Are unkempt nails keeping you from getting a fully groomed look? We know how that feels. Let’s go down memory lane, the time when perfectly manicured, long, and attractive nails without reapplying nail paint every week were every girl’s dream. Remember a time when nail stickers were the only choice we had, but not anymore.
While some women are naturally blessed with beautiful and long nails, nowadays there are more ways to get nails done to make them look perfect. It is irrefutable that nail extensions look fancy and classy while grabbing eyeballs. They are a handy choice when you are on the move and do not have enough time to sit and maintain your nails often.
For those of you who are planning to get nail extensions done for the first time, you may not know it all. But, we’ve got your back. Learn everything you have ever wanted to know about nail extensions in this article - from the types of nail extensions, and how long they last, to how to care for them.
The ultimate cheatsheet to nail extensions
1. There are two kinds - acrylic extensions and gel nails
Many people do not know about this but there are two kinds of nail extensions for you to choose from - gel and acrylic. While these may seem similar but they are different due to the material that is used. Acrylic nail extensions make use of monomer and polymer on an artificial nail tip that is stuck on the length of your nails, then powder and liquid are mixed and applied over it. The monomer has a very strong odour that may not seem pleasant to some people whereas acrylic nail extensions offer very durable nails that flaunt a long length. The gel nails do not have an odour and are applied using a prepaid mixture on the real nail bed. The gel nails are then cured under UV or LED light.
Take away: If you have shorter nails, gel nail extensions are perfect for you.
2. How long do they last
As much as we would like nail extensions to last forever, sadly they are not permanent. How long the nail extensions stay depends on how well your nails are prepped before the gels are applied and the quality of the nail extensions used by the salon. Usually, they stay for four to six weeks. After your real nail begins to grow, slowly a gap will come between the extensions and your cuticle. To fix this, either you will have to get the nail extensions completely removed or get the gap refilled. No matter what you choose, make sure to get it done by a professional as a little oversight can cause damage to your nails.
3. It is expensive and time-consuming
If you are going to get your nails done for the first time, it is important to know everything! And let's face it, nail extensions are not cheap. The cost can range anywhere from Rs 1000-5000. While the prices are high, they also depend on the nail salon you choose. Moreover, it takes a lot of time, skill and precision to get nail extensions. If you are going to be a professional nail artist (which we highly recommend), your manicure session will take about one hour. But if you are going to nail experts who have less experience, it may take up to one and a half to two hours. So make sure to have ample time and be prepared for the entire process.
4. Overuse can harm your nails
If you want to get small nail extensions done, it is recommended that you get something more durable like gel nail extensions. Acrylic nails are appropriate for flaunting a longer look but here is the catch: acrylic nail extensions have to be filed rigorously, and the soft gel extensions are easy-to-remove with gentle buffing. This is why nail extensions are harmful as you can over-file the natural nail and ultimately weaken and damage your nails.
5. Approach a professional nail technician
Many salons claim to know it all about nail extensions but here is the thing - only a professional nail technician can evaluate the condition of nails and advise them about nail care, and suitable nail treatments. You do not want to go to a person with little knowledge who may end up hurting your nails as opposed to enhancing them. A nail expert will be able to understand your preference and give you nail extension ideas.
For the first timers, make sure to talk to your nail technician and understand all the dos and don'ts to maintain the extensions.
6. The functionality is not as pretty as the look
If you think that nail extensions can be used just like your real nails, you are in for a surprise. Artificial nails or nail extensions are very different from our real nails when it comes to functionality. Nail extensions look good, but if you are someone who does household chores, and has to do a lot of typing at work, these might feel foreign to you. You will have to care for these and will not be able to do things with these nails like how you do them with your real nails.
PS: If you do a lot of physical work in or out of your house, there is a chance of the nail peeling off causing severe damage to your nail bed. In such a case, we recommend opting for a shorter length that won't cause any hindrance to your daily chores.
7. Nail extensions can’t be removed at home
As mentioned before, nail extensions stay for a specific period ranging from 4-6 weeks depending on the quality of your nails and how fast your real nails grow! They are not easy to remove - especially at home. So strictly remember not to attempt taking them off at home as it can lead to damage to your actual nails. If unnecessary force is applied to remove the nail extensions, they can take your real nail along in severe cases. It is advisable to go to a nail technician to get them removed.
PS: This is an added cost making nail extensions an expensive affair.
Are nail extensions worth it?
Yes, they are. While gel nails are healthier for your nail health than acrylic ones and they last for about a month, it's nice to give a break to your nails to breathe in between sessions. Gel nails are a fun way to play around with different shapes, nail lengths, and extension ideas as well as give your hands a beautiful look and feel. The only thing is, you have to care for them a bit to help them last longer and not cut corners to maintain their beauty and your nail's health!