In the world of nail beautification, every detail matters. When you run a salon, you’re often faced with tricky choices about which service to push with your customers. One that’s currently on the tips of salon owners’ lips is what type of nails are better? Shellac or gel? Your answer could greatly influence your client satisfaction and, ultimately, your business success.

Both shellac and gel nails have their unique benefits and allure, creating a divide in preference among clients. This, in turn, impacts what services salons offer and how they operate. In this post, we delve into the characteristics of both shellac and gel nails, their benefits, and the potential impact each choice can have on your salon. Let’s uncover the details that will help you make an informed decision for your business.

Understanding Shellac Nails

Shellac is a blend of gel and traditional nail polish that offers a glossy finish with impressive durability. The application process involves several layers: base coat, colour coat, and topcoat, each cured under a UV lamp. This curing process hardens the polish, reducing the risk of smudging and allowing for a long-lasting shine.

The Benefits of Shellac Nails

From a client’s perspective, the allure of shellac lies in its longevity. A shellac manicure can last up to two weeks without chipping, making it a perfect choice for those seeking to maintain a flawless look for longer periods. Its glossy finish also adds an attractive appeal that many clients love.

For Salons, Offering Shellac Nails Can be Advantageous

The durability of shellac means fewer return visits for touch-ups, leading to satisfied customers and positive reviews. Moreover, the quick curing time allows for more appointments in a day, boosting productivity and potentially increasing revenue.

However, it’s worth noting that while shellac nails offer these benefits, they require professional removal to avoid damaging the natural nail. This might mean an additional service your salon needs to provide, but this could also serve as an opportunity for add-on sales or services.

A closeup of green shellac nails

Credit: Byrdie

What About Gel Nails?

Gel nails, unlike shellac, aren’t a blend but a gel-based polish designed to be hardened or ‘cured’ under a UV or LED light. The application process involves a base coat, one or two layers of the gel polish, and a topcoat, each cured under the lamp. This curing process solidifies the polish, producing a glossy, durable finish.

The Benefits of Gel Nails

The benefits of gel nails are numerous. For clients, gel nails promise durability and longevity similar to shellac nails, often lasting up to three weeks without chipping or peeling. They also offer a thicker, fuller appearance than traditional polish, making them an ideal choice for those with weak or brittle nails.

What are the Advantages for Salons?

For salons, offering gel nails can be a strategic move. Just like shellac, the durability of gel nails leads to fewer revisits and happier customers. Gel nails can also be a great alternative for people who are allergic to nail resin or acrylic, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a professional manicure without adverse reactions.

They also generally offer more versatility in terms of nail art, which makes it easier to create intricate designs. Unlike shellac nails, gel can also be used to extend the length of the nails, similar to acrylics.

A closeup of natural-style gel nails

Credit: Semilac

So What Type of Nails are Better, Shellac or Gel?

It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve as a business and what clients are after. Shellac nails tend to ensure healthier nail beds, a natural look and feel and faster application times, while gel nails are equally as durable but better suited to complex designs. Overall, it’s fair to say that a successful salon will offer both in order to attract customers with different requirements.

Keep Your Salon Customers Safe with VODEX

Are you looking for a way to ensure your salon is not just a sanctuary of beauty but also a haven of health? The VODEX SalonAIR® could be the answer. This state-of-the-art extraction system has been meticulously designed to safeguard you, your technicians, and your valued clients from potentially harmful fumes and airborne dust produced by beauty treatments.

Unlike other dust removal options, the SalonAIR® uses a sophisticated Multi-Layered Filter Cell System. It effectively captures and filters out contaminants, ensuring the air that is returned to your salon is clean, fresh, and safe to breathe.

It’s also a legally compliant system, too. It meets all the requirements under the Health and Safety Act and HSE/COSHH regulations.

Don’t compromise on health for beauty when you can provide your clients with both. Get in touch today to find out more about our solutions!

Further Reading

14 Day Return Policy

T&Cs Apply

Secure Checkout

with Opayo

Next Working Day Delivery

to UK Mainland (if in stock)