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Hard Gel Vs Gel Polish: What Is The Difference?

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So you just had a manicure at the salon the other day but now you find yourself with chipped nail polish. Traditional nail polish simply doesn’t last that long. 

As an alternative, there are various products you can use such as acrylics, silk wraps, dip nails, and gel nails. Gel nails are great because they are durable and can outlast your regular nail polish

But gel nails come in different types. In this article, we will compare and contrast hard gel vs gel polish.

Do you know the difference? Which do you think you should use, and which is more suitable for you? We’ll help you figure that out below.


Choose Gel Nails!

How often do you plan to go to the salon for your manicure? It would be great if you could go there weekly to ensure that your nail polish always looks great. 

However, even if you can go back often, wouldn’t it be better if you don’t have to? What if there was a way to make sure that your beautiful manicure doesn’t only last for a couple of days but through an entire week or more?

That’s all possible with the new products for nails. One of the products that you can get for your nails to look great for a long time is gel nails. 

One of the main reasons why people choose to have gel nails is because it lasts longer than the traditional nail lacquer. Your beautiful gel nails can easily last for up to four weeks if you take care of them properly!

One of the main reasons why people choose to have gel nails is because it lasts longer than the traditional nail lacquer. 

Many love using gel nails because they help strengthen your nail while adding protection to them. Some people have weak nails and adding gel on top of them helps provide a protective layer over them. 

Lastly, gel nails come in a variety of colors and you can create a lot of different designs with them. Compared to regular nail polish, hard or soft gels are easier to create designs out of because they won’t dry unless you cure them under UV or LED light

That will give you ample time to create the design.

Once you’ve finalized your design, you can cure your nails under the UV lamp so they can harden and you can have your design. 


Hard Gel Vs Gel Polish: What’s The Difference?

Gel nails can come in two main forms, hard gels and gel polish (what many people call soft gels). Different salons may offer different products when you ask for gel nails. 

It is best to know exactly what they offer before you agree on getting them. Let’s differentiate the two so you can choose which is best to get. 

Most home users will use gel polishes, while if you’re headed to a salon, they may be more likely to use hard gel nails, aka builder gel nails.

Most home users will use gel polishes, while if you’re headed to a salon, they may be more likely to use hard gel nails, aka builder gel nails.

1. Hard Gel Nails

When we talk about gel nails, most people will commonly think about hard gel nails  . Gel nails are made from a material that is applied to your nails with a brush. 

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The consistency of the gel nails before it is cured could be described as somewhat semi-solid.

It isn’t a runny liquid but it can still be spread on the nails with a brush 

Depending on the length and style that you want, nail technicians can use the brush to shape the gel nails. What’s great about hard gels is that you can use them to extend the length of the nails, or it can be applied directly to the natural nail (known as a gel overlay). 

Once they cure through the use of a UV or LED lamp , they become hard and can look like real nails. If you are planning to extend the length of the nails, you’d need nail forms or nail extensions first. 

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Due to the hardness of the hard gels, they can certainly protect your nails from breaking and bending. 

Just take note that heat spikes can be felt when curing hard gel nails. When the UV light initiates the reaction, the curing process could produce heat, which could be felt on the surface of the nails. 

For some people, this feels like moderate heat that they can tolerate. But others might feel uncomfortable because of the heat spike. 

For some people, this feels like moderate heat that they can tolerate. But others might feel uncomfortable because of the heat spike. 

Due to the durability and thickness of the gel nails, you need to file them off to remove them. You may need to soak them in acetone to completely remove them.

It would be best to have the hard gel removed by a professional rather than try to pry them off on your own. One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to hard gel nails is removing them forcefully, resulting in damage to your natural nails. 

2. Soft Gel Or Gel Polish

Soft gels on the other hand are less durable than hard nails. Gel polish  comes in bottles similar to that traditional nail polish. You also apply them using a brush. 

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The main difference between gel polish and regular nail polish is that you have to cure the gel polish under UV light for it to cure and dry. If you don’t expose the gel polish under UV light, it won’t dry. 

The main difference between gel polish and regular nail polish is that you have to cure the gel polish under UV light for it to cure and dry.

Once the gel polish dries up, it will form a stronger layer on top of your natural nail. Compared to traditional nail polish, gel polish is more durable and will last for a longer time.

Curing gel nails can be a bit finicky, and some people will run into the issue of their gel polish not curing correctly. Sometimes the polish may be bad, and sometimes your polish may not be compatible with the nail lamp you’re using.

Additionally, some polishes will remain sticky after curing, and you need to wipe off the stickiness.

Gel polish could remain flawless for up to two weeks. 

As compared to hard gel nails, gel polish may not offer the same kind of protection because they are of a thinner layer. However, they are still more durable than regular nail polish. 

Gel polish is easier to remove than hard gel. You simply need to file off the topcoat first then soak it in acetone .

Alternatively, you may also soak cotton balls in acetone and place it on your gel-polished nails, then wrap them with tin foil. 

You can scrape off the remaining gel polish afterward. Don’t forget to moisturize your cuticle after because exposure to acetone can dry them up. 

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