Our hands are one of the noticeable parts of the body especially when we meet someone for the first time. We shake hands with a person we meet. We wave our hands to greet someone we know. Our hands are used to demonstrate genuine relationship with people.
With that, maintaining the cleanliness of our fingernails has been an essential part of our grooming. In ancient times, long nails are symbolical of one’s status. At present, pretty looking nails indicates that you put high regard to your appearance.
That’s why we want to make our nails look healthy and neat. The emergence of nail extensions has helped many to enhance the appearance of their nails or to disguise unpleasant looking ones.
Nail extensions are lightweight plastic plate that resemble the shape of the nail is attached to the tip of the natural nail in order to add length. Depending on the type of extension: acrylic, gel or silk, this is applied on the extension and is usually cured to make it secure as well as add strength and shine.
As mentioned, there are types of nail extension – acrylic, gel and silk. Which of the following should you avail before you undergo such process? Let us differentiate these three.
1. Acrylic Nails
This most common and oldest type of nail extension has been in existence for a long time due to its staying power. This kind of extension is good for women who have brittle and weak nails. It is also good to ward off nasty habit of nail biting since this type of extension is very hard to chew.
Acrylic is a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer in which when combined form a hard protective layer that is sculpted over the natural nail. It hardens when exposed to the air. This step completes the process of acrylic nail extension. It shows a strong, glossy base that is brilliant for color coating. What’s noticeable in this process is the strong odor acrylic emits.
Maintenance: As acrylic grow out with your nails, you have to go back to the nail salon to have your nails filed every two to three weeks. The nail specialist or technician will gently file down the acrylic edge nearest to your nail bed and fill the empty area between the nail bed and existing acrylic nail.
Removal: Acrylic nails can be removed easily by soaking your hands in nail polish remover for 15 minutes.
In the event that your nails accidentally catch on something like the edge of a wooden table, the whole nail snap out of the nail bed. When this happens, you are at risk of getting yeast, fungus or bacteria.
- Advantages of acrylic nail extension
- They are strong and durable as they last longer than gel nails.
- They can be fixed easily without nail professional.
- It is great for adding length to short nails.
- It is cost-friendly as compared to gel nail.
Disadvantages of acrylic nail extension
- They can damage natural nail because your natural nail is unable to breathe underneath acrylic nails.
- They look artificial. It is obvious that you underwent nail extensions.
- Acrylic nail extension uses strong chemicals and fumes that can be harmful to women. Some chemicals used in this process can potentially cause allergic reaction. Pregnant women are advised not to undergo this kind of nail treatment.
2. Gel Nails
Gel is a special mixture applied either on top of an artificial nail extension or directly on the natural nail to strengthen and promote natural growth. Brushed on your nails or nail tips to provide lengths, this type of extension should be cured under a UV light for two minutes to make it hard yet flexible, natural looking, glossy finish that is both instantly dry and chip resistant. Unlike acrylic, gel nails do not emit any odor during the process.
For women with short, weak nails, this type is good for you because it allows nail growth underneath the gel layer.
Maintenance: Similar to acrylic, gels grow out with your nails and need to be filled every two to three weeks.
Removal: Leave the removal process to the nail technician. Most gel nails can be removed by drenching your nails in nail polish remover. Do not make an attempt in taking off gels at home.
Same with acrylics, gel nail can be infected if expose to minor trauma or accidents.
Advantages of Gel nails:
- It does not damage natural nail. It can be used to strengthen, protect and promote growth in the natural nail.
- Gel nail is flexible and odor-free.
- Gel is a safer option than acrylic since it is more environmental friendly.
Disadvantages of Gel nails:
- It is less durable than acrylics; hence it does not last long.
- It cannot be fixed at home since it uses UV light to cure nails.
- Some gel needs to filed off as against to being soaked off. This can be time consuming.
3. Silk or fiberglass nails
This type of extensions is done by cutting pieces of silk or fiberglass to fit the nail bed or tip to be glued on the nails to strengthen weak nail or help a cracked nail to grow out. It is called silk or fiberglass nails because the wraps are made of silk or fiberglass. This is a temporary extension because the adhesive used only last for two to three weeks. This is a great alternative for those who are allergic to chemicals used in acrylic or gel.