What the Heck are Gel Nails?


What the Heck are Gel Nails?

by Christine Wheaton, Sassable staff writer

gel nails.jpg

I have recently been hearing more and more about this mysterious type of nail called “gel nails”. What is it? And why are they so popular all of a sudden? Katy Perry says she wears nothing but gel nails (like the leopard print above) and loves them because they are so strong she can scrub the tub with them on...although I highly doubt Katy Perry is scrubbing ANY tubs.


So here is the deal, gel nails are a type of artificial nail. They are made from a monomer liquid and polymer powder (fancy ingredients that make hard resin when dry). This type of resin, in a gel nail, is the closest thing to a real natural nail in look and feel. It is even flexible like a real nail but with a lot more strength. You can also do all the same things with gel nails as with any other nail like filing, painting, airbrushing, decorating, etc. 


There are two kinds of gel nails: light cured and no-light. The light cured gel is just that...cured (hardened) with UV light. The no-light gel needs no light to cure but can be cured instead by an “activator” usually sprayed on or brushed on. There is even a kind of no-light gel that can be cured by dipping in regular water...nice! 


Benefits of gel nails. 

-looks and feels just like a natural nail

-this type of resin mix is odorless making it safe for women who are pregnant

-very strong and durable

-they are super thin so the regrowth of your new nail will not be as noticeable therefore less fill ins are needed.


Disadvantages of gel nails. 

-more expensive then regular acrylics running at about $30 to $40. 

-can be damaging to the natural nail just like acrylics

-break a little easier than acrylics

-polish seems to chip and wear a little more easily as well 


Things to pay attention to for any artificial nail.

-you get what you pay for for, do not settle for a cheap seedy nail salon when dealing with gel nails or any artificial nail.

-all artificial nails are susceptible to fungus, another reason why the nail technician needs to know what she’s doing. 

-do follow-up visits to make sure they are filed properly 

-always get gel nails (and any artificial nails) removed at a salon, less damage will be done to your natural nails that way. 


With all that being said, there is so much FUN to be had with gel nails! My current fav being that mirror finish metallic awesomeness (see Beyonce above) I’ve seen on tons of celebs lately!