Learn the Difference Between Acrylics and Hard Gel Nails


If you’re looking for long, amazing-looking nails, you might be ready for a full set of nails from Rizzieri Salon. Not only do we offer a variety of manicure and pedicure options, but we also offer full sets of acrylic and hard gel nails. The tough part can be knowing what the right choice is for you. Our nail technicians can give you recommendations on which you might choose based on your lifestyle, activity level, and desires.

Nail extensions are both functional, add beauty, and give you the creative freedom to show off your style. But do you really know the difference between acrylic and gel? At Rizzieri Salon, we want to make sure you understand what is going on your nails, so we’ve put together a guide to know which lasts longest on your nails, which are stronger, and which will meet your needs. Here’s the difference between acrylics and hard gel nails.

Hard gel. This is a nail enhancement that’s made of gel, applied to your nail bed to extend the length of your nail and strengthen your natural nails. It cures in a special UV light and can be shaped just like acrylic. There are many benefits to hard gel:

  • Long-lasting
  • Strong adhesion
  • Cures in 30 seconds
  • Can be worn with nail polish for a natural look
  • Hard gel is self-leveling for a natural, smooth finish
  • Doesn’t cause damage to your natural nail if there’s trauma
  • Can easily create a variety of nail shapes such as round, oval, square, etc.
  • Hypo-allergenic which means it’s less likely to cause allergies than acrylics

Since the gel is added to the top of your natural nail, it adds strength and durability to your nails, making them tough yet flexible. Because they are flexible, they flex or bend instead of snapping. As opposed to acrylic, the hard gel can tolerate greater pressure and is less likely to crack or cause trauma to the nail. Hard gel nails are great for those with an active lifestyle, and a full set of gel nails can be enjoyed for up to 4 weeks before a touch-up or fill is needed.

Acrylic nails. Ever heard the phrase, “tough as nails”? Most likely they were talking about acrylics. They are made from a mixture of liquids and powders that typically extend beyond your natural nails to produce striking results. While acrylic can just go over your natural nails, when you do want to extend your length, tips are added and sculpted to the shape you want. Benefits to acrylics include:

  • Natural-looking
  • The finish is so smooth, your nail artist can create amazing designs
  • Tough and while they aren’t as flexible, they are less prone to breakage. 
  • Since there’s both the acrylic nail and cured acrylic powder, your natural nail is well protected
  • The acrylic coating hardens into a rigid exterior, which some women prefer over being able to bend


Although acrylics can last up to 4 weeks, it’s best to have them filled every couple of weeks so that nail growth can be filled in around the cuticle to keep your nails natural-looking and protected.

When looking at whether acrylics or hard gel is best for you, ask your nail technician which they recommend based on the shape and health of your natural nails, your lifestyle, and what you want to accomplish with a set of nails. Both provide longevity and durability to give you a beautiful set of nails.

At Rizzieri Salon & Spa, nail technicians are ready to help you with a beautiful set of nails to give your hands a smooth, healthier, younger-looking appearance. We have two convenient locations to serve you. Our Moorestown location, conveniently located in Moorestown Mall at 400 NJ-38 Suite 1440, Moorestown, NJ, and our Washington Township location at 389 Ganttown Road, Sewell, NJ. Give us a call: Moorestown – 856-985-1225 or Washington Twp – 856-582-3750. Or you can book online for both our Moorestown and Washington Township locations. 


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