Many people don't understand the difference between Gel and Acrylic. I will do my best to explain the differences here. I am a professional nail technician who has been doing genuine gel nails for over 10 years,This information is based on my expertise and experiences. That said, let's get started.
GEL: The first thing to share is this, not all gel is 100% real. There are many that would tell you theirs is the real deal. If the product starts out as powder and turns liquid after mixing something with it; it isn't real gel. It is UV activated acrylic!! The best analogy that I have ever come up with is this; gel is like Rubbermaid where acrylic is like concrete cinder block. Gel is cured with a UV light.The product shrinks around your nail much like the shrink wrap you see with a hot air gun; like the pizza you get from Papa Murphy's or that Daisy Seal A Meal we all used to own. The product itself is literally in a gel form when it comes out of the container. It is applied with a brush and painted on the nail. After curing, it is shiny and will remain shiny until it is filed off.Gel doesn't care if you use acetone or non acetone remover. Therefore, gel nails can be polished as many times as you like in between fills and there is no staining to the nail. Gel nails look just like your very own nail. People won't even know you are wearing gel unless you have had a new tip put on. Even then it is a challenge to tell. Gel is far more forgiving. It is light weight and flexible. This means for you the wearer, there less chance of having your natural nail ripped off or damaged if injured. Gel also does not yellow in tanning beds. Gel comes in many different colors. You can customize gel with colors; allowing you to match your clothing. If you choose to take a break from having your nails done they won't look thin, chipped or yellow for 6 months. Gel does NOT absorb through your nail bed creating a permanent bond. IF this doesn't convince you, there is one more thing. The majority of people who are allergic to acrylic, CAN wear genuine gel nails with no reaction. I think that about covers it.
ACRYLIC: Many people are allergic to acrylic products and those people have fingers that are in constant discomfort. Acrylic does not allow the natural nail the ability to breath at all. As stated above, it is like a concrete cinder block. The primer that is brushed on first on to the filed bare nail absorbs into the nail bed. The next step is the acrylic ball mixed with mortimer when applied on top of the primer, it fuses together trapping your natural nail in the middle. This product is heavier and non translucent. It is also more brittle and when injured with crack, lift and usually take your natural nail with it. Acrylic nails must be buffed and then have a base coat applied before the polish. One must also use non acetone remover only. The polish if it has color will still most likely stain the nail. Reds are especially bad for this. When using a tanning bed and the sunless lotions, the nails will become yellow. When any lifting occurs with acrylic the chances of fungus seem to be higher. When getting a fill with acrylic, you often see the fill line where the old product stops and the new begins. At the base of the nail where the cuticle meets, you will see a ridge as the product grows out. This is because it has to be applied thicker than gel. When you decide to take a break from acrylic, your natural nails are thinner than normal and often painful from receiving air for the first time in a while. They are also discolored and peely. The last down fall I will mention is the need to get a replacement set more often. They don't seem to stay fresh as long as gel nails.
Enough said, if you have any questions feel free to call the salon at 541-677-8898. I can do my best to answer your questions. Thank you for taking the time to read my explanation.