Well, you already know what acrylics are, so I won't answer that. But I would like to say that it is not the acrylics that are damaging your nails - though it can in rare cases, but rather it is normally a bed tech that damages your nails. Normally, they do this by using a 'drill' to file your natural nail and quite often will overuse it resulting in thin, weak nails.
Silk nails - or a 'silk wrap,' are basically just pieces of silk which have been cut to fit you nail and are glued to your natural nails. Another coat of glue - or resin, is then applied to give them strength. Silk nails are natural looking, but are also rather delicate. So if you have an active lifestyle, these are probably not a good choice.
Gel Nails are durable, and natural looking provided they are applied by an experienced tech who uses nothing but the best gel products available. As a general rule of thumb, gel nails are easy to do, but very difficult to master. So, a tech without much experience applying gel nails will not be able to make them look as good as a tech who has been doing them for many years. The product quality also plays a role in how the finished nails look, and also their durability. Good gels are quite durable, and mainly - they are non-yellowing. Many cheap gels will yellow over time.
One other thing about gels. Gel nails cost more because the products used cost more than acrylic products. Expect to pay at least $40-$45 for a full set. But the better salons will charge anywhere from $60-$85 for a full set. I wouldn't put too much trust in a salon that charged anything less than $40 though.
Also, make sure you are getting what you paid for - gel nails. Many 'discount' salons use a scam in which they will apply acrylic nails, then give you a UV gel topcoat, and call them gel nails. These are NOT gel nails, they are acrylic nails. The gels used are never a powder. An example of what top of the line gel products look like can be found here:
Gels come in a wide variety of colors including clear, white, cool pink, warm pink, and a whole lot of other colors. So, if a tech only has one or two colors available, then maybe you should look for someone else because the tech will be quite limited in her offering of gel nail applications. I mean, for example there are gels available that can camoflauge blemishes on your natural nails. Clear gels cannot do this. Nor can most other colors. It takes a special type of gel product to be able to make these nails.Also, wouldn't you rather be able to choose from a wide variety of colors instead of choosing between one, or two at the most. Thats like buying a car that only comes in red, or blue, and no other colors. Having choices such as many different colors available is much preferred.
Gels are also non-porous, which means that they don't absorb other things easily, and nail polish is a good example of that. So, gels cannot be stained by polish, whereas acrylics are porous, and easily absorb colors from nail polish, resulting in staining of the nail. Non-porous also means that real gel nails cannot be soaked off in acetone. They must be filed off by a very experienced tech. An unskilled tech can easily ruin your nails by filing all the way down to your natural nails, and then removing a portion of your natural nails along with the gel.
BTW, the very best gel products available - in my opinion, are those made by a company called LCN. But, these are also more expensive because the gels are imported from Germany and cost about 3 times what regular gels cost.
Acrylics are the most durable, followed by gel nais, with silk nails being the least durable.
I hope this helps!Gel/Silk/UV nails?
Thank you, Rachel N! This is exactly what I was web surfing for!
I'm not too sure about silk and UV nails, but I know that gel nails are really good and natural. The only problem is, they're more expensive. My sister had them done for free because she knew the nail salon owner but they average between 80-120 dollars. and its really easy to file or cut the nails without damaging your real ones.
Silk nails is when they put a silk material on ur nails and gel nails is so much better more clear and last longer as for UV they're supposed to help ur nails grow under ur manicured nails and supposed to last 3 months i havent tried it