Who would not be excited about a manicure that lasts more than two weeks? When powder dipped nails came out, people saw them as a miracle alternative to gel nails. Powder dipped nails promise a manicure that can outlast gel nails. They are just as resistant to scratching and chipping, and they can be almost as easy as DIY manicure.
Online reviews of powder dipped nails claim to get as much as four weeks of immaculate nails from power dipped manicures. Just a quick check of Instagram will show a gallery of more than 500 photos of flawless powder dipped nails.
Think of powder dipped nails as something in between a conventional manicure and an acrylic nail. In some ways, it is simply an easier acrylic, but the color and manicure come from a tinted powder. Manicurists apply a base coat and a sealant and dip your nails into an acrylic power which ultimately becomes the polished manicure.
Rather than the UV curing process used for gel nails, powder dipped nails take on the adhesive properties and strength from the combination of sealant and acrylic powder.
Powder dipped nails are not really a new thing. The process has been around for some time. But with an increase in visibility on social media, powder dipped nails are making something of a comeback.
Given the buzz surrounding powder dipped nails, we thought we would cover what you need to know about this manicure process and the results you can likely expect. Like anything else that starts trending, the important details sometimes get lost in the buzz.
- 1 What are Powder Dipped Nails?
- 2 How do you remove dip powder nails?
- 3 Conclusion
What are Powder Dipped Nails?
Artificial nails—and any applied manicure is essentially artificial nails—are made of acrylic. This is true of all artificial nails. Powder dipped nails have this feature in common with gel nails. The key difference is that gel nails and acrylic nails are glued or cured by UV light. Powder dipped nails are mixed with a liquid, but they are part of the acrylic family.
One of the key differences between powder dipped nails and gel nails, for example, is the curing process. Gel nails require a UV curing process that forms the acrylic onto your natural nail. Powder dipped nails simply harden as the pigmented powder dries with the liquid application. Powder dipped nails fuse together powder and a liquid, while gel nails come in a ready to use form. Finally, powder dipped nails get their strength with the final application of a bonding agent. This seals the acrylic nail and the color.
Powder Dipped Nails are not New
Although the current popularity of powder dipped nails makes them seem like the latest innovation in manicures, they have been around for quite some time. Powder dipped nails first gained popularity in the 1990s as other acrylic nail extensions became trendy. In fact, as far back as the 1980s, powder dipped nails were considered the best method for nail extensions and professional manicures.
The technique was not widely taught to manicure technicians, but it was in use. It just so happened that other methods eclipsed powder dipped nails in popularity.
Manicurists prefer the powder dipped techniques to gel nails, for instance, because the method is so simple. There is no need for special lights, fans, or expensive French cutting tools. The strength and beauty of powder dipped nails really comes out on its own if applied properly.
Although powder dipped nails did take the backseat to other methods, the current resurgence in popularity speaks to both the shine, luster, and durability of this manicure technique.
Powder Dipped Nails are Fast and Easy
Where it comes to ease of application and the amount of time it takes to get beautiful nails, powder dipped nails take first place. Even the older methods that date back to the ‘90s are incredibly simple to apply. How does dip powder nails work?
Other processes like sculpted acrylics and gel nails require long manicuring processes and curing processes. Waiting through a gel nail application can be a real time investment. Powder dipped nails go on fast and easy.
Technicians state that the entire powder dip manicure process can take as little as 30 minutes from start to finish. This includes the boring wait for your nails to dry. Many technicians claim the simplicity and speed of powder dipped nails has driven the recent surge in popularity of the manicure process.
Powder Dipped Nails Do Not Expose You to UV Light Damage
A big question for powder dipped nails is are they safe? One of the chief issues with gel nails is the UV light curing process that is absolutely essential to the gel nail manicure. If you are asking what’s the difference between dip powder nails and gel nails? This is the answer. Exposure to UV light has been linked to skin cancer. This has been a real concern among manicure technicians and people getting gel nails alike.
The chances of developing skin cancer from minimal exposure to UV light in a gel nail manicure are minimal. However, each visit to a salon for gel nails will potentially cause damage to skin cells from UV light. It is estimated that more than 11 visits for gel manicures can lead to potentially dangerous skin cell damage.
Powder dipped nails require none of these dangerous processes. Again, the entire manicure process for powder dipped nails requires nothing more than the natural drying process. No exposure to UV light and no skin cell damage.
How do you remove dip powder nails?
