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Hard Gel vs. Acrylic

In the salon, I offer several artificial nail enhancements. The two most popular enhancements are Hard Gel and Acrylic. Both offer structure and strength but are different in many ways. Let’s explore these two enhancements and you be the judge.


Hard Gel is an artificial nail enhancement like acrylic, except it is cured with a UV/LED light. It is applied to natural or artificial nails to give them strength and structure. You can also sculpt with gel to do extensions just as you would with acrylic using a nail form.


  • Odorless
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lightweight, strong, and durable
  • Lasts 2-4 weeks


  • Cannot be soaked off with Acetone. Hard gel must be files off.


Acrylic is a mixture of powder and a liquid that can be applied to both natural and artificial nails. When the powder (polymer) and the liquid (monomer) come together acrylic is formed.


  • Great for clients that are nail biters
  • Strong and durable


  • Strong odor
  • Can cause an allergic reaction
  • Can damage the natural nail after long term use

As you have read, both enhancements have their pros and cons. As your nail technician, it is my job to help you decide what is best for your nails. Either enhancement can be designed as simple or extreme as your imagination will allow.

Until next time, whatever you do BE BIG IN IT!


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