The Difference Between BIAB, Shellac and Acrylic

The Difference Between BIAB, Shellac and Acrylic - Polish Amsterdam

Walking into a nail salon, the first choice is always the color. But what comes next? Choosing the length and shape: square, round, pointed, or coffin. Yet, the most crucial decision is picking the right nail treatment. Whether it’s acrylic, gel polish or BIAB, each has unique properties and benefits. With insights from professional nail technician Vy Trinh from Polish Nail Bar, we’ll help you make an informed choice.

Acrylic Nails: The Classic Choice

Acrylic nails have been around since the 1970s, known for their strength and versatility. They are made by combining a liquid monomer with a powder polymer, forming a hard layer on your natural nails. Acrylics are great for those who love intricate nail art and long-lasting durability.

Durability: Up to 3 weeks  

Best for: Long-lasting designs and intricate nail art  

Pros: Strong and versatile  

Cons: Strong odor and can be harsh on natural nails

Vy Trinh advises against leaving acrylics on for more than three weeks and recommends professional removal to avoid damage.

Shellac: The Hybrid Marvel

Shellac, a hybrid of gel and regular polish, offers a perfect blend of durability and natural finish. Introduced by CND in 2010, Shellac is cured under UV light, providing a glossy, chip-free manicure that’s easy to apply and remove.

Durability: About 2 weeks  

Best for: Natural-looking nails with added strength  

Pros: Easy to apply and remove, less harmful than acrylic  

Cons: Shellac is not water resistant or alcohol resistant and has poor abrasive resistance but is easy to touch up with a new coat.

Pro Tip from Vy: It is super important to have regular maintenance sessions of your nails to prevent further damage to your natural nails. 

BIAB: The Natural Nail Savior

BIAB, or Builder in a Bottle, is perfect for those looking to strengthen their natural nails. Thicker than gel polish but more flexible than acrylics, BIAB is ideal for enhancing natural nail growth and strength.

Durability: About 3-4 weeks  

Best for: Strengthening natural nails and adding length  

Pros: Flexible and less damaging  

Cons Needs regular maintenance

BIAB is softer and more flexible than other nail treatments, making it a gentle option for brittle nails.

Choosing the right nail treatment means balancing durability, flexibility, and the health of your natural nails. Whether you opt for the sturdy acrylics, the natural finish of Shellac or the strengthening BIAB, each option offers unique benefits tailored to your needs.

Remember, a good relationship with your nail artist and investing in quality treatments are key to beautiful and healthy nails. So next time you visit the salon, make an informed choice and let your nails shine!