Different Types of Manicures, and Whether They’re Harmful for Your Nails

The manicure is no longer a basic hygienic procedure. Now there is a wide variety of manicures you can choose from. And the exact type of manicure you choose defines the price you need to pay to get your beautiful nails done.

5-Minute Crafts prepared an overview of 6 types of manicures that you can often find in nail salons. We’ll tell you about the process of each type, how long the coating lasts, how to remove it, and whether it’s harmful to your nails or not.

1. Basic manicure

Description: It’s a classic manicure, which includes filing and shaping the nails, treating the cuticles, painting on a base coat or nail polish, and applying hand cream. This manicure can be combined with a paraffin bath, a hot stone massage, exfoliation, and other spa treatments.

How long it lasts: It can last up to 7 days.

How to remove it: You can take it off with nail polish remover.

How harmful it is for nails: It’s not harmful. It’s a basic hygienic procedure that helps keep your nails in good condition.

2. Gel manicure

Description: It’s a basic manicure, after which a gel polish is applied in 2 layers, along with a top coat in the end. Gel polish can’t dry out on its own like regular polish, but it hardens and sets on nails under the UV light that a UV nail lamp generates.

How long it lasts: It can last around 2 to 3 weeks without becoming damaged.

How to remove it: You can take it off in a nail salon. A manicure technician removes the upper layer with a file first, and then they remove the polish with nail polish remover.

How harmful it is for nails: Gel polish doesn’t affect nail health if done and removed by a professional technician. Usually, problems arise if you try to remove it yourself.

3. Shellac manicure

Description: It’s a basic manicure where Shellac, a hybrid of gel polish and regular nail polish, is applied.

Shellac is a brand name that belongs to Creative Nail Design (CND). Often, gel polish and Shellac are confused: gel polish is often called Shellac, or Shellac is implied as regular gel polish. The confusion is aggravated by the fact that both products have the same application process: 2 layers, a top coat, and UV curing.

However, Shellac is still different from gel polish. It’s slightly thinner and combines the properties of regular and gel polishes. On the one hand, it is durable and wear-resistant, and on the other, it has the same color and gloss as regular nail polish.

How long it lasts: It can last up to 2 to 3 weeks without becoming damaged.

How to remove it: It’s not required to file off the upper layer. When a remover is applied, Shellac breaks into tiny pieces and releases from the nail, which allows a seamless, more gentle removal. This procedure can be easily done at home, but it’s still recommended to leave this to a professional technician.

How harmful it is for nails: Despite its gentle formula, there is still a risk of damaging your nails if you remove the product incorrectly.

4. A manicure with extensions

Description: It’s a basic manicure, which is combined with nail extensions or strengthening. Here, gel or acrylic components can be used.

Acrylic uses a liquid and powder mix that creates a hard, protective layer on natural nails or nail extensions. The mix hardens upon its exposure to air. After that, it looks like a transparent layer on which you can apply regular nail polish, gel polish, or Shellac.

It’s also possible to extend nails using gel that is applied and fixed like gel polish.

How long it lasts: It can last 2 to 3 weeks.

How to remove it: They are removed in a nail salon. A manicure technician cuts the length down first, then removes the color. After that, they remove the acrylic or gel layer with acetone.

How harmful it is for nails: Acrylic and gel extension formulas don’t affect the health of your nails, if removed correctly. But problems may arise if you try to remove them yourself.

5. Dip powder manicure

Description: It’s a basic manicure where a special pigmented powder is applied that doesn’t require UV curing.

After the regular manicure procedure takes place, a base coat and special sealant are applied to the nails. Then they are dipped into a container with pigmented powder of the selected color. The powder adheres to the sealant, then the excess powder is removed from the areas adjacent to the nails.

How long it lasts: It can last up to 3 weeks.

How to remove it: This gets removed in a salon. The pigmented powder is removed the same way as acrylic, gel polish, and Shellac. However, since it adheres to the surface of the nails, you need to soak it off with acetone for longer.

How harmful it is for nails: Pigmented powder can weaken your nails because of the difficult removal process, especially if you try doing it yourself.

6. French manicure

This is a basic manicure with a special design on the nails: the surface of the nails is painted pink or beige, and the tips are painted white. The paint can be different, whether it be regular nail polish, gel polish, or Shellac. The lifespan of the coating, the method of its removal, and the potential damage to the nails all depend on your choice of manicure.

In addition to the classic French manicure, there is another version known as the reverse French manicure. In this style, the lower parts of the nails are painted white instead of the tips.

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