Gel Nail Extensions
When most of us think of the walk into the nail salon, we envision four options: regular polish, gel polish, dip gel, or acrylics. But what if there was a fifth option you didn’t know about? What if there was one that combined all the best things about each of these?
Enter gel nail extensions. Gel nail extensions are the new manicure style that we’ve all been waiting for. They are natural-looking, durable, sleek, and lasting – what else could you want in a manicure? Gel nail extensions are the next big thing (and quickly on the rise), and we’re about to tell you why.
What Are Gel Nail Extensions?
Gel extensions are essentially a mix of all manicure styles. They are made of the same gel that regular gel polish is made of. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting like salon acrylics, but still sleek ,thin and natural-feeling, almost like drugstore acrylics. They are a perfect mix between the two. This means they don’t feel thick , heavy or rough, like dip nails often feel. One of the biggest benefits of gel nail extensions is that they feel natural, which gives them the look that they aren’t extensions at all... just your real nails. As anyone who has ever gotten a manicure would agree, the best manicure is one that feels natural and doesn’t get on your nerves by feeling too clunky or thick.
How Does It Work?
The process of a gel nail extension manicure is similar to that of an acrylic manicure. The clear gel is applied to your nail, then placed under the LED light, the gel then works as glue to attach the extension to your nail. After another coat of clear gel, the gap between the two is filled in, and it looks just like your real nail! Of course, you then get to pick your color, nail art, or whatever you choose. The rest of the manicure is performed just like another gel manicure would. Basically, it’s a lot like the process of gluing on an acrylic extension, minus the drilling ,noise and the sawdust-like feeling. Result...the end product is not the same – it’s better!
The process of applying gel nail extensions is also much faster and more efficient than the process of applying acrylic nails. Because it cuts out a lot of the steps of an acrylic manicure, a gel extension treatment can be performed much quicker. This is a bonus for anyone, because who wants to sit and wait a long time for your manicure to be finished when you could have an even better one done in less time?
Is It Good For Your Nails?
Gel nail extensions have been praised for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is that they are much safer and healthier for your nails than acrylic or dip manicures. The main reason for this is that they don’t strip your nails – they don’t require drilling or thinning of your actual nails. They also don’t require frequent maintenance, like other manicure styles.
Betina Goldstein, celebrity nail artist, is a passionate advocate for gel nail extensions.
"It is harmful to both the manicurist and the client, and the finished product doesn’t look natural [to me] — I’m all about natural," says Goldstein. Not only is the drilling and shaving involved in acrylic manicures unnatural for your nails, but also, the chemicals involved are unnatural as well. In fact, they are not only unnatural, but harmful.
The FDA has warned the public about the hazardous chemicals involved in acrylic nails. In addition, they have even banned certain chemicals that make up part of the acrylic process. Unfortunately, the nail salon industry is not monitored closely enough for all salons to discontinue sales of these products containing harmful chemicals. If the industry was monitored well enough, perhaps acrylic manicures would be far more obsolete, and possibly even discontinued altogether. However, because this isn’t the case, that means the acrylic manicure you are getting regularly could potentially be very harmful to you, and you wouldn’t even know it.
Toluene and acetonitrile are two of the chemicals found in many acrylics, and these can both potentially be very toxic. These can lead to dizziness, headaches, skin, throat irritation, and more. While the FDA hasn’t banned these chemicals yet, they have certainly warned against them.
“[Gel nail extensions] are healthier, not only for the person getting them, but for the person doing your nails," continues Goldstein. In fact, she doesn’t even allow acrylic nail manicures in her company, because of their harmful nature. She doesn’t want her employees and colleagues having to work around things that could potentially harm them, when there is another option that is better in so many ways. In fact, Goldstein wonders why some nail salons even still carry acrylic nails and perform acrylic manicures.
When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: clients only get their nails done once every few weeks, but nail artists, on the other hand, are dealing with the various glues and polishes and techniques all day, every day. That means they are exposed to these harmful chemicals almost constantly. Gel nail extensions solve this problem by helping both the client and the nail artist. Therefore, it’s a win-win.
Are Gel Nail Extensions Totally Safe?
Gel nail extensions are, in short, totally safe for your nails and your health. Of course, some people have their complaints about gel nail extensions. It has been studied that gel manicures can wear down your nails over time, thinning them and eventually making them more brittle and breakable. This, however, would mean you would have to get consistent gel manicures for long periods of time in order for them to truly cause wear on your nails. In addition, gel polish can strip your nails of thickness if you take them off incorrectly. Taking them off incorrectly means peeling the gel off instead of soaking. Luckily, gel nail extensions can be taken off just like a regular gel manicure: by soaking them in acetone and covering your fingers in tin foil, the gel will eventually soak enough to where you can cleanly and safely peel them off, leaving you with clean nails. Also, leaving you with nails that don’t hurt from being stripped too thin.
How Long Do They Last?
Betina Goldstein reports that gel nail extensions will last up to three weeks, or as long as your manicure normally would with regular gel nails. This all depends on how you care for your nails, how long they are, how fast your nails grow, and also, your personal preference on when your nails are too grown-out and you’re ready to get them redone.
And there’s another bonus about the lasting time of gel nail extensions. If you choose to paint the extensions with regular polish, you can take the polish off as often as possible while still leaving the extension attached. That means they truly blend in with and work just like your actual nail! You can also maintain their lasting time by cutting and shaping them at home. This is great for your wallet, because handling the upkeep of your nails at home prevents you from having to get them done at the salon as often as you would have to with another form of nails. You can pretty much treat them just as you would your real, normal nails. Again, the natural feel is a big part of what is helping to make these nails become so popular. Don’t we all want nails that feel like they’re just naturally long and shaped?
These extensions also stay flat on your nails instead of lifting like acrylics tend to start doing over time. This means no more annoying edges getting caught on clothes or pulling and hurting your nail. It also means your nails stay looking clean and sleek, even when they start to grow out.
Another great thing about their lasting life is that you can perform a gel nail extension manicure from the comfort of your own home. You can purchase kits to apply them yourself, which is very different from acrylics – performing an acrylic manicure on yourself can be very difficult. Thankfully, because of the less involved process, you don’t have to be a nail technician to apply a gel nail extension, if you really want to save some money at the nail salon.
Okay, I’m sold. What do I do now?
By now, you are most likely convinced that you need to switch to gel nail extensions. And you should be! Let’s sum it all up: they are easy to apply, easy to cut and trim and shape, easy to maintain, and easy to remove. In addition, they look clean, sleek, and beautiful. And not to mention, they feel great, because they’re almost as thin as your actual nail and blend right in, without any awkward gaps or need to be refilled every couple weeks. What more could you possibly ask for in a manicure?
So, if you’ve decided that you want to give gel nail extensions a try, shop at Foxy Nails. Our nail artists are skilled in all styles of manicure, and are especially skilled in the new and growingly popular gel nail extensions. We can assure you, the quality of your manicure at Foxy Nails will be top-notch, and you won’t regret getting gel nail extensions applied at Foxy Nails. We would love to help make you and your nails feel beautiful!