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Hard Gel Nails vs. Acrylic Nails

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

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, even though the nails they offer are ideal. To help you out, here is your nail guide to a 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 than with acrylic

-You 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. Just like acrylic, gel can crack if it is flexed beyond its stretching point. However, because hard gel 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 are typically charged at higher rate, no matter which salon you go to, as there is more prep work involved, and product used.

beautiful hard gel Set by our very own KC

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic is a mix of a liquid with a powder that is applied with a brush onto your nails. Usually, your entire nail is covered, though sometimes - depending on what you're after - your nail technician will 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 gel, as each part comes from separate containers. When the powder and liquid are mixed together it becomes acrylic, which looks like a bead.

-Acrylic has a strong odor to it when applied, so salons must have a ventilation system installed, or at least have a window open.

-The type of acrylic used for nails is called Methacrylates.

-If acrylic nails are not removed properly they can damage your natural nails.

-If you accidentally bang your nails when they're overlayed with acrylic, that bump can damage your natural nails.

-If not looked after properly with regular infill appointments, you acrylic nails can start to lift, allowing water or dirt to become trapped. Trapped material can cause a fungal or bacterial infection.

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

-Acrylic has strong odor.

-Applying acrylic nails is a difficult skill 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. To us, it's a no brainer. Hard gel provides healthier nails that are more durable, and easier to maintain. However, regardless of what anyone tells you (including us), your nails are up to you! We're simply here to help you find the right fit.

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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Kadence Weimer
Kadence Weimer
Nov 07, 2022

thank you so much!!!


Diamond Ashlee
Diamond Ashlee
Jun 24, 2022

Weird comparison


Tina She
Tina She
May 07, 2021

Um...why did you plagiarize (verbatim) an entire section of your “hard gel intro” —that you got from


Love the blog! I love that you all stay informed and make sure your guests are informed as well!

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