Solar Vs Acrylic Nails

This article is simply a matter of opinion only. There are no technical terms used nor any product information.

I've been getting my nails done for twenty years now. Right, wrong or indifferent, it's something that I do for myself because I've never been able to grow my own nails. For many years I got the acrylic type of overlay done because I didn't really know about other options and because it was what I could afford. Plus, I had the same nail technician for a long time and was comfortable with what she did and how she did it.

Two years ago I had to find someone new to do my nails. This may seem like no big deal because there is an overabundance of nail salons, however, if you like things a certain way it can be quite a process. I went to a few technicians who laid on the acrylic too thick, didn't shape my nails the way I like or, in general, just did a very poor job. The frustrating thing is that you usually have to wait until your nails grow out a little to get them redone and then there are no guarantees if you go to someone new again.

The particular technician that I found about a year ago suggested that I try solar nails as something different. I'm sure for her it was a suggestion based on making more money. After all, who wouldn't want to make more money if they can? Yes, solar does cost more than acrylic. What I discovered though, is that the extra expense is well worth it.

For one thing, when you have solar nails done you don't have to sit and wait while your nails dry because it's a buffing process. What that means is that when they are done, they are done and you can get up and go. Solar nails also look more classy as they are usually french (white) tip and shiny. They also seem to last longer so you can stretch the time out between fills (getting your nails done again).  Lastly, they are just stronger in general so less breakage and worry about repairs. 

Of course, like anything else, you have to find someone that is skilled at applying solar nails. Otherwise there is the risk of a bubbly appearance in the finish of the overlay, which does not look classy at all. There is also the risk of the nails not staying applied well. So, once you find someone you trust to do the job well, stick with them. I have loved the look and convenience of solar nails and will probably not be going back to acrylic.

Comments 23 comments

Chris_S profile image

Chris_S 7 years ago from Texas

I get Pink & White acrylic nails but Solar Nails are actually a kind of acrylic nails I think. The term Solar Nails actually refers to a product manufactured by Creative Nail Design. Many times clients will think they're receiving Solar Nails when actually they are just getting regular pink and white acrylics with a shiny gel topcoat. I normally would not know this as a guy, but learned about it after I started getting acrylic nail services myself.

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Chris! I didn't know that Solar was considered a form of acrylic. Good to know. AND I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub!

Nail Technician profile image

Nail Technician 7 years ago

I would also suggest trying gel nails once if you haven't, because they are usually a little less expensive and although they don't last as long, they would give you a chance to try out different nail tech's without having to spend as much and without having to wait as long between acrylic applications.

There are also glass or fiberglass nails that you could try that last Much longer than acrylics by themselves.

Have a great day! :)

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Nail Technician! I actually got gels this last time I went for a fill. They seem strong but the coating is coming off already :( Thanks for reading!

MJW 7 years ago

I have solar nails and I LOVE them. I will never go back. If they start to dull a bit all you have to do is buff them. Worth the money.

nailsthatrock profile image

nailsthatrock 6 years ago from Provo, Utah

Hey guys, I believe Solar nails are a type of gel nail. It's just a matter of brand names. Gel wears much better than a traditional acrylic and breaks less because it is more flexible. You know you are getting gel nails when your nail tech cures the product a UV light rather than mixing a powder and liquid. When wearing gel you will notice: it looks much more natural, it grows out less noticeably, it lifts much less, it keeps it shine almost indefinately, your nails have less damage after wear. In truth gel is just a more advanced type of acrylic but the benefitts compared to traditional acrylic are well worth the money!

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 6 years ago from United States Author

I love the products that use the UV light to cure! Thanks for info and for taking the time to read my Hub!

profile image

adtjwj 6 years ago

I have to agree solar nails are great. Two weeks ago I got nails for the first time. I always grew nice nails but I now work with boxes and my hands don't look as great as they once did so I decided to get nails. The first set were acrylic and not done well so I took them off after a week. I went on line to find another nail shop and found a great one. I told the technician that the ones I tried before were too thick and she proceeded to do my hands and I noticed the procedure was a little different. These nails look great and although when I called they said a full set was 25.00 she charged me 35.00 and gave me a price sheet and there I saw the Solar Nails were 35.00. At first I felt I had been had but when I look at my hands I am glad she made the choice to give me Solar Nails. I went to the shop because they were cheaper but the Solar Nails ended up costing what the bad set cost me last week. I am not happy about the way they were introduced to me but I am very happy with the outcome.

