Difference between gel, acrylic, poly gel
(Photo : Pexels/ cottonbro studio)

Nail salons nowadays offer many types of manicures, allowing them to cater to any preference and achieve every customer's nail goal.

Among these manicure options are acrylic, gel, and polygel, which last longer than regular lacquer. They are ideal for busy individuals who want long-lasting results that look good for weeks without chipping or peeling.

If you can't decide which one to get, let's explore each type so you can find out which one works best for you.

Acrylic Nails

The first manicure type is acrylic, in which a paste formed by combining a monomer liquid and polymer powder is applied on the natural nails or over a form. Once applied, the paste is sculpted into the desired shape. It is left to harden before being filed into the length and appearance you prefer.

Acrylic nails are stronger and more durable than gel manicures as well as suitable for those who want instant length. The durability of acrylics depends on various factors, including how you use your hands. But in most cases, they tend to last six to eight weeks, requiring a fill-in every two weeks.

It should be noted that some who frequently get and remove acrylics found their nails becoming thinner and weaker over time. The best thing to do to maintain nail strength is to apply nail oil once or twice a week to replenish your nails in between salon appointments.

Gel Nails

Unlike acrylics, gels are applied directly to natural nails rather than extend them. Gel nail polish promises long-lasting shine and ensures you have a freshly manicured look for weeks.

While acrylics are cured by air, gel polish is cured under a UV light, cutting down drying time for your nails. Once you're done curing your gel nails, you will have a durable manicure that won't chip right away and has a sheen to it.

Another difference between gel and acrylic is that the former lasts around two to three weeks before it starts to grow out, and you need to get them retouched.

To remove gel, it has to be done in the nail salon by a professional, as getting the polish off involves the use of acetone and aluminum foil.

Polygel Nails

Polygel is a hybrid of gel and acrylic. It can be used to create a hard layer over your natural nails or an extension.

Polygel has a different texture compared to other techniques. It has a putty feel to it, staying in place wherever it is manipulated.

Just like gel manicures, polygel needs to be put under a UV light to cure it.

The best way to describe polygel is that it has the strength of acrylics but with a lighter feel to it. Polygel nails are also considered by experts to be stronger than gel manicures.

Another benefit of polygel is that unlike acrylics, it doesn't have a strong scent, providing a more pleasant experience.

Even though polygel kits are available for home use, having a professional do the manicure is recommended for optimal durability. Expect polygel nails to last three to four weeks.

To retouch polygel, you just need to get a fill-in at the salon, which will retouch the parts of the nails that have grown out.