There are many types of artificial nails available in the market. These can be classified according to the materials used, preparation required for application and various other criteria. The choice of a certain type depends on why you need it, how much time you want to spend on this procedure and its frequency. Here are some different types of artificial nails.
Full Acrylics – this type of artificial nails is the most popular and widely known, it is suitable for those who want to create length and volume. Full acrylic nails imitate the shape of natural nail plate by applying a layer of artificial material like gel or acrylic over the entire nail. To make these types of artificial nails last longer, gel systems are applied on top (in case of acrylic) or polyurethane overlay (in case of gel). These types of artificial nails require professional help to be done as they can easily cause damage to the natural nail plate if not done properly.
Second most common type is gel nails. Gel nails are applied in a similar way as acrylics, but they have one big difference – the polymer used in them is different and reacts to UV light. Before application, gel nails need to be cured under a special light for about 30 seconds.
To make them stronger fake nail tips (tips made out of plastic) are used along with glue (in case of gel) or adhesive (in case of acrylic). To prevent damage caused by glues, special non-acidic glues are used that do not damage the natural nail plate.
Silk nails are made from a thin silicone film which is applied on top of the nail and pressed down, allowing it to take a shape similar to natural nail plate. They do not require special equipment or previous shaping before application, they can be easily done by anyone at home with a little bit of practice. Silk nails have a very low profile and have different surface textures available (regular, pearl etc.). The main advantage of silk nails is that they hardly cause damage to the natural nail plate as you remove them yourself at home – all you need is some oil and your artificial nails fall off after 2-3 weeks. Silk nails come in different sizes and colors so there’s no need for any pre-shaping acrylics and gel.
Wrap nails are usually done when you want to create length with acrylics or silk, but don’t have the time to wait for them grow out. They are applied over your natural nail plate in a very similar way as regular fake nails, except for wrapping around your cuticle area creating a thin line of artificial nail that looks most realistic.
To apply wrap nails you need gel primer, 0.5-1mm tip brush (for application), buffer block, pointed pushers and specialized adhesive designed for this type of artificial nails. You can remove the wraps using acetone soaked cotton pad wrapped around your finger leaving it on for 10 seconds until they start loosening up. The reason why wrap nails are not recommended is because they require a lot of skill to use and apply, but can also cause a lot of damage to your natural nail plate.
Preparation for Application
Both acrylics and silk nails are applied after shaping the natural nail plate. It is crucial that your natural nails are trimmed, filed into desired shape and kept short before applying any fake nails. After this, you can apply an artificial nail primer which acts as both a glue and sealer for the artificial nails to stick on, allowing them to last longer. Fake nails are always made of plastic or silk so they can be easily shaped according to your desire by filing them with an emery board or special nail file designed for artificial nails. For best results, you should wait at least 2 weeks after application of new artificial nails before starting another procedure.
As far as gel is concerned there’s no preparation needed before application. The gel itself acts as nail primer and artificial nails extension, the only thing you need to do is shine your natural nails with a thin coat of clear top coat to even out the surface.
Before applying fake nails you should always ensure all tools are sanitized using special disposable wipes so that no bacteria or fungus gets on them which can cause damage to the natural nail plate. You should never use regular files or emery boards as they can accumulate dirt and oil which accumulates under the fake nails causing problems like lifting, peeling etc.