Which Manicure Is Better? Powder vs Gel Nails

Women who love a good mani-pedi are spending an average of $1,345 on their nails per year and visiting the salon about every two weeks. It’s no wonder that more and more women are wondering which type of nail treatment is best!

For decades, traditional acrylics were the primary solution for anyone who wanted long, eye-catching nails without having to worry about their own nails breaking or growing too slowly. Now, there are far more options when it comes to manicured nails.

The hot topic of the year boils down to powder vs gel nails. Which treatment is better for your nails? Which treatment is better for your wallet?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about powder vs gel nails and find out which of the two is right for you!

Powder vs Gel Nails: The Basics

First thing’s first: let’s talk about the basics. Walking into a salon can feel a little intimidating when you’re not sure what all these different terms and treatments mean. What exactly are powder and gel nails?

Powder Nails

Dip powder is a new and innovative solution to the “fake” nail treatment. If you’ve gotten acrylic nails before, you’ve seen nail technicians combine a liquid monomer with a powder to create a more creamy “polish.” This is then applied to each nail and shaped before it is allowed to dry.

In order to apply dip powder, on the other hand, nail technicians apply a resin directly to the nail before dipping them, still wet, into the colored powder of your choice. You are left with a hard-coated substance similar to classic acrylics.

Gel Nails

When we’re talking about gel, we’re talking about a specific type of nail polish. It can be used on your natural nails or on an acrylic designed to give you more length and shape.

Like regular nail polish, gel polish is applied to the nail with a brush. Then, your hands are placed below a UV light that aids in the curing process. Once gel nail polish is cured, you are left with very strong, hard nails.

While this process may sound more simple than using dip powder, it can actually take a longer period of time simply because the polish has a thicker viscosity and needs ample time to cure. If you leave the salon before the curing process is complete, you will likely notice imperfections early on.

Dip Powder Nails vs Gel: Quality

The reality is that it’s hard to argue that one type of treatment produces a better quality manicure than the other. In the end, it comes down to what you need as the client.

As we mentioned earlier, gel can take a little bit longer than dip powder. If you want to walk out of the salon with a gorgeous manicure after a 30-40 minute treatment, dip powder is the way to go.

Gel, on the other hand, is ideal for anyone with brittle nails or nails that are often stained. Gel is often resistant to solvents, making it difficult to stain. Nail technicians can also use specific techniques to create an arch along the nail using gel polish that strengthens the nail it makes it harder to break.

Is One Healthier Than the Other?

Clients who regularly get their nails done often inquire about the health of their natural nail. Is it harmful to keep your natural nails “covered up” all the time? Are certain treatments worse for your nails than others?

The truth is that by the time your nail has grown, it has everything it needs (and can absorb) to remain strong and healthy. Why, then, do so many people discover that their natural nails are damaged when they remove their acrylics, polish, or other treatments?

If your natural nails are damaged, it’s a sign that either the technician did not take the proper precautions or that the treatment was not properly removed. The latter is most common, as many women peel or break the treatment off of their nails, rather than returning to the salon for proper removal.

Gel Nails vs Dip Powder: Cost

When you scan over a salon’s prices, you’re bound to find that dip powder is more expensive than gel almost everywhere you go. Why is that?

The primary reason that dip powder tends to run higher in cost is that it is also designed to last longer. If you know that you’re going to hit the salon every two weeks no matter what, you may find that gel is a better option. However, if you don’t want to return to the salon for three to four weeks, dip powder is worth the investment.

Powder vs Gel Nails: Home Treatment

Let’s say you want to skip the salon altogether and try out these treatments at home. Is one better than the other?

If you’re going for a home treatment and you don’t have a ton of experience, we always recommend using gel. If you know how to paint your nails with regular polish, you should be able to master a DIY gel manicure. Dip powder, on the other hand, requires a little more know-how, especially if you’re going for added length.

You may also find better gel options in the DIY department. Many companies have put effort and time into developing quality gel polishes that are suitable for everyone, like this water permeable nail polish that is both halal and cruelty-free!

The Choice Is Yours

So now that you have the 411 on dip vs gel nails, you can see that the choice is yours. Both are phenomenal options for anyone looking for a beautiful, durable manicure. In the end, you’ll want to consider things like cost and appointment time when making your final decision.

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