Removing powder dipped nails is the part that does not turn up on Instagram, but this is something you definitely need to know about. Removing them can be difficult and take some time.
As with gel nails, removing powder dipped nails requires soaking in remover. This will take a minimum of 15 minutes to completely remove the manicure. The longer you keep your powder dipped nails, the longer it will take to remove them.
The base coat and sealant continue to harden the longer you leave them in place. So, when it comes time to remove powder dipped nails, count on spending anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour or more get them off.
You may be tempted to get around this by scraping and filing the nails. Do not do this. Scraping, filing, and picking will not completely remove powder dipped nails, and you will inevitably damage your natural nail beds.
If you have gone the lengths necessary to get magnificent powder dipped nails, just count on the added time investment of removing them properly.
“Dipping” is a Bit of a Misnomer
You really should not be dipping your nails into a pot of pigmented powder. The process is actually more precise than this. In fact, if a nail technician is dipping your nails into the powder, you are being put at risk for a potential infection. It is not sanitary for multiple people to be dipping into the same container of powder.
The process really involves the technician pouring the powder in measured quantities onto your nails. Powder dipped nails are more appropriately poured nails. Dipping nails into the same container can easily pass bacteria and fungi from one person to another. This is critically important to keep in mind as you go to a salon.
Should you try it?
There are plenty of DIY powder dip manicure kits available now. With the popularity of powder dipped nails, there has been no shortage of companies offering products for you to do it yourself. While it is certainly possible to do a powder dip manicure at home, experts all warn against doing this.
Both powders and gel nail products contain potentially dangerous chemicals that need to be applied using some rigorous processes and conditions. Doing a powder dip manicure at home could expose you to dangerous levels of these chemicals. Trained technicians are taught how to apply and control these chemicals so that your manicure is both beautiful and safe.
If you really want to try it at home, the best dip powder nails kits are Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Color Dipping Powder Starter Kit and Color Club Ooh La La Serendipity Dip Nail Kit. These are the top-rated DIY kits on the market.
Powder Dipped Nails Contain One Strange Ingredient
Powder dipped nails require a bonding agent. The principle bonding agent in nearly all powder dipped nail treatments is called cyanoacrylate. This sounds scary and dangerous, but it is, in fact, the main ingredient in Krazy Glue.
As it turns out, the basis for Krazy Glue was developed during the Vietnam War as a way to stop the bleeding for wounds. Cyanoacrylate is still approved for medical use. While the manufacturers do not list medical uses as an approved use for Krazy Glue, cyanoacrylate is safe for use on human skin and tissue. In fact, cyanoacrylate is used in many common manicure products other than powder dipped nails.
Some Bonding Agents Contain a Toxic Chemical
While cyanoacrylate is safe, other bonding agents may contain a specific chemical called methyl methacrylate, or MMD. It is sometimes called MMA. This is highly toxic and damaging to your natural nails. Cheap nail salons will often use this because the bonding agents containing MMD are inexpensive.
More than 30 states have banned the use of MMD in manicure salons. It is illegal to use MMD anywhere in New York City.
If your salon uses a bonding agent that has a chemical and “fruity” smell, it likely contains MMD. Another tip-off would be if your manicure technician wears a mask while applying your powder dipped nails.
Just do your research and make sure the salon you go to for a manicure does not use MMD.
Powder Dipped Nails Can Dehydrate Your Natural Nails
Because powder dipped nails can last for such a long time, people tend to leave them on as long as they can. Unfortunately, the sealing agents and other acrylics will eventually dry out your natural nails and cause damage.
The damage to natural nails is not permanent, and the root of your nails will remain intact. This will allow a new layer to grow on your natural nails and completely heal any damage from powder dipped nails. But you should be aware of these facts before making the decision to get powder dipped nails.
Anyone who is on social media or follows the trends in fashion will already have heard about powder dipped nails. While they may not be the newest innovation in manicure techniques, they are a new phenomenon as far as trends go.
Lasting for weeks and resistant to cracks and peeling, powder dipped nails seem like the best thing to come along. However, as with anything else, you should be aware of the facts before going in for a powder dip manicure.
Powder dipped nails are generally safe, and they do not cause any lasting damage to your natural nails or cuticles. They are just as lustrous and long-lasting as you may have read about. But there are a few things you now know to look out for as you consider a manicure. This guide should give you the baseline information for making an informed decision about powder dipped nails.