applied to natural nails or acrylic nails. They are typically made from a blend of polymers and monomers, and when cured under an LED light they form a hard, protective shell over the nails. Gel extensions can be used to lengthen and strengthen nails, as well as add color or design.
Top manicurists such as Davis and Seney utilize a more recent technique. Davis explains, “It is a fully formed soft gel nail tip that is adhered to the natural nail with gel.” They are available in various sizes and shapes, including stiletto, round, coffin, and square. As it requires no filling, it is even faster than the actual gel extension construction. Seney states, “I highly recommend the brands Kiara Sky Gelly Tips and Apres Gel X.”
The only requirement is that your nails cannot be completely bitten down to the quick. “For a gel extension, your nail must have some length, not a lot, but a little,” explains Davis. “If your nails are too short, the extension has nothing to adhere to.”
- Long and strong nails
- Very light nail tips
- A simpler and faster removal procedure
- More secure and healthy than acrylic nails
- Can weaken nails over time2
- Might not work well on nails that are too short
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How Do You Apply Gel Nail Extensions?
Prior to purchasing pre-shaped gel nail extensions or creating them, the nail technician must prepare the nails (file, clean, and buff nails). Then, the professional applies a form underneath the natural nail to create the length layer by layer with a gel builder, a gel primer, and a gel top coat, allowing them to dry under an LED or UV light.
If a pre-shaped kit such as Apres Gel X is utilized, Seney explains: “The second step is to apply a bonder (which dries your nails) and a primer (which makes your nails sticky) so that the gel can adhere to it.” All of these items are included in the kit. In third step, nails are coated with gel and let it dry under UV light for 1 minute at least.
After determining which size corresponds to the client’s natural nail, I apply gel to the interior of the gel extension and adhere it to the natural nail. Now is the time to press down and hold, then wait 60 seconds in the light.” Poof! The nails are ready for polish and nail art. What’s the Difference Between Gel and Acrylic Extensions?
Both gel and acrylic can be utilized to create nail extensions. Additionally, they have a similar appearance, although gel tips may feel lighter. It’s primarily about the nail’s structure, but the real distinction lies in the polymerization process, removal ease, and density. “Using gel is definitely a quicker process, it will not smell strong and will not be a problem to deal with filing or dust” explained Seney. In order to shape acrylic nails, you must combine a liquid called monomer with a powder (polymer).
Davis cautions that some salons have manicurists who misrepresent gel extensions as acrylic. “Gel comes in a pot and resembles honey in consistency; acrylic is a powder. Know the distinction, “She reveals.
Acrylics are typically harder than gel, resulting in less flexibility. They may also be more damaging to the nail, especially because removing them with acetone and buffing is more difficult. Over time, excessive buffing also causes nails to become thinner.
How long do gel extension nails last?
According to Davis, the duration of gel tip extensions is dependent on how you use your hands; for some individuals, they will last two weeks, while for others, they will last four to five. “I recommend getting a manicure every 12 to 16 days. After that point, you’ll experience natural growth “she says.
How Are Gel Nail Extensions Removed?
Davis states that they are only detrimental to nail health if they are improperly removed. “Aprés are soft gels, so they completely soak off like a regular gel manicure,” she explains, adding that vigorous buffing is unnecessary. Conversely, it is recommended by Davis to get extensions removed by the person who applied them so that they are aware of the specific type of gel and the likelihood of damage is reduced.
“To remove gel extensions, a nail technician will file down approximately 85 percent of the extension and soak the remaining gel in acetone for 15 minutes”
Are Gel Extensions for Nails Safe?
Gel extensions are safe when applied and removed properly. “They are considered a healthier alternative to acrylics due to the absence of powder and harsh chemicals such as methyl methacrylate and toluene,” says Seney. You must simply locate a reputable professional with positive testimonials.