What are Solar Nails? Pros and Cons of Solar Nails

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If you’ve been a fan of doing your nails and have been keeping up with the latest trends, you’ve probably come across solar nails. 

They are a type of acrylic nail that is said to look better than regular acrylics. 

The best thing about solar nails is that they can be done at home with a solar nail kit, which means you don’t have to go to a salon and spend a lot of money. 

Solar nails are also said to last longer than regular acrylics, so if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, they might be the right choice for you.

freshly manicured hands with a solar nail manicure on a white background

What is a Solar Nail?

A solar nail is a type of artificial nail that is applied over the natural nail. 

Solar nails are made from a durable and flexible material that can be shaped into any desired style. 

They are usually clear or pink in color, and are often worn by people who want their nails to look longer and healthier.

Solar nails can last for several weeks, and they are much more resistant to chipping and breaking than normal nails. 

They can also be filed and shaped into any desired style, making them a popular choice for people who want their nails to look good without having to worry about them breaking.

Advantages of Solar Nails for Your Natural Nail

Solar nails gained traction for the following benefits:

More Durable

Solar nails are made from a mixture of acrylic and gel, which makes them more durable than regular artificial nails. 

If you’re asking, “How long do solar nails last?,” they can last up to six weeks without chipping or breaking, whereas regular artificial nails only last two to three weeks.

For most people, their hands are in water more often than not.  Whether you’re doing the dishes, taking a shower, or swimming, your nails are constantly exposed to moisture.

As such, durability is crucial when choosing a type of manicure to use. Solar nails are made with a durable material that is less likely to chip and break under these conditions.

Easier to Remove

Solar nails are easier to remove than acrylics. All you need is acetone and a little patience, and your solar nails will come right off. 

You can do a little acetone soak directly or rub them off with acetone-soaked cotton and these should come off easily without hurting your nail beds.

No Need for UV Light

Unlike acrylics, solar nails do not require UV light to cure. This means that you can save time and money by skipping the trips to the salon for UV curing. 

Additionally, you reduce your exposure to UV light, which has been linked to skin cancer. 

You also won’t need to invest in additional equipment if you’re planning to apply these at home.

No Risk of Discoloration

Have you ever noticed how older women who’ve used traditional nail polish for years usually have yellow nails? 

This is because the nail polish they’ve been using contains a yellowing agent called dibutyl phthalate. 

Solar nails don’t have this problem since they don’t rely on traditional nail polish.

Instead, solar nails are made with a special cured resin that doesn’t affect your nail beds even after years of use. 

This means that you can enjoy beautiful, healthy-looking natural nails without having to worry about them turning yellow over time.

Natural Nail Enhancement

Clear solar nails can enhance the look of your natural nails. 

They are made from a durable resin that is applied over your natural nail, and they can be filed and shaped to match the contours of your nails.

As such, solar nails can provide a more natural look than acrylic nails

They are also less likely to cause damage to your natural nails, and they are much easier to remove than acrylic nails.

nail technician filing woman's fingernails with a solar nail or french tip manicure

Disadvantages of Solar Nails

Conversely, solar nails do have some cons, such as:

Chemical Use

Solar nails require the use of chemicals, which can be harsh on the natural nail. 

As mentioned, the removal involves an acetone soak, which can dehydrate the natural nails. 

In some cases, the chemicals used in solar nails, such as methacrylates, can cause allergic reactions.

Nail Growth Visibility

As with any other nail polish, solar nails will also make your natural nail growth more conspicuous since a separation of color will start to show as your nails grow out. 

You can avoid this by getting a fill every two to three weeks, whether at home or at the salon.

Heavy on the Hands

Since solar nails are more of an artificial nail, they can be thicker and heavier on the hands when compared to natural nails. 

This can take some getting used to, and can be uncomfortable for those who are not used to having a thick layer of polish or attachment on their nails.

Which Manicure is Better: Solar Nails vs Acrylic Nails?

If you’re wondering about the difference between solar and acrylic nails, acrylic nails are composed of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer. 

They are strong, durable and require little maintenance. 

Solar gel nails are created from a thick substance but are thinner and more natural looking than acrylics. They are also more resistant to chipping and breaking.

However, in deciding which is better, the answer may depend on your personal preferences. 

If you want a strong, durable nail that requires little maintenance, then acrylic is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more natural look and feel, then solar nails might be the better option.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between a brand of acrylic and solar nails.

It’s all a matter of personal preference. So, take your time to try out both options and see which one you like best!

woman's hands crossed over each other with a solar nail or french manicure

Which Manicure is Better: Solar Nails vs Gel Nails?

Meanwhile, gel nails are a type of polymer that is applied in a similar fashion to acrylics. 

Gel nails are then cured under ultraviolet light. The result is a harder, more natural-looking nail. 

