8 Different Types of Manicure Nails Salons Offer
Your perfect manicure depends on your lifestyle and personal tastes; therefore, take time to consider all available options before making a decision.
Acrylic nails use a combination of liquid monomer and powder polymer that hardens to add strength, length and thickness to natural nails. They’re often combined with gel polish for full coverage manicures which may cost $50 or more.
Acrylic plastic (known as PMMA) is a thermoplastic, meaning that when heated it softens easily for molding into different shapes. Once cool down it retains its form and can be machined, drilled or sawed without losing its form.
Though acrylic nails may be beneficial for women looking to look and feel their best, there are certain risks involved with getting them applied correctly and maintained over time. It is essential that any application and maintenance efforts take place correctly to avoid disappointment in results and potentially long-term health concerns.
Morgan Dixon of Lab & Lounge warns that improper nail filing techniques can have lasting adverse effects on natural nails. Furthermore, it’s essential to protect them from dust and other environmental influences in order to preserve the beauty of natural nails for longer.
Polygel has transformed the nail industry with its hybrid formulation combining acrylic and gel properties, proving durable, long-term wearability, flexibility and reduced damage to natural nails when applied and removed properly, according to Kandalec.
This toothpaste-like product comes in a tube and has an easy putty-like consistency that’s great for beginner nail technicians to apply and shape into desired designs on natural nails and create custom shapes with. Plus, its liquid/powder ratio doesn’t need to be calculated individually!
Your nail technician will then apply base coat and top coat, before sculpting a blob of polygel in the middle of each nail to sculpt to desired length and shape. They then use an LED lamp to set it before applying another top coat and buffing until your nails look glossy, according to her. Polygel offers many advantages over traditional acrylics including low odor emissions as well as being safe for those with sensitive skin.
Soft gels (Shellac, Gelish) are brush on/soak off types of nail polish that cure using LED or UV lights before being removed using pure acetone for removal. Soft gels offer minimal strength to short to mid-length natural nails and can even be sculpted and shaped artificially lengthen them.
Structured gel is a product composed of monomers and oligomers mixed together with photo initiators that enable it to cure under LED or UV lighting, according to Streets. These ingredients help make nail structures more durable while supporting natural nail plates.
Structured gel manicures are an increasingly popular choice among those seeking long-lasting, beautiful manicures that won’t damage their nails over time, according to Streets. Not only are structured gel manicures visually stunning and long lasting; their additional support helps encourage nail growth as well. If properly applied and cured, structured gel manicures can last for three weeks with no damage being sustained by the natural nails.
Hard gel manicures – also known as builder gel – offer the next level up from regular polish manicures, providing stronger extensions than their counterpart. Even shorter nails can become pinnable talons with hard gel’s durable formula.
Hard gel has the advantage of not discoloring over time like acrylic does and provides exceptional adhesion with natural nails, making sculpting any shape easy while hiding lift lines and filling in cuticle cracks for a shiny effect.
Hard gel may be less likely to crack than acrylic, but it still needs to be hydrated regularly by using petroleum jelly or another similar moisturizing product several times daily for maximum effectiveness.
Hard gel provides another benefit of lasting up to one month before needing fill-in services are necessary. As with soft gel, however, regular appointments with your manicurist for touch-ups every two or three weeks is recommended for optimal performance.