What is the difference between acrylic and shellac nails?
by Emma Raho
With so many nail treatments on the market It's pretty easy to get confused about what method achieves which result. A common mix up is the difference between shellac and acrylic nails.
Firstly, shellac isn't the name of a type of treatment, it's a brand of gel nail. Gel nails are one step up from a traditional manicure with polish. While preparing your nails by trimming, filing, cleaning, and drying to prevent infection is the same for both gel and acrylic, they function very differently.
You cannot build length with gel. The gel is applied then set under UV light giving a hard, high gloss result that lasts without chipping for roughly 3 weeks. They are perfect for those who want to add colour and shape to natural nails and the perfect option for short nails.
With acrylics you can get more creative. They are applied with a liquid that is a monomer and a powder that is a polymer that is mixed and applied to a plastic tip, giving length, strength, and shape to the nail. Gel can then be applied over the acrylic nail to complete the look along with any other designs or embellishments you'd like to add. Acrylic is a fantastic option for those who want long nails but don't have time to grow them or have brittle, weak nails prone to breakage.