What Are Overlay Nails? Will They Be Your Next Choice at the Salon?

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What type of nails do you have done in the salon? There are so many methods it can be hard to keep track! Among the most popular are dip powder (SNS nails), acrylic nails, and gel nails.

Many people love getting nail extensions. They can have longer nails without actually having to grow their natural nails. With today’s nail products, that can be done and the results are durable too.

A new popular manicure method is overlay nails.

What are overlay nails, you might ask? Overlay nails could be hard gel or acrylic applied directly to your natural nails. They do not extend beyond your natural nail.

That’s just the basics. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about overlay nails!


What Are Overlay Nails And Why Should You Get Them?

When you go to a nail salon, it’s good to have the basics down. A certain level of understanding will help you get the results you want.

To clear out some of that confusion, we will discuss overlay nails. As we’ve mentioned, this is when either nail acrylic or gel nails are placed directly over your natural nails.

Acrylic nails and hard gel nails are used with nail tips or forms, too. However, the main difference is that overlays don’t go over beyond the length of the natural nails. There’s no extension or tip. You don’t have to use nail forms with them.

Overlays don’t go over beyond the length of the natural nails. There is no extension or tip.

Fast Application

One of the main reasons why people get overlays is because most people like to maintain the length of their nails. This is great if you want your nails done faster because it takes less time than getting nail extensions extension.

Long Lasting

Compared to regular nail polish, overlay nails last longer. They are more durable and they won’t chip or fade, unlike regular polishes.

Easily Shaped

Once overlays are applied to the nails, they can be buffed and shaped so they can look seamless over your natural nails. They are a great way to strengthen your weak or brittle nails too.

Easy to Design

Just like nail extensions, they come in different colors and can be made into various designs depending on what you like.

Types Of Overlay Nails

There are different types of overlay nails available. The types are dependent on the products used to create the overlay nails.

1. Acrylic Overlays

Acrylic nails are quite popular because of their durability. When you use acrylic nail products over your natural nails without extending their length, that’s called an acrylic overlay.

Acrylic nails  or acrylic extensions are applied in a similar way as acrylic overlays. Nail technicians use a specialized brush that is dipped in the liquid monomer.

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After that, it is dipped in the acrylic powder to form a bead that creates the acrylic overlay.

If you are going to extend the length of the nail, nail forms or nail tips are usually used or applied to the nails first. The acrylic nail extension is made over the nail forms or nail tips to extend the length of the nail.

2. Dip Powder Overlays

Dip powder nails can also be used as overlay nails. It is very easy to do and is quite durable too. Many people who choose to do their overlay nails at home tend to choose dip powder nail kits because of how easy it is to do.

Dip powder is usually used as an overlay instead of an extension. You just have to follow the steps on the kit .

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3. Gel Overlays

Overlay nails can be made of gel too. However, the type of gel nails used in this case is typically hard builder gels . There are gel polishes, but most do not consider this as a gel overlay.

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Many prefer to use gel overlays compared to acrylic overlays because they look more natural and contain fewer chemicals.

4. Polygel Overlays

Polygel is considered a gel nail product but it is actually a mixture of gel and acrylic together. Some people consider this a hybrid gel product.

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Compared to gel and acrylic overlays, many lean toward polygels because they are easier to apply. Additionally, they combine the benefits of both acrylic and gel nail products.

5. Silk Wraps

Silk wraps can also be used for overlay nails. It is one of the oldest ways to create overlay nails.

Some salons still offer this, but not all do because of how much time it takes. To do this, you use silk fabric or other thin fabrics as a substitute.

There are fiberglass and silk wraps  that are already pre-cut and contain an adhesive to make this an easier process.

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This type of overlay nail is easy to remove by simply using acetone-based nail polish removers.

Should You Get Overlay Nails? How Long Does It Last?

You should get overlay nails, and they’re particularly good if you tend to bite your short nails. This method can help you prevent biting them and grow them naturally. Overlays are durable and could be helpful in case your nails are weak or brittle.

However, you have to remember that there is still a risk of damaging your nails, especially if you don’t remove them properly.

If you want to remove your overlay nails, it is best to have them removed by a professional instead of forcing them on your own.

If you want to remove your overlay nails, it is best to have them removed by a professional instead of forcing them on your own.

Typically, overlay nails will last for about 2-4 weeks. Whether you have the gel overlays or the acrylic overlays, the time they last are similar.

The length of time it lasts will depend on how fast your nail grows. If the regrowth is already starting to show you might need to get an infill so that your nails will still look great.

Another factor that could affect how long it lasts is how you take care of your nails.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).