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All About Gel Nails

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Fingers under UV Nail Dryer
yungshu chao/E+/Getty Images

About Gel Nails:

Gel nails are achieved by applying a mylar based gel polish to the natural nail bed. The gel nail polish becomes extremely durable after each layer is 'cured' or dried under a UV light, lasting up to 2-3 weeks. Gel nails can be used to repair a damaged nail or simply to allow the nails to grow by strengthening them and protecting the nail from breakage and damage.

How Gel Nails are Applied:

First the nail bed must be texturized to allow the gel to adhere. Then a layer of primer is applied and allowed to dry. Apply 1 coat of gel and then expose the nail to UV light for 3 minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 times until desired color is achieved. The nail bed is then buffed to smooth out and form the gel.

How Gel Nails are Removed:

When choosing what type of gel to work with, you may first want to think about which one is easier to remove. Traditional gel polish must be drilled or filed off to remove it from the nail bed which can sometimes lead to stress or damage. Recently, soak off gel polish has been introduced to the industry. The soak off process is much gentler on the nail and easier for the technician to remove.

How Gel Nails Can Work for You:

Unlike a regular manicure that your client can touch up or even do themselves, gel nails require clients to make an appointment at the salon for maintenance and removal. This equals more appointments for you and more money. Gel nail services are also more expensive than a traditional lacquer manicure. Plus your clients will be so in love the results that they will be returning for this service time and time again.

Gel Nail Safety:

Make sure to be on the lookout for client sensitivity to gel nail polish. If a client is allergic to the product the skin around the nails will most likely become red and sensitive. It is important to also address the occurrence of lifting of the gel from the nail bed. When this happens moisture and dirt can get trapped between the gel and the nail which then becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and nail fungus.
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