As a 30+ years nail veteran and a total gel loyalist, I have snubbed my nose at many of the cool and hip trends to hit the nail market over the years, but, I cant stay locked in my 1980's cupboard with my pot of ibd clear gel forever, its time to get with the program.
The revolution in nails is here and time for a shift in my mindset.
Lets talk about poly-gels and a powder/gel system.
If I had a $1 for ever client that came in and asked for powdered gel, I'd be driving a Maserati.
Powdered gels don't exist, and was a clever rouse from the 'chop shops' to confuse you when they were in fact giving you acrylic - polymer and monomer. They would give you a gel polish coating afterwards, this making you think you were getting 'gel nails'! Don't fall for that trap! However, there is now a huge wave coming of what is being termed a 'poly-gel'. Poly being for polymer (the powder we use in an acrylic service), and gel of course being our traditional gels. What the companies are doing now is combining the two into a one pot (or tube) system - thus a polygel. As well as gel/power systems where a polymer is sprinkled into the unset gel before curing. (Not dipped as in a SNS system, but sprinkled or spooned over.)
Most of the companies are rolling these out and we will be seeing this product popping up everywhere.
We have spent years being gel tech versus acrylic tech, but now we can all have this little gem that sits somewhere in the middle.
And what exactly is it I hear you ask???It's what is termed a 'hybrid'. A bit like gel polish is a gel/nail polish blend, this is a gel/powder blend.
It was inspired by a desire to create a product that keeps everything nail techs like about acrylic and hard gel systems while removing the aspects they dont!
Unlike acrylic, and like gel, it requires a lamp to cure (harden), but like acrylic, it is applied in a bead and patted (manoeuvred) into place. The best part of the deal though, you can continue to play with it until it is exactly how you want it, then cure. Acrylic hardens within moments, so if you don't move quickly, it can be all sorts of disastrous shapes and sizes depending on your ability.
As a customer though, I'm sure you want to know why you would try it??It gives you the flexibility we all love with our gels, but the added strength of acrylic.(For those a little rougher on our nails or a picker.)
It doesn't have the usual heat spike some clients experience with gels either.
So a win/win all round.
And who would use it??
Anyone who has in the past had trouble with their gels or acrylics for one reason or another.
Not one product suits everyone.
Some have trouble with lifting, others with strength, some are pickers.
I have used the Missu 4D (another term for a polygel) on myself and after 5 weeks my nails were all still perfecting in tact. So lasting and no lifting was a huge bonus. Plus being able to shape with the product they took on a different kind of shape then they normally had with my clear gel.
I have used another polygel system I am trialing on a florist friend who gets lots of breakages and she has not had one broken nail since we have put it on, so I guess for her strength is important.
For those picture perfect clients that breeze in and out on a regular basis, in and out in an hour, no breaks, all happy, I would keep them on a traditional one pot gel system.
For those wanting thicker nails, more defined shape, extra length or extra shape, I would try a poly-gel system to see if if gave them a happier experience.
What about powder/gel systems?
These are a little trickier to explain and I'm still trying a few different ones out and have a one on one with Missu on Monday to trial theirs. So first I must stress I am not taking about a 'dipping system' or SNS. Theses are being used a bit, mostly in NSS (non-standard salons or chop-shops), and are basically a glue and power system. Glue (or cyanoacralate) is painted on the nails, your fingers are then 'dipped' into pot of powder (monomer), one probably that 50 other ladies fingers have been also dipped in, then an activator painted over to set the glue, and a top coat. Thats it. It very hard, almost too hard, and very difficult to remove without damaging the natural nail - and that's from a firsthand experience of having one put on myself.
Then there is the newer powder/gel system which I am talking about.
Gel is applied to the nail in the usual fashion, normally a base gel, then the polymer is spooned over the gel and cured as usual. I liken it to adding sand and cement to concrete to add strength. It just gives an extra bit of strength whilst maintaining a fairly fine looking enhancement.
I have tried it on mine and several of my hairdresser and they are finding it very workable, strong, yet not as flexible as their normal gels. But once again, as I stress, different strokes for different folks. What works for one, doesn't work for all. Which is why I have opted to finally step out of my comfort zone and try these new products. So I have the ability to have something for everyone. So when someone walks in wanting SNS, (YUK!) (which is a glue/powder system mostly used in chop shops), or acrylic, (which I dont do) I can offer them something similar, but better! The 4D gel or poly gel instead of acrylic, or a powder/gel system in place of SNS or a dipping system. And know that it has been trialed and tested before launching it on my clients haphazardly. I have, and always do, study the MSDS (material safety data sheets) of all my products so I know exactly what is in them so as to protect my clients with any chemical allergies. So safety is always paramount. Be assured!
So that's it ladies. I hope I have managed to break it down for you a bit?
It's all kind of exciting and a real game changer for our industry.
It's inspiring and challenging for all us long term nail techs. Takes us out of our comfort zones, but as passionate nail techs we love the challenge and are continuously motivated to learn more and more.
I hope I can temp you to call in, phone or text to try one of these new systems for yourself.....
Yours in Nails
Maria x x