Hard Gel Nails vs. Acrylic Nails

Updated: Jul 5

What is right for you?

Nail extensions are the hottest beauty trend that will never die, the creative freedom you can manifest is limitless, ever changing and expanding. We can all agree nothing makes you feel more fierce than a fresh set of claws; however do you ever wonder what the heck they are actually putting on your nails? Most times express nail salons come with a language barrier and fast services that seem confusing yet ideal- here is your nail guide to the healthy nail bed and longer lasting sets.

First off, what is the difference between hard gel and acrylic and why is there a choice?

Hard gel is a nail enhancement like acrylic nails, except it cures in a UV light. It is NOT gel polish/shellac/soft gel/soak off gel. You can put gel polish over hard gel (and you should because it looks great). You can extend the length of the nail with hard gel, just like acrylic. It can be sculpted and shaped just like acrylic. The only difference is that hard gel hardens through UV light rather than through evaporating solvents (like acrylic). There are many benefits to using the innovative nail enhancement that is hard gel.

Why Posh Chooses Hard Gel Enhancements

-Super shiny Top coat will never discolor


-Not damaging to nail if there is trauma

-No strong fumes

-Better adhesion

-Bonder is acid-free

-Bonder hides lift lines and fill lines

-Bonder had great adhesion

-Cures in 30 seconds

- Many gels are self-leveling which creates a natural, smooth finish

-Can be worn with nail polish for a very natural look

-Long-lasting staying power

-Filing is faster and easier

-Can create many different nail shapes (square, round, oval, stiletto, coffin, etc.)

Hard gel is hypoallergenic, which means it is less likely to cause allergies than acrylic.

Hard gel is more flexible and stronger than acrylic, but it’s not as hard. Someone who is used to acrylic may feel that hard gel is weaker, but that is not true. Hard gel can withstand greater pressure and it is less likely to break or crack than acrylic is. Just like acrylic, gel can crack if it is flexed beyond its stretching point. However, because it has more flexibility, it will generally cause less trauma when cracked than when an acrylic nail cracks. It can withstand greater pressure and it will cause less trauma if a crack does occur.

We recommend getting a rebase at 2-3 weeks to maintain your shape, length and cuticles for the longest lasting extensions, 4+ week rebases will need to be charged extra as there will be more prep work and product used.

beautiful hard gel Set by our very own KC

Acrylic is a mix of a liquid with a powder and brush the mixture onto your nails. They'll usually cover your entire nail, though sometimes they'll just add tips or a flexible form that they can sculpt to extend your nails.

-Acrylic comes in a powder (polymer) and liquid (monomer) form.

- It's a 2 part system, but different than with the gel, it's in separate containers. When the powder and liquid are mixed together it becomes Acrylic which looks like a bead.

- It has a strong odor to it so make sure you have some ventilation system installed in the salon or have a window open

- The type of Acrylic it contains is called Methacrylates.

-If it’s not removed properly, it can damage your natural nails.

- If you accidentally bang your nail, it can damage your natural nail.

- If not looked after properly with regular infill appointments it can start to lift and water or dirt can get trapped and cause a fungal or bacterial infection.

- Someone can easily get an allergic reaction because of strong chemicals that are in the liquid.

- Has strong odor

- Difficult to master

Acrylic is what most of us recognize when we think of nail extensions; but that doesn't mean its the best method. Here at Posh we recommend hard gel over acrylic, its a no brainer- healthy nails and real human connection is the most important to us! Come on in and have a conversation and a coffee with us about what hard gel can do for you!

We cant wait to meet you!


The Posh Team

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