Acrylic Nails vs Gel

Acrylic vs Gel… which one?

First, lets start with the basics. Acrylic is a polymer powder combined with a monomer liquid to create a bond against your natural nail bed to either extend or build a hard plastic on top of your nail. Typically this method of nails are associated with a distinct smell. Gel nails are a type of method that some say aren’t as durable as acrylic however tend to be more natural looking. After gel is applied to the nail it must be cured using a UV light. Gel has gel polish or hard gel. Gel polish could go directly over the nail similar to nail polish or on top of an extension of the nail, where as hard gel can build (create the extension of the nail) and also be used as a color selection for on top.

Pros for Acrylic:

  1. EXTREMELY durable
  2. You can manipulate the product into different designs and shapes
  3. Not as costly as gel product
  4. All acrylic can be soaked off vs file

Cons for Acrylic:

  1. It discolors – not only to certain products but just over time
  2. Its very damaging to the nail bed and can create a breeding ground for bacteria
  3. Strong fumes and can be hazardous over time and for pregnant woman
  4. Not as glossy looking as gel nails

Pros for Gel:

  1. Great for a natural look
  2. Extremely shiny and glossy
  3. Odorless!
  4. Not as harsh on the nail bed while on

Cons for Gel:

  1. Not as durable – unless working with hard gel
  2.  In most instances needs to be filed off unless its specially a soak off gel
  3. Absolutely needs a UV light to cure (which can be pretty pricy if your trying to do it from home)
  4. More costly than acrylic


So, in the end it really just depends on your preference! More higher end salon these days are preferring gel just because most states require you have specific ventilation for acrylic nails.

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