It’s been a widely discussed and debated subject amongst the female community; Acrylic nails or Gel nails? Which one is better?
Acrylic nails are false nails that are made and shaped like a real nail, out of plastic. They are bonded to the natural nail usually with glue or a cohesive, to give the illusion that your nails are longer than they actually are. Gel nails are nail extensions made with gels that hardened around your nails. They are meant to fill in any broken areas in your nails, and to still look natural at the same time.
Pros of acrylic nails
- Acrylic nails help to cover and conceal damaged or short nails.
- Acrylic nails have been around for decades so they are trusted and well researched.
- They are relatively easy to remove yourself, with nail varnish remover.
- Acrylic nails prevent people continuing the bad habit of biting your nails as acrylics tend to be quite rigid.
- They are relatively easy to apply at home to yourself.
- Acrylics tend to last longer than gel, especially if applied properly.
Cons of acrylic nails
- Acrylic nails usually leave the natural nail underneath weak and brittle when they are taken off.
- Acrylic nails are usually mass produced so they feel less individual, unless they are customized, which then makes them tend to be more expensive.
- Some people are allergic to the chemicals in the plastic used to make the acrylic nails.
- Bacterial infections can develop in the layer between the natural nail and the acrylic.
- Acrylic nails tend to look ‘square’ and unnaturally shaped.
- The material used to make acrylics tend to be flammable therefore, people with acrylics are told to stay away from an open flame, hair straighteners and other heat products.
- Acrylic nails are very unreliable when it comes to how long they last.
- On average, the price of getting acrylic nails applied is somewhere between £20 – £35, and anyone offering less than that is usually bad quality. Even though this seems expensive, it can be considerably less expensive than gel nails.
- Acrylic nails are slow to dry, compared to gel nails.
Pros of gel nails
- Gel nails are a great alternative for people who are allergic to the chemicals in acrylics, as many people are.
- Gel nails, unlike acrylics, do not damage the natural nail when taken off.
- Gel nails tend to create a natural looking nail shape as they can be molded quite easily.
- Most people say that gel nails are less heavy than acrylics.
- Gel nails usually have a larger variety of nail colours and designs.
- Gel nails are easy to take off when they are soaked in acetone for 10-15 minutes.
- Gel nails can stay up to 3 weeks in a fresh condition.
- Gel nails dry immediately so as soon as you leave the nail salon, there is no risk of smudging.
- Gel nails tend to leave a glossier finish than acrylics.
- Gel nails can be applied without a base or primer.
- They tend to be more flexible than acrylic nails.
Cons of gel nails
- Gel nails are a relatively new thing; not many people are aware of them.
- Gel nails are much too complicated to apply to yourself so they have to be professional done.
- They are extremely time-consuming to get done, with people complaining about it taking up to 2 hours.
- On average, the price of getting gel nails is between £30 – £50, although it depends on where as most gel nail technicians are mobile and either come to your house or have you come to theirs.
- Gel nails are not as durable as acrylic nails, so they are not advised for someone who uses their hands a lot, perhaps in their job (e.g. type a lot or write a lot).
- They require frequent attention from a professional. Most people with gel nails go and get them redone every month.
- Gel nails need a UV or L.E.D light, which is why it is best they are done professionally.
- It’s extremely hard to remove the gel and that will probably take another trip to the nail salon.
As you can see, there are a lot of pros and cons to both acrylic and gel nails. If you have the time and money to spend on your nails, gel is definitely for you because they look much more attractive. But if you need nails that stay longer and are hard enough to deal with your everyday life, acrylics are the way. Personally, if I could afford to do gel nails every 3 weeks, I would so go for that, because they usually look amazing.
One cheaper alternative to gel and acrylic nails are nail wraps. They only overlay the nail so they are like nail polishes – just without all the nail painting and smudging. Nail wraps either stick on top of the natural nail, like a sticker, or melt unto the natural nail when heat is applied. They tend to be inexpensive (they are literally £1 a pack in Primark), and are looking to be the next big thing in nail art and design. Celebrities are really starting to acknowledge them, with people like Myleene Klass releasing nail wrap lines (which are a little bit more expensive, at £5.99 a pack).