So you have made the decision to go to your local Nail Salon and want to try Gel Polish, but you have heard a lot of horror stories about how it makes your nails thin, brittle, weak, flaky and will ruin them really quickly, and guess what you’re paying for that to happen!!!

*Please rest assured that this is not the case and if it has happened to you please don’t be put off!!!*

Firstly What Is Gel Polish?

It is a gel liquid and comes in a bottle or pot and goes on in the same way that normal nail varnish does, however the bonus is it self levels – this means no brush strokes. Each layer of the product is cured under an LED lamp for 10, 30 or 60 seconds or under an ultraviolet lamp for 2 minutes. The layers are applied very thin, starting with the base and can be anything up to 5 coats of colour but is generally 2-3 and lastly a top coat that adds the shine. This top coat can have a tacky layer that has to removed with a Cleanser and then you’re good to go. The gel product is totally dry on leaving the salon – this means you can go straight to the gym or back to work with no worries of chipping or smudging.

Is Gel Polish Bad For My Natural Nail?

No No No is the quick answer. The damage to the nail plate generally comes from incorrect application or removal.  Incorrect application can include over buffing of the nail plate with either a buffing block or a nail drill. Nail drills are not the devil!!! Incorrect use of the drill has given them a bad reputation in recent years. If used correctly and at low speeds with correct pressure then damage just does not occur.

Incorrect removal includes picking from the client between visits and excessive scraping from the tech as the acetone remover has not been left on for long enough – this can happen when the tech is under time constraints. If you see something you don’t like then say something!! The product should just crumble off, if it doesn’t then something is wrong!!

I also always recommend to my clients to use a good cuticle oil twice daily and a moisturiser between salon visits and this will help to keep your nail plate hydrated and nourished.

How Long Will My Gel Manicure Last

Typically, your Gel will last 2-3 weeks, dependent on your product, your maintenance between visits and how quickly your natural nails grow.  If you go to a salon with a professional product then this should last well. If you are completing this yourself at home and buying cheap products from China then your experience may not be as successful.

Between salon visits treat your nails like jewels and not tools!! Wear gloves to wash up, clean and gardening in order to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and excessive wear and tear. This will help to prolong the life of your product.

How Much Will A Gel Manicure Cost?

These will cost anywhere from £15 to £45 generally and the cost of nail art will be on top of that. It is going to depend on your location, the products used and if you are going to a large salon or have someone come to you. Don’t go for the cheapest person there is as this is not always the best option, finding a good salon is most important.

Which Ingredients Should I Avoid?

Within my own Nail Salon in Gloucester I have started to use all products that are free from the top 5 nasty chemicals. I have talked about this is previous blogs however as a quick recap these are

  • DPD
  • Formaldehyde                             
  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde Resin
  • Camphor

These chemicals have been linked to being carcinogenic amongst other things!! Try to ask your salon what products they use and if they are free from these nasties. If they don’t know then go to the manufacturer or maybe find a new nail salon.

I personally also only use Vegan and Cruelty free products as it is my belief now that Beauty Should Never Mean Cruelty.

These Products include;

  • Madam Glam Gel Polish,
  •  Zoya Nail Polish,
  • Kaeso Hand and Foot Products,
  • Organic Cotton Wool and,
  • Sustainable Nail Files.

So there you go peeps – no, gel polish should not damage your nails if applied and removed correctly and if you look after them in-between salon visits.

Coming next – What are Gel Nail Extensions