Want to get gel nail extensions but not sure where to begin? From what they actually are to how to make them last longer, we’ve got you!
Getting new gel nail extensions is somewhat of a life event for us girls. We love the hours spent deciding on a nail colour and art. But if you are not really sure what gel nails are and how to make them last longer, we’ve got you! From how to remove gel nail extensions at home to the difference between acrylic and gel extensions, let’s take a look.
- Everything you need to know about gel extensions
- Tips on how to make it last long
- What are the cons of gel nail extensions?
- Tips to repair damage after gel nails
Everything you need to know about gel extensions
Is your ‘saved’ section in Instagram crowded with nail art you’ve been pining to replicate for a while now? In most cases, these perfectly-intricate looks are fashioned on fancy gel extensions that come in several shapes. Gel manicures are on the rise as they are virtually indestructible, glossy and long-lasting. Isn’t that a dream come true for any manicure maniac?
What are gel nail extensions?
Gel nail extensions are a better alternative to acrylic nails as they maintain the health of your nail. They’re pre-shaped tips that are planted on your nails to lengthen them. A thin layer of clear gel is applied to the surface of your nail to bond it with the extension. Once the extensions are pressed onto the gel, it is dried underneath an LED light.
If your nails are too short, the extensions won’t have anything to stick to. You must grow your nails out a little. The extensions also last four weeks, give or take. After the third week, you can return for a refill to add colour to the space between your cuticle and grown-out nail or remove the extensions.
Are gel nail extensions better than acrylics?
Both gel and acrylic extensions are strong, durable, and long-lasting. But gel nails are free of harsh chemicals, powders, and acid-based ingredients that damage your nails. Unlike acrylics, they are also more natural-looking and lighter. Oh, and, they don’t smell like chemicals. Even the process of applying gel extensions is quicker. They can even be customised to your liking. As opposed to the labour-intensive process of removing acrylics — one that weakens your nail — these gel extensions peel right off with remover, cotton and foil. But if you can’t grow your nails, acrylics are ideal as they simply extend the length of your natural nails.
You can remove gel nail polish at home safely
Gel nails are expensive, no doubt. And, removing them professionally at a salon can also cost a bomb. If you want to save on the latter, you can remove gel nails safely at home. All you need to do is soak a cotton ball in acetone-free nail polish remover, place it on the top of your nail and wrap each nail in foil. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then gently slide off each foil.
How long do gel nails last?
Gel nails make for the best option especially when you have back-to-back events such as weddings or a vacation. Once you have gel nails on, you don’t have to worry about them chipping for the next two to three weeks. And, if you’re even more careful, then your gel nails can easily last for about four weeks.
Tips on how to make it last long
As much as we love gel nails, it is almost heartbreaking when you see that tiny chipped part of your nail colour while admiring them. But before you go down the lane of wallowing and self-pity, all hope is not lost.
Do not pick
It is very natural to feel extremely tempted to pick at your polish when you see the tiniest chip. But we urge you to not do so as picking at your gel polish could leave your nails weak, brittle and uneven.
Apply a layer of topcoat
Once you have controlled the urge to pick the chipped polish, gently file the area that has started to peel and then apply a layer of topcoat to help seal in the rest of the polish and prevent it from more peeling.
As with anything else in life, prevention is better than cure. Ensure that you take the utmost care of your nails to increase the wear time. Wear gloves while doing the dishes and never use your nails as a replacement for can openers.
Keep gel nails away from hot water
Hot water is your gel nail extensions’ worst enemy. Avoid long hot baths and hand washing clothes or it will cause the gel polish to lift up and peel off. The combination of detergents, harsh chemicals and hot water can ruin your manicure game. Therefore, be careful at least in the first two weeks.
What are the cons of gel nail extensions?
The removal process requires you to soak your hands in nail polish remover. This can dry out your fingers quickly. And since your nails are buffed for the gel to stick to them, they lose their shine and become thinner over time. If you’re artificially lengthening your nails frequently, they will become weaker — it’s a no-brainer. And regular exposure to UV light can dry your skin.
Even your regular nail polish can weaken your natural nails and nail bed. It can lead to dehydration, thinning of the nail plate, breakage and discolouration. Therefore, in the process of applying and removing gel nails, you need to be careful about your nail beds and cuticles because they’re made of living tissue.
Tips to repair damage after gel nails
Well, the good news is that you can reverse the damage of gel nails with the help of a few tips. Not only improve the overall health of your nails but also make your next mani session a breeze. Win-win!
Cuticle oil is your new BFF
One of the best ways to ensure that your gel nail extensions last long and don’t damage your nails at the same time is to invest in cuticle oil. Apart from hydrating, rubbing in some cuticle oil once or twice a day helps strengthen and condition your nails. This prevents them from chipping, breaking or becoming brittle. Apply a layer of the Lakme Absolute Nourishing Nail Oil as it contains six essential oils from sweet almond oil to vitamin E and smoothens dry and brittle nails.
Follow it up with a basecoat of the Lakme Absolute Nail Hardener which treats weak and curved nails and provides a strong layer for the nail paint or extension to hold on to. Apply two gel-based coats for the nail paint to stay for several days.
Soak your nails in olive oil
The most economical method to reverse nail damage is to soak your nails in olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes every day. Olive oil penetrates the skin and nails to help repair damage and soften the nails and cuticles, which in turn makes your nails stronger and healthier. This easily available ingredient from your kitchen shelf can be your ultimate saviour.
Massage your fingertips
“Massages are not my thing,” said no woman ever. Just as your body relaxes after a massage session, your hands and fingers also need a regular massage. Giving extra care to your nail bed helps stimulate blood flow, which in turn can increase the delivery of vital nutrients and improve circulation.
Minimise your exposure to chemical-heavy products
While gel polish is already weighing your nails down, the worst thing to do is use a nail polish remover that is infused with chemicals. Therefore, avoid using removers with acetone. We suggest the Lakme Nail Colour Remover with Vitamin E that helps prevent excessive dryness around the nails as well as strengthens the nails.
Now that you know the ABCs of gel nail extensions, go on. Finally, sport your dream nails all you want without compromising the length or the nail art.