A Complete Guide to Polygel

You’ve heard of gel nails, you’ve heard of acrylic nails, now get ready for the ultimate fusion of the two: Polygel. It combines the best of both worlds: it stays put and doesn’t level like gel, and it won’t harden unless it is put under a LED or UV light. So, why choose Polygel over acrylics? Let’s find out.

If you’ve ever gotten acrylics before, the one thing that comes to your mind is the strong smell. This is off-putting for clients and can give them headaches when they’re not used to the smell. Acrylic can also be quite messy as the dust particles are released into the air. Polygel, however, is free of monomers and hardens faster, making the air much cleaner. The base that is used to form the Polygel is called slip, and since it is not a monomer, it has a mild, almost pleasant scent to it, making it appropriate to use in smaller spaces where ventilation is limited.

Polygel is also more lightweight than acrylic, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less strong. Although more flexible than the traditional acrylic nails, Polygel is still harder than gel, which again, makes Polygel the best combination of both acrylic and gel nails. The drying time for Polygel is very fast: about 30 seconds under the LED or about 2 minutes underneath the UV lamp. Unlike gel nails, there is no tacky overcoat once removed from the lamp, so touch ups aren’t necessary. 

Polygel Application FAQ

Do I Need LED/UV Light For Polygel?

Yes. Gelish has an LED lamp that they recommend using for curing Polygel as they are the creators of the product. However, you are welcome to use other LED lamps as well. Although Polygel can be cured with UV lamps as well, it is not recommended.

How Long Does It Take To Apply Polygel?

For an experienced nail technician who has worked with Polygel before, it can take as little as 45 minutes if the client is only going for a single colour. More extensive and complicated patterns and colours can take up to 2 hours which is still a relatively short time.

How Long Does Polygel Last?

Polygel can last up to 3 weeks before a visit to the salon is needed to touch them up.

How To Remove PolyGel From Nails?

Polygel can be buffed off, usually down to 10% to leave a protective layer on the nail.

Is PolyGel Bad For Your Nails?

No, but like with acrylics and gel, give your nails a break to breathe every few months or so to maintain strong, healthy nails.