The gel nails vs acrylic nails debate has been raging for a few years now. A lot of people reside in one camp and vehemently side by it. But what happens when you objectively look at both on a point by point basis to see which is better? Which kind of nail wins? Let’s take a look.
Gel Nails VS Acrylic Nails Comparison: The Cost
The cost of acrylic nails versus gel nails is about the same in a salon visit. You can expect to pay around $40 for either procedure, though gel nails can often cost a bit more.
However, with gel nails most people choose not to use a salon at all. Instead, you can purchase an at home kit for under $100 that’ll allow you to apply your own gel nails at home. If you purchase an at home kit, doing gel nails is much, much cheaper than doing acrylic nails.
Acrylic nails are rarely done at home because of the chemicals involved and the difficulty of the procedure.
Comparison: The Longevity
How long to acrylic nails last and how long do gel nails last? Generally, you can expect both kinds of nails to look fantastic for between one to three weeks. Acrylic nails will usually last between one or two weeks in pristine condition, while gel nails will look amazing for two or three weeks.
In other words, gel nails wins by a fair margin.
What about durability, in terms of how well the nails resist outside pressures? What happens if you accidentally put pressure on a nail?
Acrylic nails are notorious for chipping or snapping. Even a small amount of force can cause an acrylic nail to chip. One chipped nail usually means you need to go in for another salon visit, which is another $40 down the drain.
Gel nails on the other hand are much more durable. They have a bit of “flex” to them, so they can bend a little without breaking. They’re still naturally hard and feel like nails, but if they’re hit their natural inclination is to bend rather than break. It’s still possible to chip them, but it’s much less likely.
Gel Nails VS Acrylic Nails Comparison: Shine and Look
From a distance, both acrylic nails and gel nails look about the same. Up close however, there are some major differences.
Acrylic nails can have a plastic and artificial look to them. Any woman (or fashion conscious man) can easily look and see that you’re wearing acrylic nails.
On the other hand, gel nails are much more difficult to spot. They look just like normal nails. They have fantastic shine, even without applying a surface coating.
Gel nails also look better when removed. When you remove an acrylic nail, your nail underneath will look terrible. It’ll look corroded and smell strange. With gel nails, your natural nail will still look healthy and supple.
As you can see, gel nails wins out in almost every category, from ease to cost to looks to durability. In some categories it wins by a lot, while in others it wins by just a little. All in all, it’s pretty clear that gel nails are the better choice for most women.