Confused about GEL versus SOLAR versus ACRYLIC nails!!!...

Discussion in 'Nail' started by JulietP, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. JulietP
    I am confused and would be really grateful if somebody here who is experienced can clear it up for me.

    I LOVE french manicured nails but HATE achieving it with nail polish because that only lasts for a few days at best and then always chips and looks very ragged. So for the first time ever I got gel nails put on but the tech did a TERRIBLE job. They were VERY thick and lumpy and my nails were filed very uneven!

    So I had the gel removed by another tech some place else and got acrylic put on which looks much better than the gel but it's NOT nearly as shiny as the gel nails were.... and the tech filed my nails like CRAZY (with the drill) before putting the acrylic on. I didn't like this at all. I hope I didn't receive MMA nails!

    My main question is... the 3 main types of articifal nail coverings are GEL, SOLAR and ACRYLIC right?

    So which is the best and healthiest one to have that will cause the least amount of damage to the nails? If I get solar nails... will my natural nails have to be drilled down just as badly as when I got the acrylics put on? All this filing with the drill has me worried...

    I can't seem to find a tech who does a good job and I'm avoiding all the cheapie places... I am giving up here. It seems most salons are very cheap and run by chinese people (no offense)... but they can barely speak english and do a super fast terrible job!
  2. NoLimitNails

    First of all no tech needs to drill your natural natural nails when applying either gel or acrylic, they just need to LIGHTLY buff of the shine (and I mean LIGHTLY).

    Secondly solar is as faar as i know, an oil used to keep the nails, both gel acrylic and natural nail in a healthy state.

    Third of all you need to look into the salon where you get your nails done, doing nails isn't easy, so you have to pay up for the experience and quality of both tchnician and products.

    So to your question neither the gel or acrylic damages your natural nails, ONLY THE TECHNICIAN do, and to have an overlay on your nails you have to visit a technician qualified to tell you which system suits your nails.

    And when you get your nails done, follow aftercare advice such as regularly maitenance, not ripping them off, carng for them with oil and so on otherwise YOU will be the one to destroy your own nails.

    Having nails is not simple to begin with, but easy to maintain when you go to qualified techs.

    Good luck

    Karen (sorry for any spelling mistakes, I'm from europe)
  3. JulietP
    Thanks for your response. I thought that solar and acrylic nails are VERY similar to each other? Right now I am experimenting... I'm trying to decide if I want to stick with gel, solar or acrylic. I keep hearing that solar is similar to acrylic but better... up until today I had never even heard of solar nails.

    But it is NOT easy finding somebody who does a good job!

    I also stumbled upon yet another method called Bio Sculpture?

    I would love to try this Bio Sculpture but can't find anybody in my area who does this... is this a new method and is it any good? can you have white tips put on with this Bio Sculpture method?

    PS- I hope I didn't receive MMA nails because he used a drill on my nails like CRAZY before applying the acrylics... next time I will REFUSE to have my nails drilled. So if I ever get gels, acrylics or solar nails again... it's NOT necessary for them to use the drill on my nails at all first??? Just a hand file, right? So I should refuse the drill...
  4. jojosnails
    as far as i know there is no such things as "solar" that would be used as an overlay or for enhancements! the three options would be acrylic, gel or fiberglass/silk. individuals will suit different systems and, as has already been said, your technician should talk through the options with you and decide which would suit you best.

    bio sculpture is a fab product and yes you can have it in french.
  5. ValencianNails
    If I were you then I would ask my friends for a recommended salon. You should never have your natural nail filed/shredded before product is applied and the treatment shouldn't ever hurt or be uncomfortable.

    The 3 main types of enhancements are UV Gel, L+P (aka acrylic) and fibreglass.

    Have a look at the two links below, they should help you determine if you've had MMA applied to your nails and also give you a few pointers as to what to look out for.

  6. becca boo
    Hun if they drilled the crap out of your nails most likley yes you recieved MMA nails. MMA is unable to bond with the toplayer of your nail the tech has to drill into the underlying soft fibers to be able to get it to stick. Do a search on MMA and you will find a lot of info on the topic

    Solar is a chop shop scam usually done with a MMA liquid and Solar powder which is one of the first powders Creative came out with. Usally it is just in refference to a permenant french. Any good professional product is non yellowing and now most lines have UV protectant top coats that also help with the product to not yellow.

