Now, About This Gel Madness …

How can so many people manage to muddy up the simple concept of gel products? If anything, gel has got to be the most simply named product used for nail enhancements.


Gel is called gel because it's a gel.


"Gel" doesn't refer to the chemistry of the product. It doesn't refer to any chemical properties, or manufacturer, company, or brand name. It simply refers to the physical characteristics of the product. It's a gel. Like hair gel is a gel. Like some candles are gel. Like some air fresheners are gel. Like those insoles for shoes.


Except, most people do realize that all those products are not the same types of gel, right? So how can so many people in the trade argue over types of gel nail products?


I don't care if you call it "polycrylic," or "polygel," or even "liquid plastic" — gel is gel is gel. It came out of the container as a gel. It went on the nail as a gel. It went under the UV light as a gel. And it came out as a nail enhancement.


I have all sorts of issues about the way manufacturers have marketed gels over the years. I have all sorts of questions about why some manufacturers used to say that "gels" were chemically identical to acrylics and therefore not a good alternative to acrylics, but who now manufacture gels themselves and insist that the chemistry is all different from acrylic and bill their gel products as "hypoallergenic."




Nevertheless, no matter what the answers to those questions end up being, the fact is that your product is gel if it's a gel.


And here's something: All nail enhancement products are "poly"-somethings! Because "poly" is a prefix from the Greek word "polys" which means "many."


I don't care what your sales rep tells you. I don't care what the company's marketing materials say. Your polycrylic/polygel/rolypoly whatchacallit is just another plastic polymer.


Go ahead and call it "polycrylic" or "polygel" or "gel" or "liquid plastic" or "crystal nails" or "laser nails" — just remember, the more words you come up with, the more you confuse your clientele. But don't get all offended when someone calls your precious poly-majigger "gel." Especially when it walks like a gel and quacks like a gel.


Probably because it's a gel.


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