UV Nail Polish
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Gel nails originally referred to nail extensions made using a hard gel product hardened by curing under a ultraviolet or L.E.D. (light emitting diode) light. However, recent use of the phrase includes just about any nail service performed involving the use of gel products, including the very popular gel polish manicure.
There are two types of gel, hard gel and soft gel. Hard gel gets its name because, once cured, is tough enough to be made into a nail extension. Nail extensions are artificial nails created by using a nail product to extend the nail past the edge of the natural nail. Soft gel refers to the gel products that are too soft to create a nail extension. This includes gel polishes and thicker gels meant for gel overlay services. Gel polishes are used for the increasingly popular gel polish manicures. These manicures, when done by caring, experienced, and trained professionals, are gentle to the natural nail and the polish stays in tact on the nail for at least a couple of weeks with high shine and no cracking, peeling or chipping.
The product used to create nail extensions using gel or Gel nails is gel, not to be confused with acrylic nails which are created using liquid monomer and polymer powder. All gel services are performed using some form of gel which usually come in pots of gel or bottles of gel polish. Gel also comes in a variety of colors and all forms of gel require curing under a U.V. or L.E.D. light to harden or cure the gel. Curing refers to the chemical process that occurs when the photo-initiators within the gel itself are exposed to the U.V. or L.E.D. light. The chain reaction creates heat while the oligomers combine to form long chains during the polymerization process. These bonded chains are what makes the gel become hard and it’s the photo-initiators within the gel product that jump starts the curing process. Usually, once the nail extension has been created there is a residual tacky layer that is removed by wiping with a cotton pad soaked in high concentrate alcohol at the end of the service.
UV Type: L.E.D.: Light Emitting Diode