Shikha Mittal


Difference Between Gel and Acrylic Nail Extensions


There are so many choices and million ways to get your nails done. When you enter into salon you feel like you are in super market. You will surely confuse what to choose what not to choose between Dip powder, shellac, gel, polygel, or acrylic. Uff!! So much confusion will create. Mostly people having a debut in between with risks of chipped nail polish, broken nails, and more; selecting the proper technique is the key for ensuring your nails go the distance. If you’re ready to figure out once and for all how gel and acrylic nails differ, you’ve come to the right place.

Well gel and acrylic are the best and attractive option that every women love it! However many people still don’t know the difference between both. Many women ask their manicurists questions like: What’s the difference between gel nails and acrylic nails? Which do you think is better for me? And much more. If you’re ready to figure out once and for all how gel and acrylic nails differ, you’ve come to the right place.

Gel V/s Acrylic

The Application Process

Gel nails give smooth finish and glossy appearance thus it is the popular choice and preferably most. Hard gels are applied by using a bonder and a base coat and then the gel nail polish onto the nail.  In acrylic, methacrylate’s, a type of acrylic is applied by filling down to the nail and applying a mixture of a polymer and monmer on the nail.

Long- lasting

Often gels will last between 10-14 days before needing your attention again. Though you can easily extend this to 30 days lengths, if you are careful enough to file off nails once they outgrow your manicure. Although acrylics are also long-lasting (they can last for up to 4 weeks).

The curing process

Gel nails are cured underneath a UV light whereas Acrylic nails are a faster alternative to gel nails as the product dries while it’s being applied.

Removal process

The removal process of gel and acrylic nails is different. It must be done by professionals. Gel nails cannot be removed by acetone. Soak-off-gels are easier to remove but your nail plate can still be damaged if the gel is scraped off before it’s completely dissolved. They are removed by filing off the nail whereas acrylic nails are removed by soaking the nail in acetone for 20 minutes. You can give your nails a few days to recover their strength before having another mani or moisturize more often and learn to care for them in-between manicures. Whereas Acrylic nails are removed by soaking the                 nail in acetone for 20 minutes. 

Shaping process

Shaping in gel nails are relatively simple as it does not involve a lot of filing but in acrylic, it involves  a lot of heavy handed buffing and filing.


Acrylics lack the natural look and flexibility of natural nails like the dip or gel manicure but are cheaper. They can be used to extend and also last longer than other dip or gel manicure.


This is hardly a defining factor between these two wonderful options, but hard gel nails are generally more expensive than acrylic nails.

These are the differences between gel nails and acrylic nails, so that myth is solved. Actually there is always some pros and cons in each one. But now you have the power to make more informed decisions on your next visit to your favorite salon.