What is the difference between acrylic nails, gel nails, and solar nails?

I currently have acrylic nails but they are so thick and have to be covered while tanning. Also, I always have a french manicure, but the tips (where they are air-brushed) look terrible after a few days. I also have a major problem with them lifting. Are gel or solar nails better? Also, how can I make sure they are true "gel" nails? I have heard that some salons will try to pass acrylic as gel.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    acrylic nails....

    there are many options for acrylics.. french, american, or regular tips.. frech and american can only be clear.. regular can be used as any color that you can apply ontop.. after the nail tech apply the acrylic powder, file, drill, and buff them they would just put clear top coat ontop of frech and american tips... but for the regular tips.. they would put the color that you would want they they add topcoat....

    Solar nails....

    solar nails are often use a different kind of acrylic powder called solar powder.. these solar powder jars are sold in one jar.. if you asked for solar nails and the nail tech brought out a jar without the letter solar ontop then it is not solar acrylic... unlike regular acrylic nails.. solar nails have nothing to do with polish.. after they apply the acrylic, file, drill, buff them they would add a buffing cream and use a solar drill and buff your nails until they turn shiny.

    Gel nails..

    gels and regular acrylic are often the same.. same structure and how they are applied... the only different part is when after they buff your nails.. they would NOT add oil to your nails but they would put a coat of gels ontop... gel dry almost instantly with the UV curing gel ray...

    if i would pick one... i would deffinatly pick the french GEL nails.. i have them on right now and they look so good.. i dont have to worry about the polish chipping cause GEL nails do not chip even if you are swimming BTW i just came home from the swim GYM. heheh.. and they last much longer than the solar because solar fade overtime and it turn dull.. gels stays shiny all the time until you get your refillss....

    Source(s): i am a professional nail technician and i LOVE doing my nails.. =)
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Solar Nails according to a beauty advice website. Solar nails are similar to the acrylic nails but they use a different product - usually white or pink acrylic nails. Solar nails often look like a French manicure. Like the acrylic nails, the solar nails also should be refilled every three weeks. My input: Solar nails are actually acrylic nails made by Creative Nail products. They are pink and white nails.. A lot of nail salons will offer them as solar but NOT use Creative nail products but regular pink and white acrylic. They are not solar nails. Pink and white nails are just two colors of acrylic. Pink on the nail beds and white at the tip to look like a permenant french manicure. I prefer uv liquid gel nails. They are more flexible than solar nails and look more natural if done right. I also love my gel nails because they NEVER lift. I usually get a fill every 3-5 weeks and my nails grow fast. Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Acrylic Nails

    Acrylic nails are called many different names, with the nail technician's least favorite being "fake nails". We much prefer the term artificial nails. There are several different types of artificial nail enhancement products as well as application procedures. The most commonly applied enhancement is traditional acrylic, which is a two-part system of liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer). This type of product can be applied with one color of acrylic, pink and white acrylic for a Permanent French look, or can be applied with colored acrylic, glitter acrylic or in any combination.

    Solar Nails

    Its basically white and pink acrylic instead of polish. It lasts longer than reg acrylic nails and doesn't chip because the acrylic gets buffed. Its much harder and stronger, but harder to get off.

    Gel Nails

    Gel acrylic is a one-part system consisting of the application of a thick viscosity gel acrylic. Gel is normally 'cured' under a UV light. Do not confuse gel with traditional acrylic. Even though the two products are actually acrylic, they apply and wear differently. Gel applied over acrylic to seal the surface does not make your nails "Gel Nails". Gel nails are actually acrylic nails; they are made from the same class of acrylates, but with different molecular structures, appearance, application procedures and different curing methods. Be certain you are receiving the artificial nails you requested.


    I had the same problem when i got an airbrushed french tip. Why dont you just get white tip nails put on. These tips are already white. They look alot better and more natural then airbrushed frenches. There like $5 more.

    Acrylic has more of a whitish look to it. Gel is clear and sticky like. They should be in separate bottles.

    Source(s): Nail Freak!!
  • 4 years ago

    American Tip Nails

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