Been hearing a lot about silk wraps and dip powder nails lately? Not sure which one is better? Well, wonder no more because, in this post, we’re going to compare silk wrap nails vs dip powder nails.
We’ll look at the pros and cons of both styles and see which one is better for you.
Let’s dive right in and go over the key differences between silk wraps and dip powder nails.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is the difference between silk wrap nails and dip powder nails?
The main differences between silk wrap nails and dip powder nails are:
- Silk wrap nails are made from silk fabric, whereas dip powder nails are made from acrylic powder, which is a type of hard plastic called a polymer.
- Dip powder nails are generally stronger than silk wrap nails.
- Dip powder nails last longer than silk wraps.
- Silk wrap nails are more expensive than dip powder nails.
- Dip powder nails are available in a wider range of colors than silk wrap nails.
- Silk wraps are kinder to your natural nails.
- Silk nail wraps can be used to repair damaged nails.
- Acrylic nails look more fake than silk nails.
- You can have longer nails with dip powder than you can with silk.
How long does it take to apply silk wrap nails vs dip powder?
An experienced professional should be able to complete a full set of either silk wraps or dip powder nails in less than an hour.
Here’s a timed Kiara Sky video that shows a professional doing a full set of dip powder nails in 45 minutes:
The above video doesn’t include prep time, so add an extra 10 minutes to buff, file and push back cuticles.
But what if you want to do them yourself?
Whichever material you are using, how long it takes is going to depend on your level of skill.
If you’re already used to acrylics, then dip powder nails are probably going to be fairly quick and easy for you to master, so 1 hour should be enough time for you to get the job done.
But if you are a total beginner and you haven’t tried either one of these methods before, then you’re going to need a little longer.
Silk nails are going to be quicker for you if you’re not already familiar with acrylics.
Mainly because they are easier to do than dip powder nails.
If you are trying out these techniques for the first time, allow 60-90 minutes for silk wraps and at least 90 minutes for dip powder nails.
This will give you plenty of time to perfect your nails.
Once you are used to doing them, silk nails should take you around 45 mins at home and dip powder nails should take around 45 mins to an hour.
Silk wrap nails vs dip powder nails: how easy are they to master at home?
There’s no competition at all here.
Silk wrap nails are by far the easiest to do at home!
If you can use a pair of scissors and follow simple instructions, you can apply silk wrap nails perfectly.
Dip powder nails are a little more difficult to master at home, but with some practice, you will be able to get the hang of it.
If you have plenty of time and patience, it’s well worth mastering the skills needed for dip powder nails, but if you like to keep things simple, go for silk wraps.
How long do they last?
Dip powder nails do last longer than silk wraps.
This is one of the big advantages of dip powder nails over silk nail extensions.
You can go 12 to 14 days between refills with silk wraps. However, on your third visit to the salon (or after 6 weeks if you are doing your own nails at home), you will need the entire set replaced. Read more.
Acrylic nails need an infill every 2 to 3 weeks, and the entire set may survive up to 8 weeks before being replaced.
Silk wrap nails vs dip powder nails: how much does it cost?
There are two elements to this. The expense of doing your own nails at home versus the cost of a complete set at the salon is one factor to consider.
Let’s take a look at each.
Which is cheaper in a salon?
In a salon, silk wrap nails are a little more expensive than dip powder.
To illustrate (and this is based on prices from a West Hollywood salon), a complete set of silk tips (using hard gel) costs around $70.
A dip powder manicure from the same salon costs $55
So for a full set, dip powder nails work out $15 cheaper.
What about infills?
Well, for a silk infill the price is $60
And an infill for dip powder nails is $55
That’s $5 extra per infill appointment if you go with silk.
So you can see that silk is more expensive, but not by a huge margin.
Are silk wraps or powder dip nails cheaper to do at home?
In comparison to a salon, powder dip and silk wrap nails are far less expensive to do at home.
Simply obtain the silk wraps, resin, and activator for making your own silk wrap tips. This will set you back around $27 in a beginner’s kit.
You’ll pay around $16 for a basic acrylic nail kit that includes everything you need.
Although the price differences are significant depending on the brand you select and what’s included in the kit.
How strong are they?
When it comes to strength, dip powder nails are far superior.
You’ll find that dip powder nails are less likely to break and are more durable overall.
Acrylics are a good option if you like to do many activities that put a strain on your nails, such as playing sports, cooking, or crafting.
Silk wraps can be durable, but because they’re thinner, they’re more likely to bow, distort, or break if you apply a lot of pressure to them.
One of the main flaws of silk wraps is that they are susceptible to water.
