Types of Gel Nail Extensions

Gel nail extensions are the perfect way to lengthen your natural nails without the harsh chemicals found in acrylics. They are easy to apply, can last as long as a gel manicure, and come in a variety of colors and shapes.

There are a few different types of gel extensions, so it’s important to know what you’re getting before booking an appointment. The best nail techs will be able to tell you all about them and help you decide which one is right for you.

Soft Gel Nail Extensions
The most popular type of gel nail extensions are soft gels. These are applied to the natural nail with builder gel or acetone and cured under a UV light. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from coffin nails to short squares to medium almond-shaped tips that can last about three weeks.

These are a lot easier to work with than acrylics, says Goldstein. They’re also less likely to damage your natural nails when removed. You can use foil and acetone to soak them off as needed, but the removal process should be quick and simple.

The gel used in this nail product is from Apres Nail, which is known for making strong, lightweight extensions. They’re cured under a UV light and are available in a range of shapes (coffin, stiletto, round, and square) as well as lengths that can be customized to your liking.

Another favorite brand of nail artists is Smith & Cult, which has a line of hard gels that are molded directly onto the nail with a specialized curing light. They’re a little stronger than soft gels but they still have their downsides: You have to wait for the curing time, and you can’t add nail art or color.

You can also add a base coat and top coat before curing the gels, but you should be careful not to overdo it since that will cause them to break down quicker. You should also be mindful of picking or peeling your gels, which can be damaging for your natural nails.

There’s also a new product on the market that takes all the benefits of both hard gels and acrylics: Acrygel, which is a combination of both. This product is thick and a bit like a varnish, but it can be applied in a thin layer and cured under a UV lamp for a stronger, more durable finish.

If you’re interested in trying out a gel nail extension, it’s best to find a nail tech that’s experienced in the application technique. They should be able to tell you what the process is like and explain how it differs from acrylics.

Kaddy suggests booking an appointment at a nail salon with a good reputation. She recommends getting referrals from friends and family and looking up their business profile on the Internet to see before-and-after photos of previous clients.

You should also ask about the gel removal process, as it can be more difficult to remove than acrylics. Some nail technicians will use a drill to remove the design, while others wrap each nail in tinfoil before using an orange stick or metal tool to break up the gel and scrape off any excess.

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