The truth about how long polygel nails last

How long do polygel nails last?

What factors affect how long you get out of your polygel manicure?

Do they last as long as acrylic nails?

Will they break easily? Do they damage your nails?

We’re about to answer all of these questions and more!

This is your one-stop post to see how long you can expect to get from a full set of polygel nails.

Let’s get started.

How long do Polygel nails usually last?

Polygel nails usually last three to four weeks.

The longevity depends on your lifestyle and how well you care for your nails.

If you are rough with your hands or use your nails as tools, your manicure will not last the full 4 weeks.

The quality of product, the application method, and how well you care for your nails all factor into how long they last.

The average time you will get from a polygel manicure before it starts to show signs of wear is 21 days.

Polygel nails can last longer if done by a skilled nail technician.

Does polygel last longer than acrylics?

Gel nails have the strength of acrylic nails and they are more flexible than acrylic nails.

However, any nail technician will tell you that polygel nails do not last longer than acrylic nails.

Both acrylic and gel nails typically last between three to four weeks.

The main difference between the two is that polygel nails are more resistant to chipping and breaking than acrylics.

Think of polygel nails as plastic and acrylic nails as glass.

Glass is stronger than plastic, but if you drop a glass, it will break, plastic will not.

How long do polygel nails stay on for?

Polygel nails will easily stay on for three to four weeks.

If you get a single set of gel nails and you let them grow out, they will stay on your nails until you remove them by soaking them in acetone.

In theory, polygel nails can stay on for several months if you keep filling them in.

However, you should always take a break from any type of nail enhancement every 3 months.

How do you get off polygel nails?

Getting polygel off is quick and easy once you know how.

It takes around 30 minutes to remove polygel.

First, you’ll need to trim and/or file any extensions down.

Next, file the gel nails down using an e-file or a 180 grit hand file.

I recommend using an e-file (aka nail drill) as it’s much quicker!

Then, soak your nails in pure acetone for 15 to 20 minutes.

Gently prise or scrape off the polygel nail using an orangewood stick.

Check out my step-by-step guide for how to remove polygel for expert tips.

Do polygel nails break easily?

Polygel nails do not break easily.

They are almost as strong as acrylics but are lighter and more flexible.

Because of this a polygel nail can absorb impacts better which means that it won’t break as easily.

Does polygel damage your nails?

It’s a common misconception that gel and acrylic cause damage to your natural nails.

If applied correctly and properly cared for, neither gel nor acrylics will damage your natural nails.

However, if you apply polygel nails incorrectly they can cause damage to your nails.

For example, if you pick at a polygel nail you will remove layers of the nail plate which is very damaging.

If you use acetone excessively, it will strip away the natural oils leaving your nails weak, brittle, and prone to splitting.

The LED light used to cure can cause damage to the skin.

How long do Polygel dual form nails last?

Dual form are clear nail plates that are sometimes used to apply polygel.

This technique involves pasting the polygel onto the back of the dual form and then brushing it to smooth it out before sticking it to the natural nail and curing with led light.

Polygel nails done with dual forms either at home or in a salon should last at least three weeks.

If you do a good job applying dual forms and you take care of your nails, then you could get up to 4 weeks from your dual form polygel manicure.

How long does polygel last on short nails?

A polygel overlay on short nails should last 3 – 4 weeks before you need a fill.

If you have a polygel overlay (where the product is applied over the natural nail without adding any length) on short nails this will improve the overall look of your nails and add strength.

Short nails are way less likely to break or chip, so you should find that your polygel manicure lasts longer, perhaps a full 28 days, before you need to get them filled.

How long do Polygel extension nails last?

Nail extensions have the potential to last just as long as overlays.

If you take care of your nails, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get three weeks – 4 weeks of wear.

Of course, it depends on how well the polygel was applied and the quality of it.

But also on your lifestyle and how hard it is on your nails.

Polygel fill

After three weeks – 4 weeks, you can get a polygel fill just like you can with acrylics.

So how many fills can you have?

In theory, you can have as many fills as you like.

However, you should take a break for at least a week every three months from any nail enhancement to keep your natural nails in the best possible condition.

It’s best to have your polygel nails fully removed and a fresh polygel application every 3 months.

How can I make my polygel nails last longer?

Here are my best tips for how to make polygel nails last longer:

Prepare your nails well

I can’t emphasize enough how important proper nail prep is when it comes to longevity.

