If you’re looking for a higher quality type of acrylic nail that aren’t as harsh as gel nails on your nail bed — look no further.
Solar nails are *most likely* exactly the upgrades you’re looking for.
As beauty enthusiasts, we couldn’t help but notice the solar nail hype that’s been taking over.
So long are the days of putting up with just any gel or acrylic nails.
So let’s not waste any time here.
Whether you’re looking for typical fashion nails for the prom or the industry look, we’re prepared to give you the run down on the exact things you NEED to know before your first time diving headfirst into the solar nail world.
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What are solar nails?
Time to address the nail-ephant in the room.Solar nails are not your standard artificial nails.
Solar nails are a high quality brand of acrylic nails engineered by Creative Nail Design (CND).
This is a nail care company with years of experience that has award-winning nail products that’s extremely popular among the beauty community.
One of the key enhancement features of this CND product is that solar nails are typically around 10 times more thick than natural nails and can be adjusted to any length you like due to a special acrylic formula that CND uses.
Pretty high-tech huh?
There are other nail care companies such as OPI, DND, Essie, that also make quality products.
Visually, these nails are pink in color with white tips and give off the classic look of a french manicure.
Advantages of solar nails
Instead of beating around the nailbed, we’re gonna give it to you straight when it comes to solar nails vs acrylic nails (regular ones).
Solar nails are more durable
As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest benefits is increased definition thickness of solar nails which give them a durability that is unmatched when it comes to acrylic or gel nails.
Plus, the added thickness ensures that the risk of shattering/chips is far less.
But how long do solar nails last?
True solar nails can last a long 3-week hold (in some cases up to a month) before needing infills which is almost double the amount of time typical gel nails last before having to replace the entire nail.
They can possibly last even longer if they’re combine with the solar gel top coat.
The longer hold makes them more eco-friendly because there are less replacements needed which means less waste compared to typical acrylic nails.
Also, these beautiful nails keep their luster and shine for a long time compared to your average type of acrylic nails through washes and usage.
This means you’ll be spending less time pampering up your fingernails with different coats of gel polish since they’ll be maintaining their shine for so much longer.
If you’re looking for durability… you get the idea — this type of artificial nails is a great option.
But this isn’t the only difference.
Less harsh nail removal
Did we mention they’re *much* easier to remove than your normal gel nail?
Ya, it’s true (you’re welcome).
Using just a simple acetone soak for about 15 minutes for the best results to cap off the end of your solar nails experience.
Your solar nails should be coming off with no damage or pain to your precsious nail beds.
Generally, when you remove gel nails, the remaining gel residue needs to be filed off your own nail which can thin your nails and make them vulnerable for a period of time while they recover.
Reduced UV exposure
Due to the formula CND has made, solars do not have to endure the UV light treatment in order for the chemicals to cure and harden.
Within minutes, the mixture should harden on it’s own and continue to harden.
Good luck trying that with typical extensions.
Typically, gel/acrylic artificial nails are made of polymer resins and need to be treated under a UV lamp in order for the formula to cure and your nails to harden.
Too much ultraviolet light exposure is not healthy for our bodies and can cause us to age quicker.In the instance of reducing ultraviolet light exposure, solar nails are definitely a great choice.
How solar nails are applied
Before getting yourself into a situation you weren’t looking for, make sure that you’re getting solars from CND.
As solar nails were literally created by Creative Nail Design, it’s essential that you clarify with your professional nail technician that you’re getting the nail enhancements that you’re paying for.
Some salons are made specially for solar nails such as the solar nails lounge in Durham, North Carolina.
Now that that’s clear, let’s talk about what you can expect from the application process.
- Schedule a manicure/pedicure with your favorite nail salon/nail technician.
- Your nail tech will cleanse your hands and prep your nails/cuticles for the solars.
- A plastic nail extension will be glued to the end of your natural fingernail. The white nail will overlay your natural nail and the pink nail will go over the white nail leaving you with a perfect white tip! They may use a nail drill machine to size the nail properly.
- The second step in the two-step application process is that solar powder and liquid monomer will be combined to strengthen the base coat and pressed over your nail extension.
- The mixture will harden as they shape the acrylic nails to match the natural nail structure of your own nail.
- Your nail tech will finish the top coat with some gel nail polish/shellac or regular nail polish over the fake nail to match the nail art designs that you desire. Note: Other brands of gel polish can be used such as bio sculpture.
