Gel vs Shellac Nails: Difference and Comparison

Gel, also referred to as “hard gel,” is formed of acrylic monomers and olefins that link together while exposed to UV radiation. Unlike Shellac, a gel manicure may be moulded to fit the curve of the nail, whereas Shellac has a stronger, glossier texture.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gel nails use a polymer resin that hardens under UV light, while shellac nails combine gel and traditional nail polish.
  2. Shellac nails have a more natural appearance and cause less damage to the nail bed than gel nails.
  3. Gel nails last longer, up to three weeks, compared to shellac nails, which last up to two weeks.

Gel vs Shellac Nails

Gel nails are used to paint fake nails and add designs to them, and they can be hardened by UV light. They have a glossy finish and last longer than normal nail paint. Shellac Nails are an in-salon nail polish invented by Creative Nail Design and is a hybrid of gel and normal nail polish.

Gel vs Shellac Nails

To generate fake nail additions, gel nails can be employed, but they’re also used as nail paint. UV light hardens them.

They last more than ordinary nail paint, and they don’t flake off as easily. One should expect them to last about a week with a glossy finish. 

Creative Nail Design invented and produced a specific in-salon nail polish that is used to make Shellac nails (CND).

With no drying time, deep and lasting outcomes, sheen, color, and ease of cleanup, shellac is a hybrid of gel and normal polish. They generate a shellac impression when subjected to LED light.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGelShellac Nails
Curing ProcessWhile UV light is used to cure a product, it might be a problem for certain individuals, just as in the case of Gel.In many ways, the curing time of shellac nails resembles that of Gel Fingernails.
Application ProcessUsing a base color, a topcoat, and polish are all easy to do while applying Gel nails. Curing is the only thing that needs to be added.One should start by applying the nail paint and shellac base layer, followed by the topcoat. They also have to condition the fingernails after each application of shellac.
Refill durationOrdinarily, they do not have refills. They need to be replaced if they are worn. Nevertheless, a re-fill is indeed an option.Shellac nails can be refilled after 2 to 3 weeks.
Guaranteed DurabilityGel nails last about 2 weeks, if not more. It’s possible to prolong the duration to 3 weeks given adequate care. Shellac nails do have 2 weeks of guaranteed durability. If the user takes good care of these, they can endure up to a month.
Removal ProcessThe Gel nails are notoriously difficult to get rid of. The best technique to remove gel nails is to file these off or immerse those in acetone.One should use aluminium wrapping, and cotton balls dipped in acetone to remove shellac nails. Using this method, users may remove the shellac nails with ease.

What is Gel?

To generate fake nail additions, gel nails can be employed, but they’re also used as nail paint. UV light hardens them. They last more than ordinary nail paint, and they don’t flake off as easily.

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One should expect them to last about a week with a glossy finish. Epoxy and fibreglass nails are stronger, but gel nails are less durable and likely to be more costly.

Some varieties of gel nails cannot be eliminated using acetone. Thus they must be cleaned in a salon by brushing.

Gel-X is a new type of gel nail extender that was developed in 2017 and is widely known as Gel-X. Gel nail tips come in various designs and thicknesses, and they cover the entire ingrown nail, including its tip. 

PH bonder (dehydrator) and acid-free gel primers are used to apply Gel-X. Last, but not least, it is adhered to using a gel attachment that cures under a UV/LED blue light.

Gel-X nails are removed by dissolving them in acetone for 20 minutes before removing them.

gel

What is Shellac Nails?

Creative Nail Design invented and produced a specific in-salon nail polish that is used to make Shellac nails (CND).

With no drying time, deep and lasting outcomes, sheen, color, and ease of cleanup, shellac is a hybrid of gel and normal polish. They generate a shellac impression when subjected to LED light.

A foundation coat, 2 coats of color, as well as a topcoat are all required, according to doing shellac nails. Each time a nail technician applies a new coat of lacquer, he or she will use an LED light to cure the nails.

If there’s a conclusion to be drawn from all, a glossy, long-lasting texture that does not require drying time is the one.

If a person uses Shellac, they may expect them to last somewhere between 10 to 14 days. After two weeks, the natural nail will tend to increase out, and it won’t be the prettiest look.

shellac nails

Main Differences Between Gel and Shellac Nails

  1. While UV light is used to cure a product, it might be a problem for certain individuals, just as in the case of Gel. In many ways, the curing time of shellac nails resembles that of Gel Fingernails.
  2. Using a base color, a topcoat, and polish are all easy to do while applying Gel nails. Curing is the only thing that needs to be added. Whereas, in the case of shellac nails, one should start by applying the nail paint and shellac base layer, followed by the topcoat. They also have to condition the fingernails after each application of shellac.
  3. Ordinarily, Gel nails do not have refills. They need to be replaced if they are worn. Nevertheless, a re-fill is indeed an option. On the other hand, Shellac nails can be refilled after 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. Gel nails last about 2 weeks, if not more. It’s possible to prolong the duration to 3 weeks, given adequate care. Shellac nails do have 2 weeks of guaranteed durability. If the user takes good care of these, they can endure up to a month.
  5. Gel nails are notoriously difficult to get rid of. The best technique to remove gel nails is to file these off or immerse those in acetone. One should use aluminium wrapping and cotton balls dipped in acetone to remove shellac nails. Using this method, users may remove the shellac nails with ease.
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References
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2011.00595.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0738081X13001375
Also Read:  Moss Stitch vs Seed Stitch: Difference and Comparison

Last Updated : 23 August, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Gel vs Shellac Nails: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The information about the pros and cons of gel and shellac nails, as well as the newer developments like Gel-X, is very valuable for those who are interested in nail care.

    Reply
    • The insights into the differences in the removal process and application make it easier to understand the differences between gel and shellac nails.

      Reply
    • I agree, this article does a great job in educating consumers about the options available in nail treatments and what to expect from each.

      Reply
  2. Both gel and shellac nails are great options, but it’s important to consider their differences in terms of application, durability, and removal process.

    Reply
  3. The detailed explanation of the composition of gel nails and shellac nails, along with the comparison table, provides a comprehensive understanding of the two options.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, having this level of detail about the different types of nail treatments is very beneficial for consumers to make informed decisions.

      Reply
  4. Learning about the different types of gel nails and the new developments like Gel-X nails is fascinating, it shows how the industry continues to evolve.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the advancements in nail technology open up more possibilities, giving consumers more options for their nail care needs.

      Reply
    • The detailed explanation of how Gel-X nails are applied and removed is very informative, thanks for shedding light on this newer option.

      Reply
  5. The differences between gel and shellac nails in terms of appearance, durability, and application are clearly laid out in this article.

    Reply
  6. I appreciate the detailed comparison table that outlines the key differences between gel and shellac nails, it helps in making a knowledgeable choice.

    Reply
    • The table provides a comprehensive view of the various aspects to consider when selecting between gel and shellac nail treatments.

      Reply
    • The breakdown of the guaranteed durability and removal process has been particularly enlightening, thanks for providing this detailed analysis.

      Reply
  7. Understanding the differences in the curing process and application of gel and shellac nails is crucial for those interested in nail treatments.

    Reply
  8. It’s interesting to know that shellac nails are a hybrid of gel and traditional nail polish, and they have less damage to the nail bed compared to gel nails.

    Reply
  9. The comparison of the durability of gel and shellac nails is particularly useful for those looking for long-lasting nail treatments.

    Reply

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