Here are my 5 steps to perfect prep to make those nails last as long as possible.

  1. Remove any existing fake nails or polish.
  2. Wash your hands with dish soap (to remove oil from the nail).
  3. Remove/push back cuticles. You can buy a cuticle remover to soften your cuticles if needed. Otherwise use an orangewood stick to gently push them back. The cuticles have many layers, so make sure that you get them all otherwise your polygel nail might lift.
  4. Rough up the nail surface. Use a 180 medium grit nail file to create a rough nail surface so that the polygel will stick better.
  5. Remove nail dust using rubbing alcohol or acetone and a lint-free nail wipe.

Easy right?

Time for my next top tip.

Use a nail primer and /or a dehydrator

Nail primers are designed to create the perfect surface for polygel to adhere to.

It’s well worth investing in one if you want longer-lasting manicures.

If you don’t like the idea of filing the surface of your natural nail, applying primer can really help your nails stay on.

Dehydrators are designed to remove oil and moisture from the nail, making it much easier for the polygel to bond firmly to your nail plate.

Dehydrators can help prevent lifting too.

Apply gel base and top coat

I know it can be super tempting to skim a little time off the job by skipping the base coat or top coat.

Don’t do it!

That gel base coat is going to create the perfect bond between your primer/dehydrator and the polygel itself.

Skipping the topcoat is also a bad idea.

Not only does a gel topcoat add shine, but it also adds a layer of protection to prevent scratches and damage caused by chemicals.

Invest in high-quality polygel

Cheap gel is a nightmare to work with.

It doesn’t go on smoothly and it tends to chip, crack, break or lift.

Save yourself some stress (and money) and go with Gershion, Makartt or Coscelia.

These are all great brands that sell good quality polygel that are easy to use and very durable.

Check out our best polygel nail kits article here.

Avoid extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals

My next tip for durable long-lasting nails is to avoid extreme heat, cold, and chemicals as much as possible.

This means wearing gloves while washing dishes or doing chores, and being careful not to expose your nails to harsh cleaning products.

Make sure your nails are well cured

If your nails are not fully cured under an led nail lamp, they will pop off!

How can you avoid this?

Easy, just make sure you follow these 3 tips for proper curing:

  1. Get the timing right. Cure for the correct amount of time based on your polygel brand’s instructions and your lamp’s capabilities. Depending on the brand of gel and lamp you’re using, this could be anywhere from 60 seconds to 2 minutes with led light.
  2. Cure the backs. flip your hands so the palms are facing up and cure again. This will ensure the underside is fully cured.
  3. Listen for the click. When your nails are properly cured, you should tap them very gently against a hard surface. If you hear a clicking sound, you’re good to go.

Extend using nail forms (not tips)

Extensions done with nail tips tend to be quite weak.

They can break more easily and ruin your manicure.

Try using form stickers to apply your gel manicure instead.

Forms force the gel to bond to your nail rather than to plastic which can make them less likely to break and therefore longer lasting.

How long do Gershion Polygel nails last?

Gershion polygel is a high-quality nonsticky polygel product.

It’s easy to use, doesn’t lift easily, and is a dream to file.

In my experience, Gershion extensions last around 1 month.

Their polygel nail kits are very good value.

How long do Makartt Polygel nails last?

Makart is another great brand that has fantastic reviews.

It’s easy enough for beginners to use and it doesn’t lift, break or chip easily.

I’ve had Makartt polygel extensions last up to 3 weeks with no problems

How long do Coscelia Polygel nails last?

Coscelia is another high-quality polygel product that I really like.

It’s very easy to use, doesn’t lift, and has a nice consistency.

You can buy polygel nail kits from this brand.

Here’s a Coscelia kit on Amazon, which I think is very reasonably priced for the quality.

They also sell color-changing glitter polishes which I love!

Final thoughts:

So, gel nails can last up to 4 weeks.

They are a great option if you’re looking for something durable, flexible, and long-lasting.

If you follow the tips in this post, you can expect your gel nails to last for weeks with no problem.

I hope you found this how long do polygel nails last article helpful.

Thanks for reading!

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  • Phoebe Meadows

    Phoebe Meadows is a self-proclaimed nail addict, always on the lookout for the latest trends and techniques. When she's not creating stunning nail designs, you can find her researching the latest nail care products or experimenting with new techniques.