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Gel Manicure vs Dip Nails (SNS): What you need to know

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

By: Samantha Byrd

Are you tired of chipping your nail polish the moment you dig through your purse or wash your dishes? If so, either gel or dip nails will be your saving grace! There are a few minor differences between the two.

Gel nails became a craze about five years ago when women found out they were chip-free and last two to three weeks. The gel process is very similar to regular nail polish, however a UV lamp is used to ensure the gel like coating stays on for the maximum amount of time.

The feeling of gel nails are also very much like nail polish. They are flexible, but slightly thicker than a natural nail.

The downfall of a gel manicure is it weakens the nail bed, especially if the removal process is incorrect. It does not allow your nail beds or cuticles to breath.


Dip nails, on the other hand, are a combination of an acrylic nail and gel. They are not as strong as acrylic nails and not as flexible as gel.

As you can tell by the name, the dip process is done by painting a clear polish/primer and then dipping it into a colored powder. It does not require a UV lamp. After two to three layers, the color is opaque and the top coat is added. The process is very quick and can last up to a month.

Dip nails are recommended to be removed by a nail technician so you do not damage your natural nail. As long as they are removed by a technician, your nails should be as strong and thick as before you got them done.


Overall both nail techniques are chip-free and long lasting. Hopefully this article helped you decide which one is the right fit for you!


Which do you prefer? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter!

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