Hi Diamond Dolls
This is a subject that I'm really passionate about & have been wanting to throw out some education on the matter for quite some time, I have so many people ask me whats the difference between Acrylic, Gel, Shellac, The dip method etc?? Why would I go to a Nail Technician as a-pose to a Nail Bar in the mall??
Well, get ready to have your mind blown!! This information will insure from now on you get NAILED right..
ILL start with why you should seek out a Nail Tech instead of going to a Nail Bar in the Mall.... firstly let me advise you as an educator, our industry is not regulated (WHYYYYYY!!!!!!) I don't know but if it was there wouldn't be as many Nail Bars popping up all around the place.
Learning how to be a Nail Technician take months if not years, continued up-skilling & thousands of $$$$$ to perfect the trade. It's not as easy as watching a few youtube videos & buying some cheap & nasty eBay products to use.
Nail Technicians put a lot of time & pride into doing a set of nails for you & can take anywhere from 45mins to 3 hours to complete depending on the type of nail design you desire.
They also provide after care & ongoing advice to those who will take it onboard so that both yourself & your Technician get the best outcome.
All in all a Nail Technician really cares about your nails & will use only high end, safe & expensive products to make sure the job is done right.
A Nail Bar staff member on the other hand will more than likely not hold any qualification/s, be trained in house by someone who (I'm hoping) is qualified, use product that is not labelled (as most of it is not approved to be used in Australia) & contains some of the same properties you find in concrete.... YUP!!!! ever wonder why your nails hurt after having acrylics applied ahuh... the product hardens over 24hrs & tightens/pulls on your nail plate leaving your nails & fingers tender & sore & NO it's not so-pose to feel like that!!!! on top of that you'll be charged for extra things like a gel top coat, DOLLS!!! this is a standard thing that needs to be applied, it's a uv coating that stops your enhancements from staining, you shouldn't be paying extra for it!! these nails are NOT gel!! just because you put them under a light does not make them gel...
You are a number, maybe you'll be seen to by few staff for your one set, maybe you'll get a bit of conversation, but you'll be in & out quick smart, no real aftercare, no real pride in the work.... But hey if your down for convenience then go ahead but don't say you weren't warned....
The amount of infection I have seen from fungal to bacterial is unbelievable a Nail Tech cleans & sterilises their equipment & uses disposables where necessary.
Have you ever seen a Nail Bar staff member clean their equipment in front of you? Or seen them just pull something out, use it on you & put it right back for the next client???? Cross contamination is a serious matter passing anything from client to client is dangerous.
Now don't get me wrong a bad Nail Technician can do this too, but going anywhere from here on forward just know that if you are made to bleed, have your skin/nails cut into with a drill or have your nails ripped off by having something wedged between the enhancement & your nail plate & pried off leaving you wanting to run for the hills then I'm telling you, you need to get out of there!!!! SOUND THE ALARM
What are the differences between all the products??? How do I know which is best for me????? well sometimes it comes down to personal preference, sometimes its just what your Technician uses & sometimes its all you know...
Here are the following examples of each product:
This is a system where a polymer (powder) & monomer (liquid) are mixed in certain ratios & applied to your nails using a brush.
The product sets on its own NO LIGHT NEEDED & has a distinctive smell, its quite a hard enhancement & good for those who are very ruff with there hands, the powders come in many colours & can be used for 3d nail art.
Acrylic can be filed & soaked off (as long as its MMA free)
You want to stay away from the acrylic systems that contains MMA (Methyl Meth Acrylate).
CRAZY FACT; It originated in
the dental industry for making crowns, bridges & is also used as bone cement by orthopaedic surgeons during joint replacement procedures.
This chemical was not designed to come in contact with skin or nails. MMA, while in a liquid state should only be used in a controlled laboratory environment by properly trained technicians because of the carcinogenic (cancer causing) effect on the body, once it has hardened MMA is not dangerous.
MMA is really strong in smell & is used in many Nail bars, once the set of nails is complete a UV top coat should be applied to stop the acrylic staining as it is porous.
This system is both a clear & coloured sticky resin that ONLY sets using a high wattage LED or UV light & is known as Hard Gel, it takes great skill to use this & can be quite time consuming in comparison to other systems, Gel is applied straight from the pot with no mixing required.
Hard Gel can only be removed by filing off, there is no smell but sometimes you can get heat spikes which is a chemical reaction as the product is setting under the light & can feel almost like burning on the nail plate, a proper Nail technician will know how to minimise this for you.
Gel comes in many vasocities (textures) & depending on your lifestyle your technician will use the product most appropriate for you.
Gel is suited for those who are sensitive to smells & need a product that can flex with the nail itself, if you ask for this system in a Nail bar they will say "sure" but you will more than likely end up with Acrylic as it takes longer and is more expensive to use.
This system you will know as Shellac or Gel polish the difference between this Gel & Hard Gel is that this can be soaked off & has a more thinner runnier texture like nail polish that can be applied simply over the natural nail or on top of enhancements (but not to build enhancements themselves) this gel also requirers an LED or UV light but not necessarily the higher wattage kind.
There are many brands & it's really important to still go with the higher end reputable ones.
Its also important to note that Shellac is a name not the actual product be careful when going into a salon & asking for Shellac as you might end up with a completely different brand thats not as good.
What you're really referring to is simply gel polish...
I completely custom make my own Gel polish so if you have for example a fabulous nail polish, I can make it into Gel giving it longer lasting wear.
This is a system new to the industry, it is an amazing hybrid of Gel & Acrylic & requirers a solution on a brush to mould it to your nail its stronger than Acrylic but lighter in weight than Gel.
You may have seen it advertised all over social media using popits (special Nail like tips) it comes in a few colours & is a much quicker system to use it still need to be set in LED or UV lights & can only be filed off but there is very little smell nowhere near as bad as Acrylic, there is also a newer gel system called GelX and we highly recommend it as its very similar to this.
DIP POWDER METHOD
This method requires a glue like substance to be applied to your nail then you dip the nail into a
powder & it dries instantly the step can be repeated a few times before a special top coat is applied, it is basically another hybrid/form of Acrylic.
It's not a new technique its been around since the 80's, its just not been in the mainstream salons but used by Nail Technicians which is why you may not have been exposed to it.
Dip Powder can be worn over natural nails or on top of enhancements & can be soaked off.
Now that you are filled with more knowledge about nails you can make better informed choices as to what you would like, I now only offer the custom press ons & you can see my work via our socials we will soon have an online store for you too or contact me if you have any questions.
Just remember when you see an amazing set all covered in bling & detail, that theres a lot of time & effort put in, so please if you go to that Technician don't barter them in price it's really quite offensive.
Good NAILS are not always cheap and cheap NAILS are not always good.........
Please feel free to pass this info around to friends & help educate the masses.