FAQ: How do I know if I am getting gel or acrylic?
Recently we have had an increased number of ladies book in with us for the first time for a gel refill (which they had done somewhere else) who have unknowingly had acrylic applied (we can tell the difference when we start to file it at the beginning of a refill). They had gone to another nail bar and asked for gel nails. These particular nail bars are usually in Dublin, the UK or US, you know the type we are talking about. The client had asked for gel nails. When they questioned the nail technician the reason why they were using a powder and a liquid when they usually had gel applied using a ‘paste’ like substance, they were told it is a ‘powder gel’. When in fact, there is no such thing as powdered gel. They were applying acrylic to the clients nails. This is usually because these particular salons are not trained in gel nails and instead of losing a customer they will lie to to the customer and say it is gel. Now when a ‘professional’ is telling you something, of course you are going to believe them.
Now there is nothing wrong with having acrylic applied (provided it is a good quality acrylic and does not contain MMA, which some salons will use as it is cheaper for them to buy) but it is not right to lie to a client and provide them with a service they did not want.
Some salons will even charge MORE for ‘gel nails’ and will still use acrylic with a gel polish top coat and call this gel nails. This is NOT gel nails.
Acrylic is a powder and a liquid that is mixed together on the brush before being applied, it dries itself on the nail. It also has a very strong smell. Gel is a runny paste like substance that is applied to the nail and cured under a UV lamp.
When you are having your nails done please be vigilant with what your nail technician is using and ensure you are getting the service you asked for.