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Difference Between Solar Nails and Gel Nails



Gel nails and solar nails are both different types of artificial nails, which are also known as fake nails, false nails, fashion nails, nail attachments, and various different things. These are actually nail extensions that are used to cover the real natural nail as a fashion accessory. Some of these artificial nails look like real nails in appearance while others have designs that make them look artificial. The artificial nails generally come in two categories which are solar and gel nails.

Solar nails

These are a subtype of acrylic nails that refers to use of a material known as polymethyl methacrylate acrylics. This material is basically a mixture of a liquid monomer and a powder. This mixture is applied to the nail and within no time the liquid hardens when exposed to air. It forms an effective protective layer around the nail and provides a perfect platform or surface for any nail color application.

solar nails

The application of the solar nail on the natural nail is a time taking process and can require steady hands and expertise. This might make you think how to remove solar nails, however, the removal of the solar nails is very easy and it takes just 15 to 20 minutes to completely remove the layer using acetone.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the solar nails:


  • They last for a very long time.
  • They can be easily fixed at home when broken.
  • They cost less than the gel in the long term.


  • They might look artificial.
  • The application of the solar nails can sometimes involve chemical fumes.
  • There are chances that your nails might get dirty and even fungal and bacterial infections.

Gel nails

These are made of polymer resins and are also sometimes called UV top coat because they need to be exposed to a UV light to harden. The gel nails include 3 different coats first a base coat, second the polish color, and finally the third coat that needs to be cured under the UV to harden up. These are more costly than the solar nails.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the gel nails:

  • They look more attractive than the solar nails as they are more natural and glossier than other fake nails.
  • The curing time for the gel nails is shorter than the acrylic nails or the other fake nails.
  • They are environmentally friendly as they don’t let out chemical fumes.


They are not as long lasting as the solar nails and the acrylic nails.

They require an expert to apply it on the nails and fixing them is also difficult as the don’t break clean and tend to shatter.

They cannot be removed easily.

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