The Easy Guide to How Long Gel Nails Last

The Easy Guide to How Long Gel Nails Last

Never assume that your client knows the proper after-care protocol for their gel manicure. There are many misconceptions when it comes to gel manicures and how long they will last. One thing is for sure: traditional nail polishes begin chipping after only a few days of application. For this reason, your client will visit you in the salon for a longer-lasting gel manicure option. 

How Long Can You Wear a Gel Nail Manicure?

Whether it is a vacation or a special event that your client is preparing for, they rely on you to provide salon-quality gel nail service and proper aftercare advice. The removal of gel slightly differs from the removal of acrylic nails. This difference is why it is advisable never to remove these types of artificial nails at home.

As a professional nail technician, you know that a gel manicure can be worn safely on the nails for two weeks. At the 14 day mark, you must soak off the gel polish to prevent damage to the nail plate. You can apply a fresh gel coat or leave the nails free of polish after removing the old gel.

Gel polish cures in the salon with an LED lamp or UV light. It continues curing after the manicure application with exposure to UV light, including the direct UV rays from sunlight. It becomes more difficult to remove as the polish cures due to the gel’s adherence to the nail. Damage occurs to the nail as a result of the gel curing process, picking from the client or over filing.

Gel nail manicures are safely worn for two to three weeks before nail damage begins to the nail plate.

How Can Your Client Prolong Gel Nail Wear?

Ideally, you will want to see your client 14 days after their gel manicure application to prevent damage to the nails from excessive gel curing. There are a few tips that you can share with your client to help them better care for their nails at home after their gel nail manicure.

Keep Gel Nails Away From Excessive Moisture

The glossy finish of a gel manicure will remain just as fresh as the day of its application if you properly care for your gel nails. 

To keep a gel manicure in tip-top shape, wear rubber gloves while performing tasks that involve water. This advice is vital if you want to avoid gel peeling. 

Hot water from showers can also cause the lifting of a gel manicure. Use lukewarm water when taking a shower to prevent premature lifting and chipping.

The misinformation that gel will ruin your nails comes from a long line of people who don’t know how to remove it properly. Nail polish remover does not remove the gel. 

The client should never attempt to remove their gel polish at home. Self-removal is where most of the nail damage from gel nails occurs.

Always recommend that your client visit the nail salon after two weeks of gel wear to have the gel removed and reapplied if the client so desires.

Apply Cuticle Oil Often

Cuticle oil works wonders for moisturizing not only the cuticles but the nails as well. It is made of oils, vitamins, and citric acid, which assist in nourishing and hydrating the areas to which it is applied. 

The cuticle area is exposed to outside elements such as soaps, chlorine, sunlight, and cold weather. Cuticle oil can restore the dry, cracked skin around the nail and cuticle area, leaving a silky smooth sheen.

Applying cuticle oil one to two times per day will moisturize the cuticles and nails, preventing chipping, peeling, and brittleness.

Keep the Edges Smooth

Keep your nail’s edges filed and silky smooth to prevent tears. A smooth edge will prevent chipping and gel cracking. When your nails snag or tear, the gel usually comes off too. 

After filing away a rough edge, follow up with a top coat to keep your gel nails shining bright like a diamond.

Ditch the Alcohol

You may find yourself using hand sanitizer much more often these days. The alcohol in hand sanitizer breaks down the gel, causing it to become dull if it remains on the nails for too long. The sanitizer may be killing germs, but it is also killing your manicure. 

In addition to hand sanitizer, alcohol is found in your favorite fragrances and the obvious cocktail beverage. So, be sure to steady your mani as you walk across the room with that cosmo.

Be Careful With Suncare

Sunscreen is a must for your skin and a no-no for the nails. Sunscreens contain certain chemicals that will dull nail polish. After applying your sunscreen, always wipe your nails with an alcohol-free makeup remover wipe or wash your hands. 

Mineral SPF will not have the same effect on gel nails, so opt for a mineral sunscreen if you prefer. 

Avoid Peeling Gel Nails

Despite how satisfying it may be to peel that small lifted corner of the gel off your nails, doing so will cause damage. Peeling gel away from your nails will take the upper layer of the nail plate with it. This peeling will cause months to years (depending on how fast your nails grow) worth of damage. 

Tell your clients that a nail tech must remove the gel after two weeks. Professional removal of the gel polish in the nail salon will ensure that the natural nails remain healthy and strong.

Proper Gel Nail Removal

As a professional, it is crucial to use care when removing the gel polish from a manicure or gel pedicure. Proper removal of the gel will prevent damage to your client’s nail bed. 

Acetone acts as your gel nail polish remover. Soak cotton balls in pure acetone and apply one to each nail after cracking the top coat layer with a file. If the top coat is not removed the gel will not soak off.

Wrap each nail carefully in a tin foil cap and allow them to remain wrapped for at least 15 minutes. After the allotted time, unwrap one nail at a time from the foil covers to be sure that the gel is loose enough to glide off of each nail. Re-soak the nails if necessary.

Remove the gel completely from each nail and proceed with cleansing, moisturizing, and a fresh coat of gel polish or your client’s alternate manicure request.

Summing It Up

Your client can safely wear gel nails for two weeks. Gel continues to cure while worn, making it difficult to remove after this time. Excessive gel curing is why gel must be removed within this time frame to prevent nail damage.

There are many ways that your client can prolong their gel manicure in between salon visits. As the professional nail tech, it is up to you to provide your client with the after-care advice they need. 

Informing your client of the importance of gel nail removal in the salon will preserve the health of their nails in the long run.

V Beauty Pure supplies you with high-quality manicure products and tools including, base coat, top coat, and gels, to provide your client the gel nail manicure they love and deserve.


  1. How Long Does It Take To Tan? The Answer May Surprise You | Bustle
  2. Cuticle Oil: Benefits, How to Use It, and Nail Growth | Health Line
  3. Gel manicures: Tips for healthy nails | American Academy of Dermatology
  4. How To Remove A Gel Manicure At Home - Taking Off Gel Nail Polish At Home | Harper's Bazaar
  5. 5 Steps to Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Destroying Your Nails | Self