Gel nail polish works in the same way as regular nail polish – the only difference is the long lasting shine and wear and tear. The polish is applied to the natural nail and then placed under a lamp (UV or LED) to cure it and make it harder than normal. This curing effect is what gives the chip-free finish which is guaranteed for up to two weeks – yet the manicure doesn’t look fake.
The other popular manicure option, acrylic nails, involves more chemicals and requires a very strong adhesive to ensure the fake nails stay in place. If an acrylic nail rips off it can cause irreparable damage to the natural nail underneath. This is why many women who don’t require a longer length, opt for gel manicures.
The removal process
Gel nail polish itself should not cause any damage to the natural nail – however great care needs to be taken in the removal process. Some people note that the nail seems to be softer and break more easily after a few weeks of gel polish – but every client is different, and when removed correctly gel polish should not cause any damage. Picking away the polish or biting the nails can have a damaging effect, so it’s important for clients to book a soak-off when they notice the gel polish starting to chip.
The way in which gel nail polish is removed can sometimes have a temporary effect on the natural nail, especially if the manufacturer’s instructions are not followed. Trained technicians should always use acetone to soften the gel polish before gently scraping it off – if the wrong tools are used or someone is too vigorous in removing the polish, then parts of the nail may become damaged.
If professional brands are used and gel manicures are removed properly by a trained professional, clients rarely complain of damaged nails.
If brands are mixed, or an unknown brand of gel polish is used on the nail, then we can’t guarantee no damage will be caused. Cheaper gel products are often cheaper for a reason and may contain ingredients which are unkind to the nail. They may also be more difficult to remove which can further damage nails – so always make sure you’re using a professional gel polish and follow their application and removal instructions.