It’s harmful to your silk nails if you submerge them in water frequently. It’s also a good idea to put on gloves while washing up and keep your hands out of the water if you’re taking a bath with silk nails.
If your nails are weak or damaged, silk wraps are preferable since they protect your natural nails and don’t cause any harm when removed.
Silk wrap nails vs dip powder nails: what do they look like?
There’s actually quite a noticeable difference in the overall look of silk wrap nails vs dip powder nails.
Dip powder nails tend to be thicker, which is why they are stronger.
The trouble with thick nails is that they can look a little too artificial and can be quite bulky.
This isn’t always the case, but it is a common issue with dip powder nails.
In contrast, silk wraps are designed to look as natural as possible.
They are also very thin, so they tend to look a little more elegant.
How much damage do they cause?
Again we have a clear winner here. Silk wraps are the lesser of two evils when it comes to nail damage.
Silk wraps are less damaging to your natural nails because they’re more flexible and breathable than acrylic dip powder nails.
This is a huge plus for those who want to keep their natural nails healthy and intact.
You also don’t need harsh chemicals or acetone to remove silk tips.
Dip powder nails, on the other hand, do require the use of acetone.
And as we all know, acetone is not good for your nails. It dries them out, making them weak and brittle.
It’s also worth noting that dip powder nails can be quite difficult to remove.
You basically have to cut and file them down, which can cause even more damage to your natural nails.
How often should you take a break?
Acrylic nails should be removed every three to six months, according to experts.
The length of time you’ll need to wait before applying a new set of nails will be determined by their general health.
Remove the acrylics, then check and monitor the state of your nails before getting a new set.
If your nails are bending, splitting, or peeling, give them more time.
Because silk nails are less damaging to your natural nails, you don’t need as many breaks.
If you want or need a break from silk wraps, once every six months is fine.
As always, examine your nails between applications, and use your best judgment.
Pros and cons of silk wrap nails
The pros of silk wrap nails are that they’re:
- Less damaging to your natural nails
- More flexible and breathable
- Easy to apply
- Don’t require harsh chemicals to remove
- More natural looking
The cons of silk wrap nails are that they’re:
- More expensive than dip powder nails
- Not as strong as dip powder nails
- Susceptible to water damage (if constantly submerged)
Here’s an article if you want to know more about silk wrap nails.
Pros and cons of dip powder nails
The pros of dip powder nails are that they’re:
- Stronger than silk wrap nails
- Cheaper than silk wrap nails
- Can last up to eight weeks (with infill appointments)
- Available in many colors
The cons of dip powder nails are that they’re:
- More damaging to your natural nails
- Require the use of acetone (which is bad for your nails)
- Difficult to remove
- Can look artificial and bulky
Here’s an article about how to use acrylic dip powder.
Final thoughts: Are silk wrap nails better than dip powder nails?
In conclusion, silk wrap nails are less damaging to your natural nails than dip powder nails. However, they don’t last as long and cost more money.
Dip powder nails can look artificial or bulky at times which may not be appealing to everyone. But they do come in lots of pretty colors and glitters which silk nails don’t.
It’s much easier to learn to do silk nail extensions at home than dip powder nails.
If you’re looking for a natural look, go for silk nails. If you want something more fun and flashy, try dip powder nails.
What’s the bottom line? It really depends on your personal preference!
How do I know if silk wrap nails are right for me?
Silk wrap nails are great for anyone who wants a natural look or to keep their natural nails in the best possible condition.
Do I need to take a break from wearing silk wraps?
Nope! You can wear them as often as you like without damaging your natural nails. If you are using hard gel with silk wraps, then take a break every 3 to 6 months.
Can I remove silk wrap nails myself?
Yes, you can easily remove them at home with no harsh chemicals or acetone.
How long do silk wrap nails last?
Typically, silk wrap nails will last two weeks before needing to be filled.
How long do silk wrap nails last compared to dip powder nails?
Dip powder nails will last an extra week on average compared to silk wraps.
What’s the difference between silk wrap nails and regular nail wraps?
The main difference is that silk wraps are made of real silk fabric, while regular wraps are made of fiberglass.
Can I get silk wrap nails done at a salon?
Yes, you can get them done at some (but not all) professional nail salons.
How difficult are dip powder nails to remove?
Dip powder nails are more difficult to remove than silk wraps and require the use of acetone.
What’s the best way to remove dip powder nails?
Cut them and file them down to remove as much dip powder as you can. Soak your nails in acetone for 10 minutes, then gently push away the top layer with a cuticle pusher. Repeat if necessary.
How often should I get my nails done if I have silk wrap nails?
You should get an infill every 2 weeks and a completely new set after 6 weeks.