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By Felix Akinnibi

Silk Wrap vs Gel Nails

Silk Wraps

Silk wraps involve using a thin fabric made of silk or fiberglass to support and beautify the natural nails. The material is lightweight and provides flexibility to the nails, making them less likely to break. Silk wraps offer a finish that looks natural and can strengthen weak or damaged nails. Maintaining them requires regular fills to address any lifting or growth of the natural nails.

Gel Nails

Gel nails are created using a gel-like substance that is cured under ultraviolet (UV) or LED light.

The gel is available in various consistency which allows different nail extensions and designs. Gel nails are applied by brushing the gel onto the natural nails or extensions in layers. Each layer is cured under UV or LED light, creating a hard and glossy finish. They are known for their durability and longevity. They are also less likely to chip, crack, or lift compared to silk wraps.

Differences between silk wrap and gel nails


Silk wraps

Gel nails


They are thin fabrics made of silk or fiberglass.

They are made of gel-like substances.


The fabric sticks to natural nails with adhesive and resin.

The gel is applied in layers and cured under UV or LED light.


They provide support but may be likely to lift or wear out.

They are known for durability and resistance to chipping or lifting.


They give a natural finish look.

They give a glossy finish look with various colors and designs


They require regular fills to address lifting or growth.

They are low-maintenance but need occasional touch-ups as nails grow.


ten fingernails painted in different colors

Choosing the right option

Consider your lifestyle

If you have an active lifestyle or have a job that involves frequent hand use, such as typing or manual labor, you may benefit from the ability of gel nails to last. Also, because they are less likely to chip or lift, they are ideal for people who require long-lasting nail care that can withstand daily wear and tear.

Nail health

If you have weak or damaged nails that require support and protection, silk nail wraps may be the preferred choice. Silk wraps provide strength to the natural nails without adding excessive weight.

Aesthetic preferences

Silk nail wraps offer a natural-looking finish, making them fit for people who prefer a subtle and natural look. On the other hand, gel nails come in a wide range of colours, finishes, and designs that allow you to explore your creativity and customize your designs.

Maintenance requirements

Silk nail wraps usually require more frequent fills to address any lifting or growth of the natural nails. While gel nails may require occasional touch-ups as the natural nails grow, they are generally low-maintenance and require less frequent maintenance compared to silk wraps. So if you prefer a low-maintenance option, gel nails may be more appropriate for your lifestyle.

Consultation with a professional

Consulting with a skilled nail technician can give you valuable insights and guidance based on your needs and preferences. A professional nail technician can assess the condition of your natural nails, discuss your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences, and then recommend the most suitable option for you.

How to maintain your silk nail wraps

  1. Regular fills: As your natural nails grow, the silk wraps may start to lift at the base. Filling in the gap with additional adhesive and resin helps to keep the wraps secure and prevents moisture from getting trapped under, which can lead to lifting and even fungal infections.
  2. Gentle handling: Don’t use your nails as tools for opening packages or scratching surfaces. It can cause the wraps to wear out or lift. Instead, you can use the pads of your fingers.
  3. Moisturize: Keep your nails and cuticles hydrated by regularly applying cuticle oil or moisturizer. Hydrated nails are less likely to become brittle or prone to breakage.
  4. Avoid harsh chemicals: Limit exposure to harsh chemicals and substances that can weaken the adhesive bond of the silk wraps. When cleaning or doing household chores, wear gloves.
  5. Be mindful of activities: Be mindful of activities that can put undue stress on your nails. If you must participate, consider wearing protective gloves to prevent damage to the silk wraps.

Which lasts longer, silk wrap or gel nails?

In general, gel nails tend to last longer than silk nail wraps. However, how both types of nails last ultimately depends on you and how they are maintained.

Can you put gel polish over silk wrap?

Yes, you can apply gel polish over silk nail wraps. Gel polish can stick well to the smooth surface of silk wraps, providing a glossy finish. Before applying gel polish, make sure the silk wraps are properly sealed. Cure the gel polish under a UV lamp for optimal results.

How often should you get a silk wrap?

Generally, it's recommended to get a silk wrap fill every 2-3 weeks to treat any lifting or growth of the natural nails. Regular fills help to maintain the wraps, prevent moisture from getting trapped under, and ensure a polished look.


Whether you opt for the flexibility of silk wraps or the durability of gel nails, the key is to prioritize the health of your natural nails while achieving the aesthetic you desire. 







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