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How many ways can you enhance a nail?

by NLS Staff | June 1, 2008

The variety of systems used today to create nail enhancements can leave a nail tech wondering which one is best for her and her clients. Each has their pros and cons, and the differences between the systems are often subtle. But here is a quick rundown to give you a little info on some of the more common enhancement systems.

Contributions by Vicki Peters, president, Vicki Peters Nail Products and MaeLing Parrish, global educator trainer, American International Industries.


What it Does Who It's Good For How to Remove
Acrylics Acrylic is the strongest form of enhancement and offers limited flexibility. Acrylics can be worn on almost any kind of nail bed. Remove by soaking in acetone.
Gels UV-cured gels provide more flexibility than acrylics, while retaining a similar look.
The increased flexibility is good for clients that are more active with their hands. With the exception of soak-off gels, most gels are acetone-resistant and need to be filed off.
Soak-Off Gels Soak-off gels are even more flexible than regular gels, and work great as a transitory enhancement before returning to natural nails.
Good for clients who want temporary and short-term enhancements. Not intended for glamour-length nails. Remove by soaking in acetone.
Dipping Systems Dipping systems are a glue-and-acrylic powder enhancement, usually cured with a glue accelerator. They offer flexibility similar to gels. Great for natural nail repairs when using resin and acrylic, and for students needing temporary nails for proms. Remove by soaking in acetone.
Wraps Wraps systems are applied with resin or glue and use materials that coat the nail plate to increase the strength of the enhancement. The materials are typically made of silk, fiberglass, linen, or paper. Great for clients with “mature” nail beds (dry, cracked, or peeling nails). Remove by soaking in acetone.
Nail tech Melba Mosley demonstrates reflexology techniques on colleague Apryl Moore, while...

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