Dip vs Acrylic Nails: Which one is Better Manicure?

Want to have a manicure and are confused between acrylic or dip nails? Your choice may depend upon some factors.

Cost, time, which one is safe for your natural nails, purpose, etc, are the factors that affect the choice of dip or acrylic nails. 

This article would ease this confusion of yours. 

Is Dip Powder or Acrylic better?


Going for a dip powder manicure would give you a more natural finish and durable nails. Whereas, if you go for an acrylic manicure, you may spend more time and money and damage your natural nails. 

Since dip nails last longer than acrylic nails, this becomes its most significant advantage and hence makes it more preferable. 

What are Dip Nails?


Since you know that dip nails are better, do you know what they actually are? How is dip nail manicure done?

The dip powder manicure application involves dipping nails in a colored powder, and excess powder is brushed off. The nail is then covered with a clear sealant. This process is repeated 3-4 times till the desired thickness is received.

You can extend them by either using nail forms or nail tips. 

Are Dip Nails Safer and Less Damaging to Nails? 


Opting for a dip nail manicure is a safer and less damaging idea for your natural nails and your nail bed too. Dip nails do not contain any harsh chemicals. 

The dip powder nail manicure requires a safer adhesive glue for securing the dip powder on the nails. A standard dip powder manicure may last up to four weeks.

Is a Dip Manicure Considered Unsanitary?


It can be unsanitary for a few of the clients/users. Generally, the nail technicians dip the nails in the same dip powder container. Dipping the nails in the same container multiple times can be a bit messy for some of you. This may sometimes also lead to nail infections also. 

If applied properly, they are not unsanitary. It is always recommended that the nail techs avoid dipping the nails straight in the container but dust the powder on the nails. All the leftover or unused powder must be thrown out and never mixed with the fresh one.

What Are Acrylic Nails?


These are other types of manicure in which the nail technician uses a paste and overlay it on your natural nails. Acrylic polymer and liquid monomer are combined together. Their reaction makes a paste-like structure which is used to complete the acrylic nail manicure. 

If you wish to wear these nails for longer, you may need to visit your nail tech for touch-ups every 3-4 weeks to fill in the gap. If these touch-ups are done regularly, your acrylic nails may last up to six to eight weeks. 

How Do Dip Nails Differ From Acrylics? 


The durability of dip nails makes them preferable to acrylic nails. 

Dip powder manicures are done when a protective coating of safer nail glue is applied on nails and then they are dipped in the acrylic powder. 

These dipped nails are then sealed with the help of a sealant and these steps are repeated 3-4 times till the desired thickness is achieved. Dip nails directly dry out naturally and do not require any artificial lights.

Whereas the application process for acrylic nails differs a lot. Acrylic nails require a paste-like structure to be spread on your natural nails. These nail manicure not only costs more time but may also harm your nails in the long run. 

This manicure must be cured under a UV light or LED lamp.

Is Acrylic Powder the Same as Dip Powder? 


This fact may surprise you that dip and acrylic nail manicure is done using the same powder. The powder is made of polymer. 

For dip powder nails, the finer powder is used and nails are dipped in the container. 

For acrylic nails, the polymer powder is mixed with a monomer liquid. A paste-like structure is then formed by the reaction of the two and the same is applied to your natural nail. 

The Application Process: Dip vs Acrylic nails


Dip Nails Application

Each nail manicure starts by preparing nails. The same is for the dip powder nails. Push back the cuticles to remove dead skin, and use a nail file to remove the shiny layer from the nails. 

Apply BOND to your nails to dehydrate them, which will also remove any excess oil.

The base coat is then applied to your nails, which do not contains any harsh chemicals. A coat of clear dip powder is applied first. 

Now you may either go for a colored dip powder or a clear one according to your wish. 

Repeat this step three to four times. File and shape the nails. Then apply the sealant and top coat to protect the dip manicure. 

Do apply cuticle oil to avoid dryness around that area. 

Acrylic Nail Application

Again start by preparing your nails, press back cuticles to remove any dead skin, and trim your nails. 

File your nails to remove shine from them. Also, shape them as per your choice. 

Apply the tips to your nails. Apply glue on half of the tip (artificial nails made of plastic) and place them on your nails starting from the cuticle area. Acrylic nail glues are used for the same.

Professional nail technicians recommend using slightly smaller tips as they tend to give you a more natural look.  

Now prepare the acrylic mix by using polymer or acrylic powder and liquid monomer (acrylic liquid).

Place this mix on your nail and spread it at the cuticle area first, then finish at the nail extension or artificial nail. 

Use a UV light or an LED lamp to cure it. Now give it the desired shape and thickness. Apply top coat to it and you are good to go with your newly done acrylic nails. 

Is Dip Powder Easier to Remove Than Acrylic?


For dip powder nails, file the top layer and cut them as short as possible. Then place a pre-soaked cotton ball of acetone on them, cover them with foil, and rest for about ten to fifteen minutes or till the dip powder comes off.

After removing them, don’t forget to apply cuticle oil to prevent any further damage. 

For acrylic nails, a few steps are the same as dip nails. File and cut them short. Place a cotton ball soaked in 100% acetone and wrap with foil and wait for 10-15 minutes.

Check after 15 minutes; if still not done, then soak them in acetone again for a few more minutes. You may also use dental floss to remove acrylic nails. 

Hence, removing dip powder nails is much easier than acrylic nails as they do not contain harmful chemicals damaging to nail beds. 

Acrylic or Dip Powder Nails: Which Feels More Natural?


Acrylic nail manicure gives your nails a stiff texture that won’t look natural.

But on the other hand, dip powder nails are not only durable and strong but also provide flexibility to nails because they do not affect the natural growth of your nails. 

Hence, powder dip nails feel more natural. 

Are Dip or Acrylic Nails Cheaper? 


On average, dip nails cost $30-$50 depending on product quality, nail art, etc. Whereas acrylic nails cost only $20-$25 (approx value). 

Long story short, acrylic nails are a cheaper manicure idea for your nails, but their monthly touch-up may cost you more. 

Which Lasts Longer: Acrylic Nails or Dip Nails?


Basically, dip nails tend to last much longer than acrylic nails. Where acrylic nails need touch-ups every 2-3 weeks, dip nails may last up to 4 weeks without wearing off.

Since dip powder manicure is light-weighted than acrylic nail manicure, it is more sustainable.

Which Lasts Longer: Acrylic Nails or Dip Nails?


If we talk about dip vs acrylic with regards to extension, then acrylic nails would win the battle. This is because acrylic nails can be used with both nail tips and forms. You may extend the length of your nails as much as you wish. 

But with dip nail extensions, a condition lies that they can only be done using acrylic nail tips. This tip sticks over the natural nails using acrylic nail glue, and then dip powder is applied to it. 

Conclusion: Dip or Acrylic?


Both dip and acrylic nails have their own pros and cons. In some areas, dip nails are better, whereas acrylic wins the ground for some. 

As mentioned above, their preference depends upon your personal choices or factors. 

But in general, many nail professionals prefer and recommend dip nails as acrylic nails may ruin and make more fragile nails.

This confusion about dip vs acrylic may never end, but your nail artist may suggest you the best option after analyzing the growth and health of your own nails.

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