Commonly Confused Nail Terms

If you’re a newbie to nails, some of the terms that get thrown around the nail salon and internet can be confusing, leading many people to confuse certain terms with others. Even some experienced nail technicians are not able to properly articulate certain things and explain the difference between services. Luckily, here is a handy guide to help differentiate between different terms and products so you can walk into the salon confidently and able to tell the nail technician exactly what you want.

Acetone Vs. Non-Acetone Removers 

The clear difference between these two is the presence or absence of acetone. When it comes to removal, however, acetone nail polish removers are faster and more effective so you’ll often see these in salons where things move at a fast pace. Non-acetone nail polish removers take longer to completely remove the nail polish from the nail. Both products are equally safe to use.

Gel Nails Vs. Acrylic Nails

This is a common one to get mixed up with as both gel nails and acrylic nails are part of the same family. Therefore, you may hear acrylic nails referred to as monomer and polymer or liquid-and-powder nails so the difference is more clear. To help the clients choose, the difference between the two depends on the client’s lifestyle. Acrylic nails are better for those who are using their hands a lot as the material is more sturdy, while gel nails are better for those who are continuously exposed to materials such as cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.

Hard Gel Vs. Soft Gel

Soft gel can be compared to temporary hair colour as it is able to be soaked off and changed whenever the client feels in need of a new colour or style. Hard gel is solvent resistant and a more permanent choice, much like semi-permanent hair colour. The only way to remove hard gel is to file it down to a very thin layer, and then allow it to grow out.

Traditional Polish Vs. Longer-Wear Polish

Traditional polish is the polish that we all know and love: the drugstore and dollar store brands that give us a beautiful colour for 2-3 days before the inevitably need a touch up due to chipping. However, longer wear polish has a gel component to it that makes the nails last longer, about five to seven days after application. Longer wear polish is great for toes as they are protected and chip less often, giving the user about 4-6 weeks of wear before it needs to be touched up again.

LED Vs. UV Lamps 

Both lamps are completely safe for use when using them to cure nails. Despite the name difference, both lamps actually use UV, but the amount of UV is the variable. The amount of time it takes to cure a nail is the main difference too, with LED-style lamps being the ones able to cure nails faster.

We hope that this comparison list has made things a bit more clear on the more common mistakes that people make when explaining different terms. Feel free to do your own research for any terms and products that may be missing from this list.

And, as always, don’t forget to keep your nails strong and healthy in between tour spa appointments by using Plei Nail Strengthener.