The Difference Between Traditional Gels and Gel-Polish

September 30, 2013

I want to be able to explain the difference between traditional gels and gel-polish to clients in a simple way. Any tips?


Traditional hard gels differ from soak-off or soft gels in that hard gels are going to be more durable and longer-lasting on the nail. If the client wants to add any signifi cant length to her nail, a traditional hard gel would be the proper selection. This is not to say that soak-off gels won’t last long, but they might wear on the free edge over time, whereas traditional gels will not. Traditional gels will also retain gloss and strength for longer periods of time. Soak-off gels may chip or break easier than traditional gels. The bottom line is that traditional gels will not wear off until you file them off.

— Jim McConnell is the president of Light Elegance Nail Products.

Have a technique question? (about product application, troubleshooting, etc.) E-mail it to and check back here for an expert answer.

How can I prevent lifting when my client's hands are constantly in water?

I have a client who is in the medical field so her hands are constantly in water. She has me keep the length of her acrylic nails short. No matter what I do, she always has at least one nail that comes off, and she always has lifting and gets water under the acrylic. I prep the nails correctly, I have a cuticle bit to clean the cuticle area, and I wipe the nail with alcohol, dehydrate the nail, and prime the nail. What should I do?

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