Gone are the days when acrylics and gel are the reigning nail enhancements. These services have been the most popular for decades, but now consumers are looking for healthier alternatives. Acrylic and gel are known for their hazardous ingredients.
It’s also quite challenging to conduct these nail enhancements at home, and takes nail technicians years to master. However, the nail industry is constantly innovating, allowing new services like Polygel and dip powder nails to overshadow acrylics/gels.
What is the difference between Polygel and dip powder nails? They both share a similar goal: to provide a durable nail enhancement, but they vary in application methods or products needed to carry out the service.
Polygel nails offer a unique take on nail enhancements due to their hybrid formula. This nail service combines the likes of acrylic and gel into one. It is usually packaged in a squeezable tube with a gooey or toothpaste consistency.
Dip powder nails are also a hybrid nail service incorporating acrylic and gel characteristics. Also, dip powder nails are named appropriately because the enhancement is formed by dipping the nails into a powder for color and protection.
What Are Polygel Nails?
Polygel nails have taken the world by storm for several reasons, including their easy application method. They’re a mixture of acrylic powder and clear gel that allows them to have the durability of an acrylic with the ease of a gel nail service.
This gives them a pasty texture that can easily be squeezed from their tube casing.
How To Apply Polygel Nails
Polygel nails are simple to apply because they don’t require mixing like regular acrylics. First, you must prep your natural nails, including shaping, cuticle care, and using primers. Then, you’ll add your base coat and cure it under a lamp.
Next, add your polygel, sculpt it to the nail, cure it under a nail lamp again, and finish with a top coat. Also, the directions can vary by your polygel brand.
If you want to see a visual tutorial, take a look at this video from cutepolish on YouTube.
Pros Of Polygel
Polygel nails are growing in popularity for their ease and convenience. They’re a long-lasting enhancement that combines the best of gel and acrylic into one service. You can choose from an array of color Polygel tubes to get your ideal result.
A considerable advantage of Polygel is its no-mix formula. This takes all the guesswork out of doing nails so that you can have a perfect application with every service.
Acrylic requires you to mix the exact ratio of polymer and monomer for successful results. The Polygel formula is ready to use straight out of the tube.
Durable & Resistant
Polygel nails are just as durable and resistant as other nail enhancements. You would apply Polygel with a gel base and top coat that allows it to have the flexibility of gel. However, the Polygel contains an acrylic powder which can help make it resistant.
Another reason many individuals are ditching traditional nail enhancements is their odorlessness. Breathing in the fumes often associated with acrylic or gel can be quite toxic and harmful. It may even lead to health complications.
Thankfully, Polygel enhancements are free of harsh fragrances, which offer a safer alternative than traditional services.
Cons Of Polygel
Polygel nails have downsides, but they can depend on your preferences. For example, Polygel may not be the best service to perform at home if you don’t want to invest in a nail lamp or other professional equipment.
Another downside for beginners is the Polygel removal process. The incorrect removal can hinder your nail health.
Because Polygels are durable and sturdy, they can be challenging to remove. A nail drill is the safest and most convenient way to remove Polygel. This will safely file off all the product without harming your natural nails.
Peeling, picking, and over-filing can damage your nail’s integrity. For more information, check out our article How To Remove Polygel Nails.
Requires UV Lamp
Polygel needs to be cured under a nail lamp. This may not be a downside for everyone, but it can be if you don’t want to purchase professional gear like a nail lamp or efile. It’s similar to gel, which needs to harden fully under a nail light.
These lamps can also harm the skin, so it’s crucial to wear SPF on the hands or use UV gloves.
How Long Does Polygel Last?
People can be drawn to Polygel nails due to their longevity. They can offer the same wear time as acrylics and gel, if not more. The average lifespan of Polygel nails is three weeks. However, in some cases, Polygel nails can even last for a month.
Several factors, like nail prep, application, and removal, contribute to wear time.
What Are Dip Powder Nails?
Dip powder nails are also a hybrid service of acrylic and gel polish. It incorporates acrylic powder to achieve an even coat of color and protection. Like Polygel, it has the durability of acrylic enhancements with the ease of gel nail services.
How To Apply Dip Powder Nails
Dip powder nails are beginner-friendly and can be easily applied at home. They involve nail prep followed by bonders and base coats. After you apply the base coat, you can dip the nail into the pot of acrylic powder.
Depending on your desired intensity, you may dip the nail one or two times and finish with a top coat. Again, directions can vary by brand.
If you want to see a visual tutorial, take a look at this video from Kiara Sky Nails on YouTube.
Pros Of Dip Powder Nails
Dip powder nails offer a fun and exciting way to apply nail enhancements. They can easily be used at home and won’t require professional equipment like a nail lamp. It also has a simple application method that doesn’t require precision.
Lastly, dip powder nails can be just as durable as acrylic enhancements.
No Lamp Required
Dip powder nails are more beginner-friendly because they don’t require the use of specific professional equipment like nail lamps.
This makes it an excellent service to learn how to master at home. You only need your prep products, powder, and top coat. You won’t need to cure the powder to enjoy a long-lasting finish.
Easy Home Use
Another advantage of dip powder nails is their simple application method. All you do is prep, dip, and seal for durable nails. Also, you can find multiple dip powder kits that can help you start applying these enhancements at home.
However, the removal process can be damaging if not done correctly. Most dip powders are soak-off but can also be filed.
Durable & Resistant
Finally, dip powder nails offer the same durability and resistance as acrylics or gels. Dip powder nails use a similar acrylic powder used in acrylic enhancements that allow you to achieve a level of protection and opaque color.
Cons Of Dip Powder Nails
Dip powder nails do come with their drawbacks. For example, you may need to be careful with how often you dip or how much product is applied because you can quickly achieve a thick or bumpy finish.
Also, dip powders can pose a hygiene risk or trigger a reaction.
Dip powder nails share a few similarities with acrylic nails, like the powder used for dipping and bonders. However, these products can be pretty harsh and potentially trigger an allergic reaction, so it may be wise to conduct a patch test beforehand.
Finally, dip powders can pose a hygiene risk, especially at salons. Salons should avoid dipping nails into the pot because it can easily transfer bacteria. This can quickly increase infections and is the least sanitary nail enhancement.
You want to ensure you don’t have open wounds, warts, or anything else that could potentially contaminate your dip powder.
How Long Does Dip Powder Last?
Dip powder nails can also last for at least 2-3 weeks with the proper care. They can also last up to a month, depending on how fast your nails grow. Other factors contributing to longevity include good nail prep, application, and removal.
You can always follow your brand’s direction for the best results.
Dip Powder Vs Polygel
Dip powder and Polygel nails are a hybrid of acrylic and gel nails. They offer durability and longevity without the pain of applying acrylic or gel.
Polygel nails have a paste-like texture and are packaged in a tube, so no mixing is required. However, it must be cured under a nail lamp to achieve the perfect finish.
Dip powder nails incorporate acrylic powder to coat the nail plate, offering great color payoff and protection. In addition, you don’t need a nail lamp, and the dip powder can be soaked off.
Which Nail Enhancement Is Right For You?
Dip powder is an excellent option for beginners who want a simple nail enhancement. You need prep products, the powder, and a top coat, or purchase a dip powder kit. However, conduct a patch test if you have sensitive skin or nails.
Polygel is ideal for those with a more advanced setup or who want to invest in a nail lamp and efile. The Polygel is already mixed and ready to be applied right out of the tube, and you need to cure it under a lamp.
Which service will you try next?