What You Didn’t Know About PolyGel Nails

What You Didn’t Know About PolyGel Nails

You’ve heard all about acrylic nails, gel nails, and powder dip nails, but are you familiar with PolyGel nails? Many people remain uninformed about PolyGel overlay enhancements and how to apply and remove these artificial nails properly.

Creating a beautiful and long-lasting manicure for your client is the top priority. Let’s dive into all of the details of PolyGel nails and how you can utilize PolyGel to design beautiful manicures for all of your clients.

What Is PolyGel?

PolyGel nails offer the durability of acrylic nails with the flexibility of a gel. PolyGel is a mixture of acrylic powder and clear gel, a hybrid nail system created for the nail technician. It is available in small toothpaste-like tubes. PolyGel has a gel-like consistency and is easy to work with for beginners and experts alike.

PolyGel requires no mixing of powders or liquids. It is an all-in-one gel formula that does not dry until cured under the LED or UV lamp. This type of formula allows the nail tech to take their time when shaping the perfect nail set.

PolyGel is available in many colors and finishes, just like traditional nail polish. It is applied over natural nails, tips, or nail extensions. PolyGel is very versatile, making it a popular nail option for the nail tech and the client.

Polygel does not contain the harsh chemicals that acrylic nail formulas do, making it virtually odor-free.

How Is PolyGel Applied?

PolyGel is applied similarly to builder gel using a few easy steps. First, the nails must be prepped by filing and buffing the top of the nails using a nail file, e-file, or nail buffer. Next, apply a nail dehydrator. This application will ensure that the nails are free of oils and lotion. 

Follow the dehydrator with a base coat application. Next are 10 easy steps to follow for the application of PolyGel nails.

  1. Squeeze a small amount of the PolyGel formula from the tube.
  2. Scoop the PolyGel away from the tube with the PolyGel tool.
  3. Roll the PolyGel bead onto the nail.
  4. Dip the PolyGel brush into Slip solution or alcohol.
  5. Begin molding the PolyGel around the fingernails creating shape and length.
  6. Cure the PolyGel nails under a UV or LED light.
  7. File down all rough or uneven edges with a nail file or e-file.
  8. Apply gel polish or traditional colored polish over the dry PolyGel and cure again.
  9. Apply PolyGel formulated top coat and cure under the UV or LED lamp.
  10. Wipe nails with a lint-free cloth to remove dust and apply cuticle oil to rehydrate the nail area.

PolyGel will not dry and harden until it is exposed to LED or UV light. This factor makes the application worry-free regarding time.

How Long Can PolyGel Be Worn?

The client’s lifestyle and individual nail growth are essential factors in determining how long PolyGel can be worn. PolyGel, like many other nail overlays, can be worn for up to three or four weeks. After three or four weeks of wear, a PolyGel refill will need to be applied by the nail professional.

Will PolyGel Damage the Natural Nail?

One of the things that make PolyGel nails popular is that it is non-damaging to natural nails. With a nail professional’s proper application and removal, your natural nails will remain healthy and strong.

How Are PolyGel Nails Removed?

A nail technician should always remove PolyGel nails. Removal by a professional will ensure that the integrity of the natural nails remains intact. PolyGel nails are removed in a few easy steps.

  1. Trim excess nail length with nail trimmers and file most of the PolyGel away from the natural nails. Be sure not to sand down to the natural nail plate.
  2. Buff, the top layer of the nails, leaving only a thin coating of the PolyGel on top of the nails.
  3. Shape the nails with a fine-grit nail buffer.
  4. Cleanse the nails to remove any remaining dust.
  5. Some PolyGel systems will require a pH bond application after the PolyGel nail removal. Read the instructions for the PolyGel brand you are utilizing.

What Is the Cost of a PolyGel Nail Set?

PolyGel nail sets cost anywhere between $55 to $150 depending on the type of nail application. The sculpted length and shape are also determining factors when it comes to the price of PolyGel nails. PolyGel refills will cost around $80. Refills are recommended every three to four weeks.

PolyGel vs. Acrylic

One of the most significant benefits of PolyGel in comparison to acrylics is its strength and flexibility. The flexibility of PolyGel allows them to “bend,” leading to a lessened chance of nail breakage. PolyGel is also much lighter in weight than acrylic, making them feel more natural.

PolyGel nails are more natural-looking than acrylic nails and do not have the unpleasant odor of acrylics. Acrylics require mixing polymers with monomers to create a clay-like consistency. PolyGel does not require mixing because the ingredients are already combined inside the tube. This pre-mixed formula makes the application much easier for the nail tech.

PolyGel is laid on top of natural nails as an overlay or is used as a nail extension. PolyGel nails are more flexible than acrylic nails, making them less likely to break and chip.  

Acrylics are used to create nail extensions only. Acrylic nails are harder than PolyGel, thus more prone to cracking and chipping.

PolyGel vs. Builder Gel

PolyGel has a thicker viscosity than builder gel. A stiff-bristled nail brush makes moving PolyGel around the nail easier. PolyGel will remain wherever it is placed, while builder gel has a thinner viscosity and easily rolls around on top of the nail.

Builder gel requires several applications to attain the thickness needed for the nail to remain sturdy enough for daily wear. PolyGel only requires one coat due to its thicker formula. The formula of PolyGel makes for a much quicker application than that of builder gel.

Both PolyGel and builder gel require removal of the dispersion layer after the curing process. Filing and shaping both types of gel always follow the curing process. The nail tech uses an e-file to perform the filing and shaping procedure.

Are UV Lamps and LED Lamps Harmful to the Skin?

UV lamps and LED lamps have been available in nail salons for many years. The advances in technology over the years have allowed for improvements in the bulbs used and configuration of the lamps in nail salons today.

LED is considered safer than UV light; however, very minimal exposure to UV lamps in nail salons will not have long-term effects on the hands.

Which Nail Type Is Best?

Knowing which type of nail overlay is right for you or your client may seem impossible. With the many options available, it can be confusing. The client’s natural nails, desired length, and daily lifestyle habits can help make the decision a little easier. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Does the client want an extended nail length? 
  • Does the client desire an overlay with a light, more natural feel?
  • Does the client want a nail overlay involving minimal odor during the application process?
  • Does the client desire an overlay that is both long-lasting and flexible/durable?
  • Does the client understand the refill maintenance and removal procedures for PolyGel nails?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, PolyGel might be the perfect nail overlay application for you or your client. With this in mind, make sure to choose a high-quality brand of PolyGel for the nail application. The quality of the product will determine the outcome quality of the nails.

The More You Know

PolyGel nails are just one of the many artificial nail overlays available today. PolyGel is flexible yet durable, long-lasting, and lightweight. They are popular among nail techs and clients alike.

PolyGel nails can be worn for up to four weeks. After three or four weeks, the PolyGel must be refilled by a nail tech, or the nails must be professionally removed in the nail salon. Because PolyGel is more flexible than acrylic and harder than gel, it is not prone to chipping or breaking easily.

V Beauty Pure is the headquarter for all of your nail product and equipment needs. We offer acrylic systems, gel polish, V Diamond gel for crystal manicures, nail tools, nail equipment, and much more.

A quality manicure begins with a quality product. Choose the trusted V Beauty Pure brand for beautifully performing nail products you’ll love to use in your next nail designs.


  1. Acrylic Nails: Everything to Know About Getting Fake Nails | InStyle
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  3. Gel Nails - Everything You Need To Know About Getting Gel Manicures | Seventeen