Nail Technology Behind Semi-Cured Gel
Lamps, lights, air dryers, top coats, base coats, and glue. If you’re familiar with the world of nails, these are probably all items you’ve used or seen at some point on your nail journey.
If you’re new to the nail scene, you might've thought you were reading a shopping list for a hardware store. However, these are all items typically used in salons to create different nail styles. Lamps and lights are especially popular in salons and are usually UV and LED models. They are the only viable and sustainable method for a connoisseur of nail beauty like yourself to get a fresh and flirty manicure.
Nails have come a long way from simple polish. There is a lot of new nail technology today that allows for a variety of fun options with your nails. But with that technology, you want to make sure you know what is happening to your nails and that you are choosing the options that are best for you without breaking the bank.
So, what’s the best way to achieve your dream manicure on a budget? What is the best new technology? Do you have to go to a nail salon and put trust (your hands) in a stranger to get what you want?
Not to worry; we’re way ahead of you. We’ve written up all you’ll ever need to know about the world’s most innovative, accessible, and affordable method for nail enhancement on the market – semi-cured gel nails.
So, what is semi-cured gel and how does it work? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Semi-Cured Gel?
Semi-cured gel is the type of nail that we at ohora specialize in.
Semi-cured gel is a moldable, flexible nail strip made completely out of gel nail polish — one of the most popular types of polish. Gel polish is fast-drying with the use of an LED or UV lamp. Gel polish also has stronger chip resistance compared to its regular polish counterparts.
ohora semi-cured gel nail strips are pre-shaped to mimic the area of your nail plate. This makes them super easy to apply. Our gel nail strips are also pre-cured to a 60% finish.
This 60% cure allows the nail strips to mold to your unique nail shape. Once the nails are applied, all it takes is a few passes under a UV or LED nail lamp to get fully cure the nails. Then you’ll have beautiful, durable nails for weeks to come.
How Are Semi-Cured Gel Strips Different?
The difference between semi-cured gel strips and other polish strips on the market is what kind of polish they are made of. Other polish strips are made from regular nail polish that you can find in any drug store.
These strips can be applied a bit more quickly because they don’t need additional curing and are already fully dried. However, these polish strips don’t last nearly as long as semi-cured gel strips will. Gel polish has been proven to be the higher quality and tougher option of the two.
We’d say the extra few minutes to apply gel strips is so worth it when you get the next two weeks to enjoy stress-free beauty.
Tech-Nail-Ogy at Its Finest: Curing Your Nails With Light
Now that you know a little more about what exactly you’re putting on your nails, you might curious about what kinds of tools are out there to help this process along. We’ve mentioned the UV and LED lamps, which will be your best friends when using anything gel.
Let’s dive into a little more detail regarding what other tools are at your disposal and how they work so effortlessly to make your nails beautiful.
UV and LED lights are the most common tools for gel polish. They work specifically with the makeup of gel polish to result in a quick-dying, no-time wasted, and long-lasting finished product. This often makes them the most attractive method. These lamps also work to harden acrylic and gel extensions, though the process for those types of nails differs a bit.
We’ll get into the finer details of these lamps later, but the biggest difference to note would be the time it takes to cure the nails. UV lamps take around 120 seconds to cure while LED works more efficiently at about 30 to 45 seconds -– that’s two to three times as fast as UV.
If you’re looking to purchase a lamp of your own as an at-home icon, factors like price and longevity will play a big part in which lamp you choose. Whichever lamp you choose will make gel nails a breeze and much more desirable than traditional polish.
Science Rules: How Do Gel Nails Work?
There’s always more than meets the eye to anything, and that’s no different when it comes to nails. We enjoy the results of a good manicure every day, but what goes on beneath the surface?
Crazily enough, behind the scenes of the nail industry is a whole lot of science, and it’s not as boring as you might think. After all, the tools we just talked about and how they work are exactly what’s gotten us to the level of nail beautification we can obsess over today.
Here we’ll go a little deeper into the tools that make gel nails so amazing.
UV light existed long before anyone had the first thought to paint their nails. It just wasn’t until 1877 that someone took the time to notice this form of light and put it to a very practical use. You might only know UV light concerning the curing of nails, but believe it or not, UV light was originally (and still is) used for its germ-killing properties.
British scientist Thomas P. Blunt and Physiologist Arthur Downes discovered its remarkable ability to stop the spread of pathogenic bacteria and some 25 years later, this idea was built upon to determine that UV-C, in particular, was the most effective at this.
Today, UV light is capitalized upon for more than germ-killing. It is a vital part of the quick-drying aspect of gel polish called polymerization. That is the creation of polymers that causes a chain reaction of hardening in the polish.
The UV light, using a lower concentration of multiple UV wavelengths, begins this process by reacting with things called photoinitiators that all gel polishes have.
UV light has a slightly longer curing time which can put some people off. However, some nail applications work better with UV lights than LED lights — depending on the product.
The light uses UV waves to cure the particles within the nail polish mixture. Exposure to UV waves in these cases is minimal and harmless due to its small doses. If you are interested in a UV light, don’t worry. tThey are safe.
Who knew that just below the surface of something so very beautiful, so much was going on?
LED lights have faster curing times and last longer than UV lamps but are often pricier because of that.
LED is the way to go for most that use the classic gel polish, whether it’s polish on your natural nail or an acrylic extension.
LED was instituted in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr. also known as the “Father of the Light Emitting Diode.” How imposing.
LEDs were the focus of the 60s in hopes of making a more energy-efficient, longer-lasting alternative to an incandescent bulb. It wasn’t until 1972 that George Craford built upon Holonyak’s bulb to create something that gave off a pale yellow light and was 10 times brighter. Thus, the path to the LED we all know and love was open.
LED works similarly to UV lamps, but it differs in some of the finer details. We’ve mentioned that LED allows faster drying time, and it does this by emitting a narrow UV wavelength at a higher concentration than the UV lamp itself. This light targets specific photoinitiators in the gel instead of all of them (which the UV light does). This makes it possible to have a 30-second curing time as opposed to 2 minutes.
Both lamps have pros and cons, and both work with similar science, but the efficiency, speed, and longevity make up the difference. No matter which lamp you find your nails under, know that achieving gel perfection wouldn’t be possible without the science behind those lights.
Where Can I Get Started With Semi-Cured Gel Nails?
That was a lot of information you just sifted through in the name of nails. But it was well worth it.
Now that you’ve got a little more info under your belt, you’re probably searching for a good place to test out some lamps and nails. As luck would have it, we have plenty to choose from right here at ohora. If you want an affordable and trustworthy place to start, look no further.
Our pride and joy, a top-seller, and an absolute must-have would be none other than our patent ohora Gel Lamp. This lamp is a portable, easy-to-use, fast-drying LED tool that comes free with a purchase of your first set with ohora.
Its sleek design makes it just as trendy as the nails you’ll be wearing and provides an amazing option for beginning nail lovers and at-home manicurists alike.
And we can’t forget our Pro Point Gel Lamp. This little sweetheart is like our regular gel lamp except better. It’s more compact, easy to take anywhere, and completely point-and-click for direct light application to any part of your nail.
It’s a great choice if you’re just adding a few special enhancements to your nails like a gem or a little extra gel polish for your personalized touch. Plus, it’s still one of the most affordable lamps available.
You’re basically a resident nail tech at this point — emphasis on the tech. You can walk the walk and talk the talk each time you get your nails done. No matter where that may be, you know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface of your polish. And like they say, knowledge is power.