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In the world of nail fashion, solar nails have emerged as a popular choice for many. Not only do they offer a long-lasting, polished finish, but they also require less maintenance compared to other alternatives.
If you’re tired of regular touch-ups and the risk of nail damage, then solar nails might just be the solution for you.
One of the key advantages of solar nails is their application process. Unlike acrylic nails, which utilize fake extensions, solar nails are applied directly in gel form. This means there’s no risk of the nail getting accidentally ripped off, protecting your natural nails underneath.
But before I spill all the tea already… grab a cup of tea and read this blog post about solar nails. You’ll learn exactly what they are, what the benefits are, how they compare to other nail methods, and so much more!
- Solar nails are a popular choice due to their long-lasting, polished finish and low maintenance compared to other alternatives.
- They are a subtype of acrylic nails made from a blend of liquid monomer and polymer powder, applied directly to the natural nail, providing a natural look with added durability.
- Key benefits of solar nails include durability, minimal risk of nail damage, low maintenance, and a natural appearance.
- Potential risks include damage to nails and cuticles, dehydration, and the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.
What Are Solar Nails?
Solar nails are a type of artificial nails and are actually a sub-type of acrylic nails. Solar nails are made from polymethyl methacrylate acrylics. Nail technicians blend a liquid monomer with a polymer powder and apply it to your nails.
What I love about them, is that they are often clear or pink in color and are perfect for people who want their nails to look longer while still looking natural.
The powder and liquid monomer mixture begins to harden within seconds after it gets exposed to air. Due to this, solar nails can last for several weeks (just like acrylic nails). They’re giving your nails a hardened layer that makes them way more resistant to breaking.
The nails then can be filed and shaped into any style you would like – think of almond, ballerina, or even stiletto shapes.
Expert Tip: Since a basic solar set generally resembles a French manicure, you can always layer gel colors and decorations on top to suit your taste.
The Benefits Of Using Solar Nails
There are numerous benefits to choosing solar set nails over a traditional type of manicure or other types of artificial nails:
- Long-Lasting: Solar nails are known for their durability. They don’t chip or yellow like regular manicures or artificial nails. This means you can go longer between salon visits, saving you time and money in the long run.
- Healthy for Natural Nails: Since they’re applied directly to your natural nails, there’s less risk of damage. You don’t have to worry about the nail bed thinning, which can happen with regular use of fake nails.
- Low Maintenance: Solar nails are easy to maintain. They require infrequent touch-ups; you don’t have to worry about refilling them as often as other artificial nails.
- Looks Natural: Solar nails have a shiny and natural appearance. They’re thicker than your natural nails but not as thick as regular artificial nails, giving you a natural, polished look.
Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Solar Nails
Solar nails might be a healthier option than other acrylics, but they can still cause damage to your nails and cuticles. It may leave your nails feeling dehydrated and weaker. And like most acrylics, solar nails are no exception from bacterial and fungal infections.
Here’s a little tip for you: Before getting solar nails, it’s a good idea to do a patch test. Apply a bit of the solar nail gel on a small area of your skin and wait 24 hours. You’re good to go if you don’t notice any adverse reactions!
A licensed nail tech must have the manicure or pedicure done to ensure proper application and great service and prevent any potential damage. Infections can occur if your nail technician doesn’t properly sterilize their tools or if you don’t keep your nails clean after application.
Another thing to remember is that if your solar nails get damaged or start lifting from your natural nail bed, it can create a space for bacteria to grow. If you notice any lifting or damage, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible.
How Do Solar Nails Differ From Other Types?
Solar Nails VS Acrylic Nails
Are solar nails better than acrylic? Well, we’ve established that solar nails are a type of acrylic nail if you will. Even so, a few things still set the two apart.
- Both acrylic and solar nails need refills every 3-4 weeks.
- The application process for acrylic and solar nails is similar, with slight differences. Acrylic nails involve fake nail extensions and acrylic powder and liquid mixture. Solar nails are applied in a gel form directly to the natural nail.
- Acrylic nails are generally less expensive than solar nails. Acrylics cost $30-$60 for long sets and $20-$50 for short sets. Solar nails cost around $50-$70 for a basic set.
- Solar nails are of higher quality and can be more durable than acrylics. Solar nails resist breaking, chipping, cracking, and color changes due to sunlight exposure. Acrylics may lift in under two weeks if they are low quality.
- Solar nails offer more convenience due to their durability, requiring less maintenance and refills.
Solar Nails VS Gel Nails
Are solar nails better than gel? That depends on your preferences. So, let’s dig deeper to see which one holds up better.
- Gel nails are glossier and more natural-looking but less sturdy than solar and acrylic nails.
- Gel refill appointments are recommended every 2-3 weeks but can go up to 3-4 weeks, similar to solar nails. Full removal and reapplication of gel tips can be done every couple of months at a salon.
- Gel nails are made from polymer resins and harden on the natural nail using UV or LED lamps.
- The price of gel nails varies but can cost between $20 and $65, excluding extras and nail art.
- Gel nails are considered more eco-friendly and less damaging than natural nails.
- Solar nails are stronger and last longer than gel nails.
- Gel nails are harder to maintain and more prone to breakage, requiring salon visits for repairs, whereas broken solar nails can often be fixed at home.
Solar Nails VS Dipping Powder
In addition to traditional nail enhancements like acrylic and gel, dipping powder is another popular option that offers a completely different application process.
- Dipping powder involves a base coat and a dip into colored powder, making it quick and relatively easy. Dipping powder is efficient because the base and powder are applied in a single step.
- It requires fewer materials, which can be cost-effective and convenient.
