Let’s talk about Hard Gel!

I'm seeing more brands bringing out hard gels and seeing more techs using them again... So let's chat about hard gel.

I’m seeing more brands bringing out hard gels and seeing more techs using them again… So let’s chat about hard gel.

I loved using hard gel when I first trained years ago! It was kind of my first introduction to gel nails before I trained in biosculpture gel and before builder gels were even a thing.


Hard gel is typically found in a pot, as opposed to a bottle form… I’ve not come across one anyway. So, the application is with a separate brush. This is one of the elements I love, and I often apply my builders with a brush for this reason… I find once you’ve created a bond with your flat brush, no other brush compares.

Builder gel can be found in bottles or pots, I see more bottles in recent years, so you apply with the brush from the bottle usually.

One of the biggest differences is removal…

Hard gel can’t be soaked off in acetone, so it’s a file off system… for this reason, I personally would only recommend that if you are efile trained as buffing off with a hand file can cause a lot of strain to your body as a nail tech.

Builders, on the other hand, can be soaked off with acetone, so for techs who like to remove every time, this is the best option for you.

Hard gel is typically stronger, kind of like acrylic cousin… fab for SUPER long nails or extensions, or for clients who ‘lose’ the corners on a sharp square nail or want a SUPER pointy stiletto… this gel will keep its shape well. It can also be fab for overlays or heavy-handed clientele.

Top tip – Avoid applying too thin as hard gel can be prone to cracking if the structure isn’t there…so focusing on apex is really key here.

Builder gel is still strong! Fab step up from the traditional classic gel manicure! A product I couldn’t be without now!

It’s slightly more flexible so fab for clients that have a slight flexibility to their natural nails.

Fab for short – medium extensions and can create a strong overlay on an array of nail lengths.

Which is best?

The one that suits your client!

We must treat each client as a case-by-case scenario…

Hope this helps.

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