Is your ‘saved’ section in Instagram crowded with nail-art looks you’ve been pining to replicate for a while now? In most cases, these perfectly-intricate looks are fashioned on fancy nail extensions that come in a multitude of shapes. If you’re planning on scheduling an appointment with your manicurist, you must deep-dive into the nuances of your options. We’re sure you’ve chanced upon snippets of gel nail extensions, but what are they all about? Here’s a lowdown on these extensions.
 

What are gel nail extensions?

What are gel nail extensions?

 

These extensions resemble acrylics, but they’re a better alternative in the way that they maintain the health of your nail. Essentially, they’re pre-shaped tips that are planted on your nails to lengthen them. A thin layer of a clear gel or pH bonder is applied on the surface of your nail to bond it with the extension. Once the extensions are pressed onto the gel, your nails are cured underneath an LED light in the same way as a gel manicure.

If your nails are too short, the extensions won’t have anything to sit on or to stick to. You must grow your nails out —  just a little — before the appointment.
Typically, these last you four weeks, give or take. After the third week, you can return for a refill — a process that adds colour to the space between your cuticle and grown-out nail, or simply remove the extensions altogether.

 

 

Are gel nail extensions better than acrylics?

Are gel nail extensions better than acrylics?

These extensions are just as strong, durable, and long-lasting as acrylics. But they’re free of harsh chemicals, powders, and acid-based ingredients that damage your nails. Unlike acrylics, they lend a natural-looking finish to your nails and are thinner and lighter. Oh, and, they don’t smell like chemicals too. Even the process of applying these extensions is quicker. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and widths, and they can be customised to your liking. As opposed to the labour-intensive process of removing acrylics — one that weakens your nail — these extensions peel right off with acetone, cotton, and foil.

 

What are the cons of gel nail extensions?

What are the cons of gel nail extensions?

Even though the process of removal isn’t intensive, it does require you to soak your hands in acetone. 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 hurt your skin.