    Gel is apart of the acrylic family it is just composed a bit different. Also do a search on this you will find alot of information reguarding this also.

    Like already stated it is not the product that does the damage it is the tech.

    The 3 groups of acrylic are liquid and powder (l&p) gel, and your resins or fabrics which are used with a resin, activator and fabric (fiberglass, silk, linen) Solar would be under the catagory of l&p look up Creative Nail Design - CND - Professional Nail, Hand and Foot Beauty Products - Artificial Acrylic Nails and Brisa Gel. they name almost everything solar something

    As far as Biosculpture it just a different line of gel just like OPI, CND, YN, Enity, EXFlow etc....
  7. Classy Claws
    SOLAR nails are CND nails.. using the Solar powders and liquids.
  8. JulietP
    I see, thanks for the responses. So basically solar nails is hogwash and is basically the same as acrylic with a VERY minor difference between the two?

    I have a question... I just got acrylics for the very first time about 3 days ago... I am going to remove them in a week... if it takes them a VERY long time to remove them and they also have to use a drill then I will know for certain that the other salon used MMA on me, correct?

    The reason I want to remove them is because the guy was drilling my nails like CRAZY... I mean extensively before putting the acrylic on me and I am AFRAID to see what condition my nails are like underneath... I am dying to see.

    I do LOVE the way the acrylic nails look like... if I could find somebody who does a quality job I would be addicted to these things!
  9. JulietP
    Sorry one more question... I initially wanted a new set of gel nails with white tip extension... but the guy who was drilling my nails like crazy told me that gel nails do not do well with white tips extensions and that if I want the white tip extension to be added that should definitely use acrylic and NOT gel. He said that gel does not hold the white tip extensions as well as acrylic does.

    Was he correct or wrong?

    Note that I am not adding white tips for length (I like short nails)... I just like to use the white tips filed down very short to achieve the perfect white tip as when it's drawn free hand it can never be as perfect.
  10. becca boo
    Yeah hes full of crap.

    Tips can be any color if fact you can put just about anything in2 l&p and gel I have had lace, leaves, sand, confetti, paper, fabric, candy wrappers and so on in my nails.

    Check out this website her work is beautiful

    And solar nails and acrylic are the same thing not basically the same thing
  11. IllumeGirl
    gel applied over a white tip will often suffer service breakdown (eg. peeling,chipping)as the uv light cannot penetrate fully through the white tip for optimum he was kind of right..although he should have recommended clear or at least natural tips with white gel to achieve a french or a fully sculpted enhancement (no tips involved,just gel over a form).
    A good tech can give you french nails that look perfect without needing to use white tips..unfortunately you havent found one of these professional techs as of yet to show you. Hope you find one will be amazed at the difference!
  12. JulietP
    Becca Boo,
    So solar and acrylic are the same thing really. Thank for clearing that up.

    Melody Jayne,
    So he was sort of right that acrylic does indeed hold the white tip extensions better. The ONLY reason I have been wanting extension tips was to achieve that PERFECT french white tip which I have NEVER EVER been able to get when somebody draws it on free hand. It's always lop sided or messed up looking... and the white tip doesn't cover the entire sides of the nail when drawn free hand there's always a LOT of imperfections.

    So you are saying that "forms" exist which they can use to draw on the PERFECT white tip without needing tip extensions glued on? That would be fantastic... what exactly are these "forms" called?

    Right now I just have white tip extensions glued on underneath the acrylic and the tips are filed super short... and it does give me the PERFECT white tip though... so I really LOVE that :)

    I can't stop staring at my nails! I just love how they look with the acrylic and perfect white tips. I've never had such perfect white tips before.. as this is the first time I've ever had tip extensions... so I love looking at them!
  13. IllumeGirl
    A form is used in place of tips..product (either acrylic or gel) is applied over the form to add length then when this form is removed you have a nail.
    It is known as sculpting rather than tip and overlay which is what you are wearing.
    Sculpting on a form is just a different way to achieve extra length without the need for tips or adhesive.
    Both ways (tips or sculpts) give a good result..just some techs prefer sculpting over tips and vice versa..and of course some clients prefer one way or the other depending on thier own experiences..both are as durable as each other if done correctly.

