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How Gel Nail Extensions Work

Posted by Courtney

We get facials, we get pedicures, we go for spa treatments and we have manicures. Another part of a beauty regime for women are gel nail extensions. If you want to maintain and keep up with your gel nails, then gel nail extensions are a MUST! Most women schedule a gel nail extension the same day that they have their gel nails applied to their fingertips.

Why get gel nail extensions, you ask? All nails grow, and grow OUT, hence the need for an additional amount of gel to be applied to your fingers to maintain their appearance. The gel nail extension can also be referred to as a gel nail “fill”, as the gel nail extensions are used to cover up and “fill” any gaps that are created as your natural gel grows out from the cuticle.

There is the option between gel nails and acrylic nails, which when comparing the two can create a heated debated between women. What it comes down to really is a matter of preference. Here are some of the reasons why women tend to opt for gel nails rather than acrylic nails:

  • Gel nail extensions tend to be more natural in appearance than acrylic nails
  • They are thin, which again helps make them appear more natural
  • The extensions are clear, not opaque or colored
  • These extensions should not yellow or become discolored, as gel nails tend to come with a UV light gel that will protect them from discoloration.
  • These extensions do not lift as easily as acrylic nail extensions
  • They are lighter in weight, therefore less noticeable to the woman wearing them

Gel nail extensions are often also applied to nails to avoid any sort of splitting, chipping, peeling, or cracking of the natural nail.

The gel nail extensions are applied just as you would expect an acrylic nail to be applied to your finger tip – in a paste-form (though gel nail extensions still end to be fairly odorless compared to acrylic nail extensions). Once the paste is applied to your fingers to fill any gaps there may be, a UV light or lap is then brought into play. Your hands will be set under this UV lap so that the gel cures to your fingernails properly.

A definite drawback to this whole procedure is that it can easily take up to 3 hours to be completed. Acrylic nail fills or extensions will probably take significantly less time, but acrylic fills can look very thick and inauthentic. Again, it’s all a matter of what you need (i.e. do you need very strong nails or do you need natural looking nails?) and preference.

Just remember that at some point you will not be able to “fill” or get nail extensions any longer and actually need to have the gel removed from your finger. After the removal of the gel nail extensions and the nail itself, your natural nails will need a ton of special care and attention. Make sure that you keep your hands clean and moisturized, and allow them to ‘rest’. Do not reapply any gel nails, nail tips, or gel nail extensions for at least 2 weeks (preferably 4 weeks) after the removal of the gel nails.

Recommended Articles:

The Pros and Cons of Having Short Acrylic Nails
How To Do Your Own French Pedicure
How To Prevent Hangnails
Top 5 Fall 2012 Nail Polishes

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