You have solar nails with a classic look (and added a nice relaxation sesh to your week).
These acrylic nails should last at least a long 3-week hold before you need to schedule any more nail services from your local discount nail salon.
Note that the weight of your nails will feel heavier.
This whole thing shouldn’t take more than 30-45 min total and your technician will leave you walking out the salon with some gorgeous nails and you’ll be sure to recieve some sweet comments on them.
The underside of your nails
Your nail tech finishes your solars, you get home, and realize the nail tips don’t quite match up with the underside of your nails.
This can be a common issue when you get plastic nail extensions — so don’t freak out.
Using some nail glue in place of the vulnerable areas can be a quick and easy way to avoid any residue getting in between your natural nails and artificial nails.
You can also always go back to your nail tech and ask for additional filing or buffers.
Letting residue get in between your false nails and natural nails can cause fungus, flaking, or some sort of bacterial infections over time which is a serious no bueno.
To save your real nails/cuticle and nail extensions from any fungus or bacterial infections in the long term, keep them tidy with a nail brush!
Solar nails price
Okay all of this sounds good in theory.But how much do solars cost compared to regular acrylic or gel nails?
Solars can cost you around $30-$50 depending on the rates of your salon.
It’s always important to check with your nail tech to clarify prices before scheduling this appointment.
An acrylic set can cost from $35-$45, but for certain types and colors it can be upwards of $50-$60.
Gel nails can also be around $30-$40 while certain types and colors can go for upwards of $60.
While it’s hard to nail down the exact prices depending on your salon, solar nails can be slightly cheaper or more expensive than other types of acrylics.
It really depends on what type of fake nail you’re looking for.
Removing solar nails
The process of removing your solar nails for the first time is actually a super simple one!
The best way is to soak your nails in pure acetone for 15-30 minutes until they loosen up and then gently work around the edges until the nail begins to come off of your natural nail.
Be sure to be EXTRA gentle because you don’t want to risk damaging your real nails during the removal process.
If you’re concerned about doing this yourself or it’s your first time, you can always schedule a spa treatment with your nail tech to help you remove the whole nail.
Likely, they’ll go through with a similar process of using an acetone soak before working the nail off your finger.
Changing the nail polish on solar nails
If you’re looking to do a polish change for the nail polish color or style on your solar nails, be sure to use a nail polish remover that’s non-acetone.
If you use something that has acetone, it will work to remove the entire nail rather than a non-acetone nail polish remover which will just remove the polish.
To keep it simple:
- Acetone will remove the entire nail
- Non-acetone nail polish remover will remove just the polish
You could also get a full set of gel polish from bio sculpture for your next gel polish change because it comes off easier without having to do any excessive buff to the nail which can be damaging.
Disadvantages of solar nails
We’ve went over all the amazing-ness of solar nails, but what about the cons?
To start off, solar nails can possibly be more expensive wherever you are getting them done.
Although we think they’re a great choice, if your budget doesn’t line up with the cost, it might be worth going for a different type of artificial nail.
After all, it is like choosing name brands over generic brands.
Whether or not it makes a difference is entirely up to you! Either one can be a great choice.
Thickness looks less natural
Due to the thickness/heaviness of solar nails, they can typically look less natural than some other regular acrylic nails or gels.
You can have your nail tech file down the CND product to your liking if you want them to look more like natural fingernails, though.
Solar nails have more chemical fumes involved
The last of the cons on our list is the fact that solar nails use more chemicals such as liquid monomer and acrylic powder compared to gel nails.
These chemical fumes are typicallty what make nail salons smell the way they do.
If you’re somebody that doesn’t like to deal with lots of chemical fumes, gel nails are much simpler and may be a great option for you.
Solar nails styles
Here are some solar nail designs to try:
Classic glitter nails
The verdict on solar nails
When it comes to acrylic nails, solars might just be what you’re looking for.
Next time you’re going out for a manicure, check with your nail technician about their solar nail kits to figure out if that’s what you want.
As you can see, we are very pro solar nails. But for you woman or men that are considering these nails, you’ll have to try them to see if you like them.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with acrylic or perfect gel nails.
- Solar nails and acrylic nails are not different things. Solar nails are a type of acrylic that is made by Creative Nail Design.
- Solar nails are thicker and typicall last longer than regular acrylic nails.
- Solar nails often resemble a french manicure look naturally so you may need to use gel color to get the look you want.