    When your white tips start growing down and exposing your natural free edge then your tech will need to do a french rebalance which will involve her (or him!) thinning out your overlay and re applying white acrylic or gel to form a fresh new "smile" (french free edge) this will (or should be) done free hand.. with perfect results..if your tech just wants to soak off and redo white tips then she isnt exactly skilled.
    Hope i havent confused you!:lol:
  14. JulietP
    I see, thanks for the explanation. I like my nails to be very short but with a very wide white tip.

    My nails can go 2 weeks... but then they will be getting way too long for my taste and if I file them shorter it will make my white tip too narrow... I love wide white tips. So every 2 weeks I want to have my white tip completely removed and replaced with a fresh white tip extension.

    But you are saying that most people don't do this and once the initial white tip extension grows out... the tech would draw the white tip on free hand with acrylic rather than glue on a new fresh tip extension? I don't want this! I LOVE the tip extensions because they are PERFECT and would rather have a fresh new tip extension replacement :)

    But do you think it will damage my nails if I always remove the tip extension every 2 weeks and replace with a new tip extension?
  15. IllumeGirl
    yes sorry to say juliet but your nails will be damaged if you are frequently having soak offs.
    I think your reluctance to have a french rebalance and go the white tip route is because you havent been able to find a skilled tech as of yet.
    Have you looked on BeautyTech Beauty Professionals Networking on the Net- for the Nail Tech, Salon and Day Spa Owner, Cosmetologist, Esthetician for a tech near you?
    This is a fab website and is american. Not as wonderful as salongeek though! But should help you find a good tech.
  16. JulietP
    Thanks I shall check out that link you gave me to see if I can find a good tech.

    This is a bummer... I was hoping I would be able to soak them off completely every two weeks and get a fresh tip extension but I didn't realize this would be too damaging to the nails.

    But my white tip will only last two weeks though... because in two weeks my nails will be way too long and I will definitely need to file them much shorter (my nails grow very fast). After my nails are filed shorter I will barely have any white tip color on my french manicure left (and I love wide white tips)... so how will they paint on the new white tip without soaking off my acrylic?

    I guess they would just do a partial soak and not a full soak in order to paint the new white tip over my acrylic?
  17. ValencianNails
    The 'old' product is buffed down and fresh product is applied, there's no need to soak off each time.

    A high percentage of clients never have a soak off, not even in 2-3 years (or more), they keep on having their nails rebalanced and they leave with nails looking as good as the day their first set were applied.

  18. IllumeGirl
    Also wanted to add..if i were your tech then i would persuade you just to see how good a rebalance looks on one nail..and i would have you won over! I could not just do repeated soak offs..this is a sure sign of a unskilled tech...but a client like yourself would be a dream for the expense of your nails.
  19. JulietP
    Thanks for answering all my questions! I have a final concern though... I have only had the acrylic nails for about 4 days now. I did notice though that right after having them done one of the tips did not adhere properly to one of my nails and there is a gap between my nail and tip where it became detached. I know I must of course have this fixed because it can get fungus there.

    But my concern is that my nail underneath is EXTREMELY soft (like toilet paper) and bends VERY easily. You can tell that my natural nail underneath is completely DESTROYED!!!

    Is it NORMAL??? My nails were in PERFECT condition 4 days ago BEFORE I got the acrylic put on.... and now they are EXTREMELY thin and ruined underneath... is this because the tech drilled my nails way too much?

    I am so mad... I have a bad feeling that he put MMA nails on me... I just want to get ALL of this removed but am scared to see what condition my nails are like underneath.

    How come when the gel from my nails were removed they were still VERY healthy and in excellent condition... but then he continued to drill my nails (even though ALL the gel was already removed!!!) and put the acrylic on my nails... my nail underneath is like tissue paper! It bends all the way down with SLIGHT pressure... that is not normal.
  20. JulietP
    Sorry for having so many questions... this is the last one.

    Here's a pic of my acrylic nails:

    If you were me would you have my acrylic completely removed since I don't know if I received MMA or not... or can I just file them down to the length I want and then have them rebalance it? Right now they are way too long... I like them to be shorter and with a much wider white tip... so if I file them down to the length I want... I can then have them rebalance it and give me a wider white tip without gluing on a new tip extension, right?

    Maybe if I had gel nails instead of acrylic I could have new tip extensions glued on every 2 weeks since gel does not need to be soaked off like acrylic and therefore I could get new tip extensions every 2 weeks with gel without sacrificing my nail health... or am I wrong in thinking this?

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