I Have Acrylic Nails with Gel Polish: Can I Get a Color Change Explained


    Acrylic nails with gel polish are a popular choice for their long-lasting and chip-resistant qualities. Those looking to maintain their manicure often ask if it’s possible to change the color of their gel polish without having to remove their acrylics completely. The answer is yes; a color change on acrylic nails is indeed feasible. The ability to switch up gel polish colors without a full set replacement offers flexibility and convenience for nail enthusiasts who enjoy matching their nails to different outfits or occasions.

    When considering a color change, it’s important to be aware that the process involves more than simply applying a new shade. A nail technician will remove the existing gel polish using a safe method that does not damage the underlying acrylic. This means the longevity of the acrylic nails is preserved while giving the wearer a fresh, new look. For those with clear acrylics, the transition to a new color is generally straightforward. However, if the acrylic nails were initially designed with colored acrylic or glitter, the process might require additional steps or even the application of a new set of acrylic nails to achieve the desired result.

    four gold colored rings

    Understanding Acrylic Nails with Gel Polish

    When considering a color change for acrylic nails adorned with gel polish, it is important to understand the distinction between acrylic and gel nails, as well as the advantages of utilizing gel polish.

    Acrylic vs. Gel Nails

    Acrylic nails are artificial nail enhancements done by combining a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over natural nails, which is then shaped and buffed into the desired look. In contrast, gel nails involve the application of a gel-based polish that requires curing under UV or LED light. The result is a glossy, durable manicure.

    Durability: Acrylic nails provide a strong, resilient base which can be ideal for lengthening short or brittle natural nails.
    Strength: They tend to look and feel sturdier than gel nails alone, making them an excellent option for nail enthusiasts who desire an enhancement that withstands daily rigors.

    Benefits of Gel Polish Over Regular Polish

    Gel polish is favored over regular polish for several reasons, primarily due to its superior longevity and chip-free nature. It maintains a shiny look throughout its lifespan and can significantly outlast traditional nail polish.

    Indeed, a gel manicure enhances the beauty of acrylic nails while offering a durable, long-lasting finish.

    Young woman with long red nails removing nail polish

    Preparing for a Color Change

    When one decides to change the color of gel polish on acrylic nails, meticulous preparation is essential. The process involves two main steps: ensuring the nails are primed for the new color and carefully removing the old gel polish without causing any damage.

    Importance of Nail Preparation

    Proper nail preparation is fundamental for achieving a long-lasting and smooth color application. Before any new color can be applied, the surface of the acrylic nail must be clean and free from any oils or residues. Nail technicians usually start with buffing the surface of the acrylic gently to remove the shine, which allows the new gel polish to adhere better. Next, they cleanse the nail with an alcohol solution to remove any dust and oils, creating an ideal base for the primer and base coat.

    A key aspect of preparation is applying a primer to the natural nail before the acrylics are applied. Though this step is taken during the initial acrylic application, it’s an important part of the foundation that supports the longevity of the gel polish.

    Removing the Old Gel Polish

    The removal of old gel polish requires careful attention to avoid harming the underlying acrylic nail. The recommended method involves:

    1. Buffing the nails to break the seal of the topcoat
    2. Soaking cotton balls in acetone
    3. Placing the acetone-soaked cotton on the nails
    4. Wrapping each nail in foil to secure the cotton balls in place
    5. Allowing the nails to soak for approximately 10-15 minutes

    After soaking, the gel polish typically softens and can be gently removed with a nail file or a specialized tool. If any residue remains, a second round of buffing may be necessary. Throughout the removal process, it is crucial to be gentle to avoid scraping or damaging the acrylic layer underneath.

    Cozy Knits and Trendy Nails

    The Color Change Process

    When one opts for a color change with acrylic nails coated in gel polish, it involves removing the old color and then applying the new shade. The process is typically done in a nail salon by a professional nail technician, ensuring the health of the natural nails is maintained throughout.

    Selecting the New Color

    The first step in the color change process is choosing a new gel polish shade. Clients should consider the following when selecting a color:

    • Seasonal trends: Reflecting seasonal colors can keep the nails looking fashionable.
    • Personal style: The new color should complement the client’s personal style and wardrobe.
    • Event appropriateness: For special occasions, one might want to select a more formal or bold color.

    Applying the New Gel Polish

    After the old gel polish is removed, the nail tech will begin the application process, which includes:

    1. Preparation: Cleaning the nail surface and ensuring that no old polish remains.
    2. Base Coat: Applying a thin base coat that acts as an adhesive layer for the gel polish.
    3. Color Application: The chosen gel polish is applied in thin layers to ensure even color and reduce the risk of bubbling.
    4. Curing: Each layer of gel polish must be cured under a UV or LED lamp for a specific drying time, usually two to three minutes per layer.
    5. Top Coat: A top coat is applied for extra gloss and protection, followed by another curing session.