Many women prefer gel nails because they require less frequent touch-ups than their solar counterparts.

One major disadvantage of gel nails is that they’re more difficult to remove than solar nails. 

If you want to change your polish color or take a break from gel nails, you’ll need to go to a salon and have them professionally removed. This can be time-consuming and costly.

How Much Do Solar Nails Cost?

A full set of solar nails usually cost between $30 and $60, depending on the salon you go to and the design of the nails. 

If you want ones with special designs or colors, you may have to pay more.

Nonetheless, these are still more affordable than other types of fake nails, such as acrylics and gels, which can cost as much as $100.

Additionally, full set kits, which you can use to do your own nails at home, cost between $40 and $100. 

These kits generally come with everything you need to do a professional-looking job. 

How to Apply Solar Nails Properly To Make Nails Last

If you want to apply solar nails yourself, here are the steps to do so:

  1. Make sure that your hands are clean and dry before you start.
  2. Use a nail file to file down your natural nails. This will help them adhere better.
  3. Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish to your natural nails, and then apply a thin layer of the adhesive to the back of each solar nail. 
  4. Press the false nails onto your natural nails, and hold them in place for about 60 seconds.
  5. Finally, apply a thin layer of top coat over the entire nail, and wait for it to dry completely.
  6. You can then use a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles, and you’re done!

One crucial thing to remember when applying these nails is that you must avoid contact with water for the first 24 hours after application. 

This is to allow the nails to properly set and bond with your natural nails.

How to Remove Solar Nails Safely at the End of Your Solar Nails Era

To remove your solar nails, you can do an acetone soak. This will help to dissolve the acrylic and make removal much easier. 

Simply fill a bowl with acetone and place your nails in it for around 15 minutes. Once they have soaked, you should be able to gently push the acrylic off your nails.

If you have sensitive skin, you can opt for acetone-soaked cotton. This way, you can limit your skin’s exposure to the harsh chemical.

If you find that they are still not budging, you can try using a nail file to buff away at the surface. Be careful not to file too hard or you could damage your natural nails. 

Once you have broken through the surface, you should be able to remove them relatively easily.

Once you have removed then, it is important to moisturize your nails and cuticles. This will help to prevent your nails from becoming dry and brittle. 

You can use cuticle cream or oil for this purpose.

FAQs: How Long Do Solar Nails Last and Other Concerns

How Long Do Solar Nails Last?

These can last for up to six weeks with the proper care and maintenance. You can extend the life of your solar nails by using a top coat or CND oil and being careful when using your hands.

Which is better: solar or gel nails?

There are pros and cons to both solar nails and gel nails. 

The former looks more natural and are easy to apply. Gel nails, on the other hand, can offer a variety of colors and designs.

Just like with the acrylic vs. solar nails debate, you’ll find that people have different opinions on which type is better. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works best for you and your preferences.

What is a solar manicure?

Solar nails are sometimes called solar manicures since the process is very similar to a traditional manicure. 

With solar polish nails, you start with a malleable material that is placed over your natural nails.

After the material is applied, it hardens naturally without the use of UV light or glue.

What are solar nails vs dip?

Solar and dip nails are both applied on top of your natural nails. They also both require buffing so that they can adhere to your nails better. 

One key difference between solar nails and dip, though, is that you need a dehydrator and dip activator for dip nails to work. With these, you don’t need any of those extra chemicals.

Are solar nails worth it?

Depending on who you ask, solar nails are either a godsend or a total waste of money. 

If you take good care of them, they can last up to six weeks without chipping or peeling. 

However, if you’re not careful, your nails can start to look ragged after just a few days.

If you’re a fan of the minimalist look, you will enjoy using these nails. It allows you to fully customize the shape, length, and color of your nails. 

They are also much more durable than regular nail polish. If you work with your hands a lot, these are definitely worth considering.

Can solar nails be colored?

Solar nails come in white, pink, or clear colors only. You can have a French manicure with them for that elegant, minimalist look. 

If you want something a bit more colorful, you can easily paint traditional nail polish to add different colors on top. 

As such, it is a versatile option if you want to experiment with your nails without damaging them.

Conclusion: Should You Get Solar Nails?

Solar nails have become a popular choice for many women who want to have beautiful, well-manicured hands without having to deal with the hassle of traditional nail care on real nails. 

They’re durable, long-lasting, and require very little maintenance.

But are they right for you? It all depends on what you want for your nail care. 

Most people who get them have them done for one of two reasons:

  • They want a durable, long-lasting polish that will look good for several weeks without requiring much maintenance.
  • They want a natural-looking alternative to acrylic nails.

If you’re considering this type of manicure, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work.

Nothing beats experiencing them firsthand, so try them at least once and see how they feel. You may find that you love them!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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