Becky 6 years ago

Hello all, I would some input from experienced nail wearers. I had gel nails for a time in the mid 1980's, and they did not work well for me. I have acrylics now and I do like them. I am thinking of trying gels again since I assume things have improved since I last had them. If you have had both recently, please share your opinion with me. Thanks!

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 6 years ago from United States Author

Hi Becky, thanks for reading! I am pretty sure there have been improvements in the products since you last had gel nails. I'm not an expert, just a consumer and I love my gel and solar nails! I won't ever go back to wearing acrylic nails again. I'd love to hear how you like them if you decide to go with gel or solar. Thanks again!

how to remove acrylic nails 6 years ago

this is from my should read this to.

Take some aluminum foil and cut it into squares. Now, wet the cotton balls with acetone, lay it on the nail and cover it as tightly as possible with the aluminum foil. Repeat the procedure for all 10 nails or do one hand at a time. Do not open the foil for at least 20 minutes. Once the time elapses, remove the foils one at a time and with a wood pusher or orange wood stick scrape the acrylic off. Ideally it should come right off, however the process can be repeated if there are some traces left. Another way of removing the nails using acetones is to soak the hands in warm water for some time. Then soak them in acetone and the acrylic nails will then become soft and easily remove.

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 6 years ago from United States Author


Nail expert 6 years ago

I have been doing nails for over 20 year, Pink and White is the term used for the color. It is all acrylic, The process is the same, it just the color. Solar is a brand what makes pink and white acrylic. There is clear acrylic, natural acrylic, pink, white, black, glitter, etc. It is just a color. I do not recommend gel because it causes the same amount of damage to your nail bed, cost more and doesn’t last as long. That is for the gel full set, not the gel coating completely different. To remove the acrylic nails make a double boiler type thing with acetone on top and hot water on bottom, will remove acrylic faster. It’s cheaper to buy acetone at Wal-mart in the paint aisle. The reason why people are confused by the name is because majority of the people doing your nails barely speak English, not being racist I am Asian. Oh, and one last thing artificial nails do not ruin your nail permanently! Your nails are what your body deposits if your nails were ruined when you took them off it is because you bruised it or damaged it some other way, if your nails peel , or split because your nails were not strong in the first place. As you age your body weakens and so does your nails. Ridges occur and nails get dehydrated. Your nails will grow out within 3-5 weeks max not years!

Hansehi 5 years ago

I have been getting my nails done for over 20 years also and all of the information above doesn't seem quite right. I have had it ALL done: wraps/ glue /powder extensions, porcelain, acrylic, gel. You name it, I've done it. They all lift, break or in the case of porcelain were way too strong that I had a nail rip right off. That was not fun. Then about 3 years ago I discovered Solar. It was the best thing since sliced bread for me. I am not certain what the exact material it is, but the biggest difference is that it is applied like acrylic (mixing liquid with a powder and shaping on top of nail or tip), and it dries WITHOUT use of a UV light. All it needs is buffing. NO TOPCOAT! I detested the UV light because it burned, sometimes A lot! It looks similar to the pink and white gel but even more natural. It is truly the best!!

efardell 5 years ago

I went to a new salon when I was out of town and she did solar nails when I asked for acryllic. My normal salon only does acryllic and gel I think, would it be alright to get a normal fill next time? Isn't "solar" really just colored acryllic powder?


tsangel 5 years ago

I usually get acrylics since my real nails don't grow. I got solar nails this last time and am not happy with them at all. The tips of the nails are wearing uneven and look awful. I will be going back to acrylics.

Kandis 5 years ago

I prefer solar to acrylic... Solar nails are less damaging to the natural nail beds... I get the solar nails with a pearl tip and they always look so good :)

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for the comments!!

@tsangel - maybe it was the nail technician? Usually solar looks very nice.

Tammy 5 years ago

I too have been a Nai tech for 20 years. Sorry to disappoint but yes Solar is just a name brand of acrylic made by creative. Although it is great it is still acrylic and don't let anyone try and tell u different. It called marketing change a name like pink and white and everyone thinks it's a new invention.

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for the info Tammy! How come they can charge so much more for the Solar brand? I love the look and the way it lasts, but it is so expensive!

Gillummmmmm221 4 years ago

Hey I read the things and wanted to ask does it hurt ur nails when they fall off

In This Moment profile image

In This Moment 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for reading! It can hurt sometimes if they break in the wrong spot. But you can grow them out and keep filing them until they are gone or you can have them removed professionally.

Iona 4 years ago

Solar Nails are also 30% more flexible and durable so you don't break them as often, saving you money. Helen Penny in Guelph, Ontario does an amazing job at Solar Nails. I have been going to her since she first started 16 years ago!

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