Soft Gel Vs Hard Gel – What is the Difference?

I am sure nearly everyone has popped some nail polish on themselves, or had their nails done for them, at least once in their life. I know I personally love Gelish, as its three-week wear suits me well. Not only that, but I also know that a lot of our client here at our salon religiously have hard gel extensions, one of the brands we use is called LCN. But just what is the difference between the two?

With a more gel than lacquer-like consistency, these products are actually pre-mixed monomers that polymerize when cured. Once cured, they harden and have a beautiful glossy finish to them. Normally, a soft gel will last around 2-3 weeks, and hard gel even longer. However, with hard gel, clients will often come back every 2-3 weeks for an infill, this is mainly due to growth of the nail and wanting to keep the manicure looking fresh, and nothing to do with the product wearing or chipping off.

Fake Nails

Hard gels have a tight molecular structure and low molecular weight. Because of this tight structure, acetone cannot penetrate to break down the gel. This is why filing is used to remove hard gel from the nails. Soft gels, however, have a higher molecular weight and elongated molecular structure, creating space between cross-linking agents. The space between allows for solvents to penetrate and break down the product.

For clients who are looking to add significant length to their nails, a hard gel (LCN, Light Elegance) would be the better option since it is more durable, and the nail technician can build length onto your natural nail very easily with this product. “This is not to say that soak-off (soft) gels (Gelish, Shellac) won’t last long, but they might wear on the free edge over time,” explains Light Elegance president and chemist Jim McConnell. In comparison, soak-off gels last about one or two weeks longer without chipping than regular polish.

It is a client’s personal preference as to which they would prefer. I like a soft gel because I cannot have my nails too long for work, and the hard gel often works better on people who want that bit more length. Whereas a soft gel is less maintenance, and easier to remove. One form is not better than the other. Any damage that occurs is normally down to application and removal of product, and incorrect tools being used during the treatment.

If you want to keep your manicure looking fresh and new, and your cuticles hydrated, then using something like the CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Care Pen should be your go-to. This award-winning cuticle oil will nourish the nail and cuticle, anytime, anywhere.

If you’re looking to remove your Gelish at home, then the Gelish Soak Off Kit will help you through that process. It contains everything you need for safe home removal of Gelish polish.

So if you’re fancy treating yourself to a manicure or pedicure and you live in or around the Lichfield areas (West Midlands) then head on over to our website for more information on what we can offer you.

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