- However, dipping powder nails are less durable than alternatives like Solar nails. Dipping powder nails are prone to chipping, as sealing is less intensive.
- Solar nails, created with acrylic or gel, are known for their durability and resistance to chipping.
- Solar nails require a more meticulous layering process, taking more time but offering long-lasting results for those seeking durable nail enhancements.
Solar Gel VS Bio Gel
Lastly, let’s delve deeper into the world of bio gel and understand its unique qualities. Bio gel is a popular nail treatment option known for its ability to promote the health and growth of natural nails.
- Bio gel is a flexible and lightweight alternative to other nail enhancements.
- Unlike solar nails, bio gel requires UV light exposure for curing and hardening. UV or LED light is a crucial part of the bio-gel application, initiating a chemical reaction for solidification.
- The curing process ensures a secure, durable, and comfortable extension for natural nails. UV light strengthens the bio gel and accelerates curing, providing a strong foundation for natural nail growth.
- Solar nails are generally thicker and harder, offering more durability against chips, cracks, and breaks.
- Bio gel is more flexible and lightweight, providing a natural feel, but may be slightly more vulnerable to peeling or lifting if not properly maintained or exposed to pressure.
How Are Solar Gel Nails Applied?
Before you book your appointment, it’s essential to verify with your professional nail technician that your solar nails are from CND (Creative Nail Design). If not, this could lead to a low-quality manicure and waste your money.
With that ticked off, here are the basic steps you can expect from a solar application:
- Step 1: Your manicurist will begin with cleansing your hands and prepping your nails. This includes pushing back your cuticle, buffing and trimming your nail, and applying a primer.
- Step 2: Next, your technician will dip their application brush into a mixture of solar powder and liquid monomer, then apply it to your fingernails.
- Step 3: To give your nails that signature “pink and white solar nails” look, they’ll shape the pink solar gel on the lower part of your nail and top it off with a white solar gel tip.
- Step 4: Now, you’ll wait for the solar gel to harden. Once hard, your tech will buffer your nails to get a smooth and even surface. Then, they’ll finish off the look with a shiny top coat. There you have it! Your solar full set is complete.
Tips For Maintaining Solar Nails At Home
You can do a few things at home to keep your fresh set of solars looking well…fresh.
- Commit to your refilling schedule: Your nail tech will advise you on this. Still, some of us can get lazy and expect our solars to push through an entire month without any maintenance. Without regular refills, they will eventually start breaking or cracking.
- Keep your nails clean (and seriously, stay away from the spices): You can wear gloves when cooking and cleaning. Also, try spritzing your nails with rubbing alcohol and scrubbing them with a nail brush whenever you wash your hands.
- Invest in nail-care products: Try nourishing hand and nail cream and cuticle oil treatments just to keep everything healthy and hydrated.
- Repair small cracks: To maintain a glistening finish, you can use clear gel polish over your solars once you see small cracks emerging.
How To Remove Solar Nails At Home
Once you’re ready to take off your solar set, you can do so by following these steps:
- Step 1: If your solars have nail polish coated on them, you should first vile it off for the following steps to work efficiently.
- Step 2: Soak your hands in a bowl of acetone for a minimum of 15 minutes. This should soften your solar nail tips.
- Step 3: Rub your nails gently with a cotton ball soaked in acetone until they start to come off.
- Step 4: After completing the above steps, your natural nails will be weakened and dehydrated by the effects of acetone. So now you begin repairing them.
You’ll have to invest in proper care to strengthen and hydrate your nails after removing solars. I recommend investing in protective, strengthening polish, and hydrating oils such as argon oil.
Avoiding nail polish removers during the healing phase is vital. You can also take biotin supplements to help strengthen your nails from the inside.
Conclusion: Should You Get Solar Nails?
So you’re thinking about getting solar nails. They’re a popular choice for many, and it’s easy to see why. They’re applied directly in gel form, which means there’s no risk of damage to your natural nails. Plus, they require fewer touch-ups and refills compared to regular acrylics, which makes them a cost-effective choice.
Now, the cost can vary. You might be looking at anywhere from $30 to $60, depending on where you live, your nail technician’s experience, and the complexity of the design. But in the long run, many people find solar nails to be a more economical option due to their durability and low maintenance.
Remember, it’s important to have them applied by a licensed nail technician to prevent potential damage. Taking care of them involves regular moisturizing, using a top coat or CND oil to extend their life, and getting regular touch-ups.
You could even do them at home using a solar nail kit, but be sure to follow the instructions to the letter to avoid damaging your natural nails.
Solar nails offer a convenient, durable, and low-maintenance option for a natural, sparkling look that’ll make you look and feel sexy. They typically last longer than regular acrylics and can be refilled every two to three weeks.
So, should you get solar nails? That depends on your individual nail health and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance manicure, solar nails could be a great choice for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Solar nails offer many benefits, but there are often a lot of questions surrounding them. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common ones.
Can Solar Nails Be Applied At Home?
Yes, indeed! Solar nails can be done at home using a solar nail kit. This means you don’t have to make frequent trips to the salon, saving you time and money.
However, I would personally recommend going to the nail salon and letting a professional take care of them. (Plus, this is also a great reason to take your relaxing time to the next level by getting a mani-pedi).
How Long Do Solar Nails Last?
Solar nails are known for their durability. They typically last longer than regular acrylics. You can expect them to stay unchipped and unbroken for several weeks.
However, the longevity of your solar nails can also depend on how well you take care of them. Moisturizing regularly and applying a top coat or CND oil can extend their life.
Can Solar Nails Be Refilled?
Yes, they can. As your natural nails grow, a separation of color will start to show. But don’t worry, you can get a fill every three to four weeks.