Gel nails have become one of the most popular beauty trends in the past years. While they can be pricey, they are an extremely convenient way to upgrade your traditional manicure. They last longer than traditional polish, make your natural nails seem longer, and rarely break when properly maintained. Do gel nails need to be filled, and how often if need be?
Gel nails do not need to be filled, however, they can be if desired. Gel nails are applied over the natural nail as an ‘overlay’. When the natural nail has grown out, gel nails can be filled in and rebalanced, to close the gap between polish and cuticle, and strengthen the ‘stress area’.
Both gel and acrylic nail enhancements should be filled in as the nail grows. While this process is not mandatory, it is customary for clients to do so since it can save time and money since the gel nail application process can be both time consuming and expensive.
Gel extensions are similar to acrylic extensions in terms of appearance and feel; however, gel extensions are ‘cured’ using an LED or UV light, the same that is used in traditional gel nail polish manicures. Gel extensions may use either hard gel or structure gel, with hard gel being the most common and the most durable of the two. However, if you are new to the world of nail extensions, and want to try a more natural formula, begin with the structure gel extensions. They can be soaked off for removal and are not as abrasive on the natural nails as the hard gel formula.
A form is applied beneath the natural nail to create the shape. Then, the gel extension is applied over the nail and form, and then cured until hardened. Afterwards, nails are painted with traditional gel nail polish.
Importance of Filling
Apart from the physical appearance of the nails, there are others important reasons as to why gel nails should be filled in.
Nails can visibly grow a few millimeters every 2 weeks, the ideal time slot to go to the salon and get them filled in. When the natural nail grows, a small section will begin to show through between the polish and the cuticle. While this section may seem small, it will grow overtime and eventually ruin the whole appearance of the manicure. This is the primary reason why users stay up to date on their appointments and get their nails filled in when need be.
Gel nails are carefully constructed and applied to avoid breakage and damage. The application process is not as simple as it may appear; there are certain stress points that should be avoided, especially when the nail is growing consistently. When your nail grows, the original structure that was built to avoid breakage with that specific sizing of nail,l moves as well. This causes the nail to become highly delicate since there is an unbalance in terms of weight, and a wrong move can cause it to break leading to a painful experience. This is why clients are told to check in every few weeks, to make sure their nails do not reach this ‘brittle’ state.
The time may vary depending on the client. Some individuals grow their nails very quickly, while others take a longer time. Make sure to oversee the way your nails grow and adapt your schedule accordingly to your own nail growth. Read more on the importance of filling and gel nail maintenance here.
While gel nails do not need to be filled, they should be. Clients should attempt to lengthen their nail extension’s life spans. Consider also how the constant removal and addition of nail extensions can be extremely harmful for natural nails. The less they are removed, the less damage is done to the nail bed.