Polygel Nails
Training for Nail Technician – Manicurist

The Science Behind Polygel Nails: What Makes Them So Durable

3 minutes, 13 seconds Read

When it comes to choosing a nail enhancement, durability is often a significant factor. We all want a manicure that not only looks fabulous but also withstands the rigours of daily life. Among the plethora of options available, Polygel nails have rapidly gained popularity for their durability, flexibility, and ease of application. But what exactly makes Polygel nails so resilient? The answer lies in the fascinating science behind their formulation and application.

The Chemistry of Polygel

To understand the robust nature of Polygel nails, one must first grasp their chemical composition. Polygel is a hybrid between acrylic and hard gel, capitalising on the best qualities of each. Acrylics are renowned for their strength but can be harsh on the natural nails and emit strong fumes. On the other hand, hard gels are more flexible and odourless but lack the sturdiness of acrylics. Polygel combines the positive aspects of both, offering a system that is strong, flexible, and virtually odourless.

The principal components of Polygel include oligomers, monomers, photoinitiators, and various plasticisers. The oligomers provide structural integrity, while the monomers facilitate cross-linking when the product is cured. Photoinitiators are activated by UV or LED light, setting off a chain reaction that hardens the Polygel. Plasticisers contribute to its flexibility.

The Curing Process

One of the most critical stages that contribute to the durability of Polygel nails is the curing process. Unlike traditional acrylics that air-dry, Polygel is cured using UV or LED lamps. The light emitted from these lamps activates the photoinitiators in the Polygel, which then initiate a polymerisation reaction. This chemical process links the oligomers and monomers together in a cross-linked network, providing a hardened, durable structure. The result is a set of nails that are both tough and flexible, capable of withstanding everyday wear and tear far better than many other nail enhancement options.

The Role of Adhesion

Adhesion is another vital factor in the durability of LS nails. The product is designed to adhere seamlessly to the natural nail, reducing the risk of lifting, which is a common issue with other types of nail enhancements. Special primers or bonders may be used to further improve adhesion, making the overlay more resistant to water and other potential causes of detachment.

Thickness and Flexibility

The unique formulation of Polygel allows for varying levels of thickness during application, without compromising its strength. This means you can have nails that are relatively thin but exceedingly durable. The flexibility offered by the plasticisers in the composition ensures that the nails are less prone to cracking or breaking, even under pressure. This makes Polygel nails ideal for those with an active lifestyle, or for those who simply desire a long-lasting manicure.

Oxygen Permeability

Another feature that contributes to Polygel’s durability is its oxygen permeability. Although this is a subject of ongoing research, some evidence suggests that materials allowing the passage of oxygen may contribute to better adhesion and reduced lifting, thereby prolonging the lifespan of the nail enhancement.

User Error and Professional Application

While Polygel nails are indeed designed to be strong and long-lasting, the durability can also be affected by the application process. Inadequate preparation of the natural nail, incorrect curing, or poor adhesion can all result in a less durable set of nails. For this reason, it’s often recommended to have Polygel nails applied by a trained and experienced nail technician to ensure optimal durability.


The science behind Polygel nails offers fascinating insights into what makes this nail system so durable. From its unique chemical composition that marries the best qualities of acrylics and hard gels, to the curing process that strengthens the material, and the focus on superior adhesion, it’s clear that Polygel nails are designed to last. While user application can influence their lifespan, when applied correctly, Polygel nails offer a durable and flexible option that can withstand the tests of daily life.


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