What's The Difference Between Shellac And Gel Manicures?

Getting your nails done at a salon can be exciting. From various colors, designs, and shapes, the options are endless. However, before picking out what color you want for your next manicure, you need to know what kind of manicure you will want. Like with designs, there are a variety of options. Some of the options include gels, acrylics, dip powder, and shellac. Shellac manicures are the newest trend hitting salons in waves.


The right manicure for you will depend on numerous factors. According to Ipsy, acrylic nails are fake nails that are glued to your natural nails and can be changed and molded to fit your desired shape, color, and design. While flexible, acrylics are notorious for harming the natural nail, especially upon removal. However, with options like gels and shellac available, you will not be limited in terms of options. Even though they are similar, shellac and gel manicures serve different purposes.

What are shellac manicures?

While relatively new, shellac manicures are gaining popularity among nail lovers. P&H Salon describes shellac manicures as a simple blend between regular polish and gel manicures. This gives shellac manicures the best of both types of nails. Shellac manicures have the color and simpleness of regular polishes but the durability of gel manicures. With no chemicals needed, shellac manicures are nail-friendly and can be applied fairly quickly.


LeSalon adds that shellac manicures are hardened using ultraviolet light, meaning you don't need to wait several minutes for them to harden. These manicures also tout having extensive durability, lasting around two weeks. For two weeks, you can have gorgeous, chip-proof nails. While everyone knows it for its name "shellac," this is simply just the name of the product from the brand, CND. While you may not be sure if your nearest salon provides these manicures, you may want to enquire if they carry the shellac product instead.

The difference between shellac and gel manicures

Even though shellac manicures are derived from gel manicures, they still have many differences between them. Secret Spa points out that while gel manicures can last up to three weeks in some cases, shellac manicures do have more durability, as it is mixed with regular polish. Because of the regular polish mixture, shellac manicures are also easier to remove. Gel manicures require acetone for removal, which can negatively impact the health of your nails. Shellac manicures can be removed with a simple nail polish remover.


On the other hand, Diffen adds that shellac manicures might not be your choice if you are looking for options. Since it is still relatively new, there aren't many colors available for shellac manicures. Gel manicures give you the chance to explore various designs and colors. However, when weighing the effects of either manicure, shellac manicures are much safer and less harsh on your nails. Since you aren't mixing chemicals or using acetone to remove them, the biggest risk is drying out your cuticles.