Just like the class and refinement of a man are gauged by looking at his shoes, similarly, the clean, manicured, beautifully adorned hands and nails of a woman talk a lot about her personality. Since time forever, women with long and well-kept nails have somehow carried the reputation of being from an elite background. A part of the reason for this is that longer nails reflect that the woman belongs to a privileged echelon of society and is not required to entangle herself in household chores or laborious work. Women who have to cook food daily or are involved in house tasks or cleaning and wiping can seldom afford to carry long nails.
My mother often narrates this interesting anecdote to us when my father and his family had come to her home for the first time to see her, she was carrying these very long nails. My mother was a fashion-forward woman during the heydays of her youth and had her beguiling sense of style. She categorically tells me that she was very fond of sporting long nails and would change her nail paint color after every few days.
So, when my father had come to visit them, she made sure that her hands and nails look attractive and well-kept.
Though my dad had complimented her on her beautiful hands that day, my grandmother (my mother’s future mother-in-law) had, in a light vein, categorically asked her if her log nails were not a deterrent to her engaging in any household chores.
This is the extent to which sporting beautiful nails can talk about your personality and lifestyle. Clean and manicured hands are also indicative of the person’s inclination towards a healthy and hygienic lifestyle.
What are Nail Extensions?
For women who are not blessed with naturally healthy and strong nails or are in the habit of biting or chewing away their nails often, Nail extensions are a real savior. Bejeweled or dazzling square or almond-shaped nails does catch the fancy of the eye and add to the grace and elegance of a woman.
Nail Extension is the process of sticking or gluing artificial nail ends to either your nail tips or your nail beds. The nail length and the shape are then filed to suit the desirability. The upper layer is then buffed to achieve a flat, smooth finish.
Nail Extension is a temporary procedure and the artificial nails tend to come off after a few days. There is no nail extension procedure in the world right now that can promise a permanent extension. And for good reason too. Our nails need air to breathe and space to grow.
Permanent Nail extensions would damage the nail beds and cuticles of our nails permanently.
Whenever it comes to making any changes to your natural features, anatomy, or any part of your body, no brand or procedure in this world can commit a permanent upgrade. They all need refills after some duration of time or else cause more harm than good if done incessantly. This also brings us to another important factor to keep in mind. Though the idea of having those gorgeous, be-witching long nails do seem tempting, do give breathing space to your natural nails between two nail extension sessions. For a week at least, leave your natural nails clean and free to recuperate. You would not want to permanently damage your natural nails in the lust for those long artificial nail tips, made of plastic, in most cases.
There are majorly two types of nail extensions that are popular in the market, Acrylic Nail Extensions and Gel Nail Extensions. Though both of them have their own pros and cons, it is only prudent to research thoroughly on both before you make up your mind to get your nail extensions done.
What are Acrylic Nail Extensions?
In acrylic nail extensions, the technician usually puts a nail length to the tip of your nails. A mix of polymer powder and monomer liquid is then combined to get a blob-like dough that is spread out on your nail and efficiently glued with a brush to keep both layers intact and also give form and dimension to your nail. The nail is then air-dried and left alone to settle down and adapt to its final form. After a while, the nail length is shaped and trimmed suiting the need and likeability of the customer. Finally, the nail is painted with gel-based lacquers or an ordinary lacquer. One may even opt for any interesting nail art or nail embellishments to further heighten the whole visual effect.
What are Gel Nail Extensions?
In contrast to acrylic nail extensions, gel nail extensions involve the use of a complete pre-shaped nail tip that is made of gel and is directly glued to your nail bed. It does not require any mixture of chemicals to be made and applied to your nails. The gel is already a pre-made mixture and is very lightweight to be applied to your nails. For the gel nail extensions, your manicurist or the nail salon would need an LED or UV Light station to dry up these nails. Yes, gel nail extensions do not just air-dry, they need that blue light to come to their final form. The final nail is then filed and buffed, really to be soaked into the nail paint or nail art of your choice.
Difference between Acrylic and Gel Nail Extensions
Chemical procedure – The first and foremost is the extent of chemicals used on your natural nails. Acrylic nails need a mix of a polymer and a monomer to be molded to give shape to the nail. The gel Extension method is devoid of the use of any such chemicals. Hence, it is far less damaging to your natural nails. Rather, the gel nail extension aids the growth of your natural nails and makes them much stronger. Once you would put off your gel nails, you would find your natural nails in far better condition than before. Gel nails also tend to be more natural-looking, contrary to the acrylic tips that come off with a somewhat artificial appearance. The vertical bump caused due to the chemical mix being added as an additional layer to the nail also does a disservice to the natural look of the nail.
Softness and flexibility – Acrylic nails are much harder and thicker than their gel counterparts. Gel nails, on the contrary, are softer, more flexible and very light in weight. While you have these nails on, you always run the risk-off breaking away your acrylic nails or causing a crack. Gel nails, are, however, flexible and do not tend to break from in between. You can carry out your normal activities without being worried about your nails chipping off or lifting. Gel nails are, therefore, easier to maintain and carry. Another trump card Gel nails hold over acrylics is that do not have any unpleasant odor of chemicals while applying. Acrylic nails come out with a lot of strong odor due to the presence of harsh chemicals in them.
Removing the extensions – Removing an acrylic gel extension can be a tedious job. It requires drilling, soaking, and filling of the nail. Never attempt to take off your acrylic nails at home. It is a much more complicated process than it seems. You would end up damaging your cuticles and probably permanently severing your nail bed. Always, head to a reputed and professional nail salon for any refiling or removal procedures required. With gel nails, you can simply remove them by soaking your nails in acetone and the gels gradually dissolve and wear off gently. It is still ideally recommended to visit a salon for this service and not try it at home.
Costs – As we said initially, whether real or fake, long nails are the ornament of the privileged. Nail extension is a costly process. Even the refiling after every two to three weeks does cost you quite a bit. The costs of gel nail extensions are slightly higher than the gel nail extensions. But always reach out to a highly trained and professional salon for your nail service, irrespective of the costs they charge. Just to give a rough estimate, a gel nail extension shall roughly cost Rs. 4000 – 5000 for the main procedure and around Rs. 1800 – 2200 for every refill. The acrylic extensions are a little lighter on the pocket with Rs. 2600-3200 for the initial sitting and Rs. 1500-2000 for each refill.