Several ways of doing this over the years have been developed, ranging from long-lasting nail polish to artificial nails. However, not all of these options are practical for all women, for a variety of reasons. Naturally, long nails can be difficult to maintain, as they very often tend to crack or break. Artificial nails also have their own sets of problems, often looking very fake and being uncomfortable to wear.
Where can a woman turn to in order to find the perfect nails? Recent developments have produced something called solar nails, an acrylic-based solution for the long-standing problem of having the best artificial nails. Solar nails are often the best option for women who are unable to have long natural nails but also are put off with the problems of typical artificial nails.
Solar vs Gel Nails
Although both solar nails and gel nails are considered as artificial nails, they differ in terms of materials and the applying process. Solar nails start hardening within a few seconds after air exposure and need approximately 15 minutes to get hard completely. Speaking about gel nails, they require three different coats and UV light for their curing (2-3 minutes per coat). They are more expensive than solar nails but are glossier and more eco-friendly. However, gel nails don’t last as long as the solar ones. And if they somehow break, they can’t be fixed at home since they are hardened only under the ultraviolet light.
What Are Solar Nails?
Solar nails are similar to acrylic artificial nails, but have some key differences. Whereas acrylic artificial nails are often just glued on top of the existing fingernail, solar nails are attached directly to the fingernail, serving more as an enhancement for natural fingernails rather than being an artificial nail. They also maintain a glossy appearance that does not easily fade over time, which gives them another distinct advantage over standard artificial nails.
Solar nails also help give a woman’s hands a unique decorative and elegant appeal. Solar nail designs vary wildly, ranging from your standard plain fingernail appearance to highly painted and intricate designs, and even sporting various shapes. Basically, with solar nails, the sky is the limit in regards to how you want your nails to look.
There's a huge number of benefits to using solar nails over either having long natural fingernails or using standard artificial nails. One of the appeals of artificial nails is in their durability, where they are usually much more durable than natural nails. Solar nails maintain this benefit by being made of acrylic, a hard substance which is not easily cracked or broken. Since they are applied directly to the fingernail instead of put on top like typical artificial nails, they are also not prone to falling off.
Another huge benefit is the lack of discoloration that tends to occur with natural nails when using nail polish. Natural nails tend to yellow over time when nail polish is used, which is a horrifying thought to any woman who values the beauty of her fingernails. Solar nails can maintain nail polish for extended periods of time without the risk of discoloration and are even safe to use during your tanning session.
One of the biggest benefits to using solar nails is in that they run minimal to no risk of damaging your natural fingernails. Instead of being glued on top of the real fingernail, which often can cause damage to the natural nail, solar nails are applied directly to the nail, which makes them much easier to apply, maintain, and to remove.
Anyone who is interested in getting solar nails, or even learning how to do solar nails at home, will be pleasantly surprised to find out that they are actually quite easy to apply. Solar nails are nail extensions that are glued directly to the end of your natural fingernail, and then a solar powder for nails is applied on top, making both the natural and solar nails blend together. It can be tricky to do if you are trying to apply them yourself, but having someone help you makes the process much easier. They are also not at all expensive to have done in a nail salon, if you don’t want to risk making mistakes by doing them by yourself.
Speaking about how to take off acrylic nails, the process is even easier than applying them. The solar nails will tend to fall off after a few weeks, but before this, you should notice that they first start becoming more flexible. You can simply pry them off without the risk of doing damage to your real nails. Alternatively, you can use acetone to remove solar nails. To do so, you’ll need:
- First, cut your solar nails and file the ends with a nail file to make them as short as possible without hurting the tip of your own nail underneath.
- Soak a cotton ball in acetone remover and wipe your solar nails vigorously with it. Then, buffer your nails with a nail file again in order to remove the gloss from your nails.
- Fill up a small bowl with enough acetone to cover your fingertips. Always use a glass bowl rather than a plastic one because acetone may react with plastic materials.
- Dip a cotton swab into petroleum jelly and apply a thin coat of it to the skin surrounding each nail. This way, you’ll protect your skin from the harsh acetone.
- At this point, insert your fingers into the bowl with the acetone solution and let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
- When the glue that binds the solar nails to your natural nails starts coming off, remove your hands from the bowl and gently try to scrape off as much solar nail as possible. Use a cuticle pusher for this. If you face some resistance, dip your fingers back in the bowl for another 5 - 10 minutes.
- Once all the solar nails are removed, thoroughly wash your hands with soap so as to get rid of the petroleum jelly and acetone residue.
Yet, if you are afraid of removing solar nails by yourself, this can be done very inexpensively at any nail salon.
Basically, solar nails last for up to three weeks. And since they don’t require UV lamps for curing, they can be fixed at the comfort of your own home if they break. The same goes for the removal process. As mentioned above, you can easily scrape them off with acetone. Or, you can wait for those three weeks to let them naturally fall off. Solar nails might sometimes come off even without you noticing. And this process is absolutely painless and safe for your natural nails.
There is no exact answer to the question "how much do solar nails cost?". The price depends on what kind of salon you visit and the type of service. The prices for a full set of solar nails start from $10 and go as high as $60. And if you want a design similar to the French manicure, the procedure may cost you $80 since white and pink colors require extra time and materials. When it comes to unique and creative patterns, designs, or stiletto nails, the price can climb up higher than $100. So, we believe that buying a solar nail starter kit along with a nail dryer for coating your new nails with Shellac is a wise investment that will help you save reasonable time and money on visits to professional manicurists.
As you can see, solar nails have a lot of benefits over the majority of existing nail solutions, both real and artificial. You can keep great looking nails for a long period of time with little maintenance, and risk no damage to your own natural nails. Your solar nails will maintain a naturally shiny look to them, and help make you look and feel great.