    Throughout the process, the nail tech will be careful to avoid the skin around the nails to prevent lifting and to ensure a long-lasting manicure.

    Aftercare and Maintenance

    Proper aftercare and maintenance of acrylic nails with gel polish ensure longevity and continual aesthetic appeal. They require routine attention to detail and a controlled approach to everyday hand-related activities.

    Extending the Life of Your Manicure

    To extend the life of an acrylic gel manicure, individuals should:

    • Moisturize regularly: Keeping hands and the nail area well-hydrated prevents breaks and chips. Applying a quality hand cream or cuticle oil daily protects nails and retains the manicure’s freshness.
    • Wear gloves for protection: During household chores or gardening, wearing gloves can shield the manicure from harsh chemicals and abrasive actions that may cause lifting or damage.
    • Minimize water exposure: Prolonged or frequent water exposure can weaken the acrylic and lead to lifting. Limit soaking of hands and always pat nails dry gently.
    • Avoid harsh chemicals: Direct contact with household cleaners can degrade the quality of the gel polish. If contact is unavoidable, it’s crucial to ensure prompt and thorough hand washing.

    Routine Touch-Ups and Fills

    For acrylic nails with gel polish, maintenance involves:

    • Regular touch-ups: Timely touch-ups for any chips or wear not only refresh your look but also prevent further chipping that can lead to the replacement of the entire set.
    • Getting nails filled: Acrylic growth leads to gaps at the base of the nails. Having nails filled every two to three weeks is important to maintain the manicure’s appearance and structural integrity.
    • When to get a new set: Depending on the growth and condition of the nails, a new set might be necessary every six to eight weeks. This prevents possible damage and ensures nails remain aesthetically pleasing.

    acrylic nails with gel polish

    Health and Safety Considerations

    When opting for a color change in acrylic nails with gel polish, it is crucial to consider health safety measures seriously. These precautions ensure the longevity of nail health and prevent potential infections.

    Preventing Infections and Damage

    To minimize risk and damage to the nails, individuals should ensure that the nail technician uses sterilized tools and adheres to proper sanitary practices. Frequent color changes can be harsh on the nails, potentially leading to infections or damage to the cuticles and nail bed. Here are specific considerations:

    • Hygiene: Always choose salons that maintain high hygiene standards to reduce the risk of infections like fungus.
    • Tools: Ensure that all tools are sterilized before use. Single-use tools are preferable.
    • Cuticle Care: Avoid aggressive cuticle cutting as it can lead to open wounds and infections.
    • Products: Use of quality products reduces the chance of allergic reactions and nail damage.
    • Nail Growth: Allow time between manicures for natural nail growth and recovery to prevent weakening.

    Choosing the Right Salon

    Selecting the appropriate nail salon or nail artist is about more than just the final look of the nail art; it’s about ensuring the safety and health of your nails.

    • Certification: Salons with certified technicians are more likely to follow health standards.
    • Knowledge: Skilled nail artists should provide advice on maintaining nail health between sessions.
    • Customer Reviews: Look for feedback on cleanliness and safety practices.
    • Consultation: Prior discussion with a nail technician about lifestyle and products can help in choosing suitable nail treatments.

    Cost and Time Considerations

    When considering a color change for acrylic nails with gel polish, it is essential to understand the financial and temporal investment required for the service. The cost is dependent on salon pricing and the desired complexity of the manicure, while the time investment can vary based on the service’s steps and efficiency.

    Price of Acrylic Nails and Gel Color Change

    The cost for a basic set of acrylic nails varies widely, with prices typically ranging from $20 to $80, influenced by factors such as salon location and the level of expertise of the nail technician. On the other hand, adding a gel color to the acrylic nails can increase the price, especially if detailed nail art is requested. For a gel polish color change on existing acrylics, a customer should anticipate the price to be lower than a full set but again, prices may differ. Detailed designs or complex patterns will add to the cost due to the additional materials and time required.

    • Basic Acrylic Manicure: $20 – $80
    • Gel Polish on Acrylics: Varies depending on the salon
    • Detailed Nail Art or Designs: Additional costs applicable

    Time Investment for the Service

    Changing the color of gel polish on acrylic nails is a service that typically requires a 30 to 60-minute appointment. This includes the time needed to remove the old gel polish, prep the nails for a new application, and then the meticulous application of the new gel color, which involves curing each coat under a UV or LED lamp. Nail technicians emphasize that the proper application and curing of gel polish are critical for ensuring a long-lasting manicure.

