Our nails say a lot more about us than we might think, and they’re a very personal choice that can reflect our lifestyle and favourite looks. Most women fall into the category of either the natural nail lover or the acrylic nail devotee, with each of us being quite loyal to our preferred look.
No matter which side of the coin you look at, there are pros and cons for each style of nail. As fashions change and what’s in season can shift quickly, it rarely depends on current trends as to what women like to wear. Usually, a woman will choose her nail style depending on comfort and personal taste, so which is really the best overall?
The Natural Nail
Regardless of what fashion trends or styles are in at the moment, the natural nail has always been a popular choice. There’s nothing that says the natural nail has to be plain though, as long as it’s all made from your own nail, there’s no limit to how you can polish or decorate them.
The natural nail is by far the easiest to maintain, and all it takes is some regular care that you can easily do from the comfort of your own home. Most people simply trim their nails, file them into shape, buff them, and then colour with the polish of their choice. However, you can go even more natural than this by leaving them bare, it’s all up to you.
Depending on how you look at it, though, there are also a few downfalls to rocking the natural nail look. Firstly, natural nails can be prone to breaking just like acrylics, however, there’s no easy fix where you can pay someone at the nail salon to repair the damage. In addition, if you’re a chronic nail biter then this can do serious damage to your overall look and make it hard to ever grow healthy and shiny looking nails. This is one of the main reasons why people look to artificial nails as a solution, so what makes them such a popular choice?
What Are Acrylic Nails?
There are a few different styles of fake nails out there, but in general, the term ‘acrylic nail’ refers to those made from powder or liquid mixes that are made in front of you at the nail salon. These are applied to your nails with a dollop on top of your nail which is then hardened and shaped, filed down and painted to make it appear as if it’s part of your actual hand.
Sometimes it’s possible to get an extension on top of the acrylic nails which most women prefer. This involves placing a fake nail and fastening to your nail bed with the use of the gel or powder mentioned before, to make it look as if you have lengthier nails. In terms of artificial nails that can be applied at home, these are usually a full nail shape which is glued down to your nail bed and then painted or filed as you wish, however, these aren’t as strong as the salon variety.
Acrylic Nails Pros and Cons
If you’ve never had a pair of acrylic nails before the thought of them can be somewhat confusing.
For women, they’re either a necessity and something they have done every couple of weeks, a look that is far too dramatic to wear, or a special treat for every now and then or special occasions. No matter when you do them, there are pros and cons to using acrylic nails that everyone will agree with.
The Pros of Acrylic Nails
- Durable - many people choose acrylics as they’re far harder to chip off, won’t stain, and are more likely to stop you from chewing your nails if this is an issue for you.
- Uniformed look - having professionally applied fake nails means that they’re all be the same size, length, and colour and will give a more uniformed look than a natural nail.
- Length - for people who have problems growing out their nails but desire the longer look, acrylic nails can help you achieve it without spending months growing them out.
The Cons of Acrylic Nails
- Cost - when compared to maintaining your own nails at home or even having a regular manicure at the nail salon, acrylic nails are incredibly expensive. The average cost for a full set of acrylics in the UK is around $45 which is a lot to consider.
- Maintenance - w hen your acrylic nail chips, breaks, or begins to grow out, you need to head back to the salon to have them taken care of. Most women have their fake nails filled in every fortnight even without acrylic nail damage which adds further to their ongoing cost and maintenance. If you become tired of a colour you can’t simply do it at home and it involves a costly trip to the salon to do so.
The Verdict: Artificial Nails vs Natural Nails
Although our nails are a very personal choice, the clear winner here is the natural nail. There are far more options available for what you can achieve with a natural nail, they’re easy to maintain, affordable to take care of, and they go well with most looks and styles.
If you regularly suffer from breaking nails or have a tendency to bite them and often look to acrylics for a solution, there are other options that might let you keep a natural nail. Look for hardened polishes such as gel polish which dry under a UV light to prevent chipping or smudging and can make your nails even more durable before. These can give the effect of a well-manicured acrylic nail but without any of the fuss or filling that artificial nails require.