    • Removal of Previous Gel Polish: ~10-15 minutes
    • Nail Prep and Application of New Gel Polish: 20-45 minutes (depending on the complexity)
    • Curing Time: 30 to 60 seconds per coat

    It is crucial for customers to communicate with their nail technician about the exact service required in order to obtain an accurate estimate of the time that will be needed for the appointment. Tips are customary and not included in the service price, often calculated as 15-20% of the total cost.

    By understanding the cost and time involved in having a gel color change on acrylic nails, customers can ensure they are better prepared for their nail care appointment.


    Exploring Nail Aesthetics

    The aesthetics of acrylic nails with gel polish span various shapes, lengths, and design trends, offering a platform for self-expression and personalization. Each choice in the nail design is a reflection of personal preference and a form of self-care.

    Shapes and Lengths

    Acrylic nails can be expertly sculpted into multiple shapes, combining personal style with current trends. Common nail shapes include:

    • Round: A natural and low-maintenance choice suitable for shorter nails.
    • Square: Offers a bold look typically paired with longer acrylics.
    • Almond: This tapered shape is elegant and helps to elongate the fingers.
    • Stiletto: Dramatic and pointed, this shape is daring and often used for a statement look.

    The length of acrylic nails can vary from a conservative short length that mimics the natural nail to a dramatic long length that provides more space for elaborate nail art.

    Trends and Personalization

    Acrylic nails coated with gel polish allow for an array of trends and personalized options. They can incorporate

    • Dark Colors: For a striking, bold look.
    • Glittery Finishes: Adding a sparkly touch for a more festive or eye-catching appearance.
    • Nail Art: From minimalist designs to intricate patterns tailored to client’s tastes.

    Each gel color change is more than just a switch of shades; it’s an update on the individual’s aesthetic narrative that keeps up with nail trends while ensuring durability and longevity in nail design.

    Considering Alternatives

    When contemplating a color change for acrylic nails with gel polish, it’s essential to understand the distinction between acrylic manicures and other nail enhancements, as well as the appropriate timing for opting for a new set.

    Acrylic Manicure vs. Other Nail Enhancements

    Acrylic manicures involve the application of a mixture of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over natural nails, which is then usually coated with gel polish. However, there are notable alternatives to acrylic nails:

    • Gel Nails: Utilize a gel-based polish that requires curing under UV/LED light, offering a glossier finish and often a more natural look compared to traditional acrylics.
    • Dip Powder Nails (SNS): A technician dips nails into colored powder (or brushes the powder on) before sealing it with a clear topcoat, known for its longevity and a wide range of color options.
    • Regular Polish: The standard nail polish that can be applied to natural nails without the need for UV light, but doesn’t usually offer the same durability or thickness as gel or acrylic.

    Each alternative comes with its own set of pros and cons concerning durability, appearance, and the removal process. For instance, gel nails might offer a thinner and more natural appearance than acrylics, while dip powder might be preferred for its strength. A nail technician should be consulted for personalized advice on nail art and which option best suits the condition of the natural nails.

    When to Opt for a New Set

    • New Set Indicators: If the acrylic nails show signs of significant lifting, it may be time to remove the set entirely and start fresh to prevent moisture from getting trapped and possibly causing nail infections.
    • Natural Nail Health: Regular intervals for a new set are advised to allow natural nails to recover and to avoid excess thinning of the nail plate.
    • Advantages of a New Set:
      • Ensures better adhesion and freshness of the nail art.
      • Alleviates any potential issues that arise from the cumulative effect of back-to-back refills.

    The removal process should always be done by a professional to minimize damage to natural nails. A nail technician will assess the condition of the acrylic manicure and decide whether a simple color change is feasible or if a new set is warranted. This can often depend on how long the current set has been worn and any visible signs of wear and tear.

    Share this


    What is the Best Treatment for Damaged Nails? Expert Remedies Revealed

    Damaged nails can be a source of discomfort and concern, often manifesting as brittleness, peeling, or breakage. The best treatment for damaged nails involves...

    How to Fix a Split Fingernail: Quick Repair Solutions

    A split fingernail can be both a cosmetic concern and a discomfort for many individuals. The issue manifests when the layers of the nail...

    How to Turn Your Garage into a Craft Room Using This Step-by-Step Transformation Guide

    Transforming a garage into a craft room is a creative endeavor that allows for a personalized retreat to embrace artistic hobbies. The spacious nature...

    Recent articles

    More like this