How Do I Choose the Best Nail Polish Dryer?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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A nail polish dryer is a handy tool used to speed up the process of either a fresh manicure or pedicure. The most appropriate version that you choose depends on how often you need to use a nail dryer, as well as whether you will use it as a professional. These dryers vary slightly between fingernails and toenails, but the general features remain the same. Although most nail polish dryers are available as portable or electric machines, there are spray-on versions as well if you are looking for the quickest route.

Manicures and pedicures are luxuries that can be time consuming because of the nail polish used. Although modern nail polish dries faster than ones used during the previous century, several coats of color and clear versions can force you to be immobile until you are certain that your nails are completely dry. For this reason, both nail professionals and consumers alike will utilize a nail polish dryer during both pedicures and manicures in order to speed up the process. When looking for drying machines, ensure that you choose corresponding versions for both finger and toenails; the latter ones are generally larger.


The type of nail polish dryer chosen also depends on how often you plan to use it. For occasional use, you can invest in a less-expensive portable version without sacrificing personal quality. Professional nail dressers are better off investing in a more expensive electric version because they are extra durable. No matter which type you choose, there should be a temperature controller included in the product if you switch between using it for acrylic and natural nails. Generally, polish takes longer to dry on acrylic nails, and therefore requires more heat.

Nail polish dryers either utilize heated air or ultraviolet rays to dry manicures and pedicures. Most nails will dry well with regular heated air, but many professionals like the added quickness that ultraviolet rays provide. The downside is possible concerns associated with the latter method, due to the fact that excessive exposure can lead to skin damage or cancer.

An increasingly popular version of a nail polish dryer comes in the form of an aerosol spray, which is sold at beauty supply stores. After you place clear top coat on the nails, you simply spray the product over each one. Such sprays also contain skin and cuticle conditioning ingredients such as vitamin E. This is a less expensive method of drying nails, but many manicurists stick with more tried and true methods, such as traditional dryers.


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Post 5

UV dryers are for gel nails. The nail polish needs to have a photoinitiator such as DMPA to start curing the polymers by cross-linking the molecules. The photoinitiator absorbs the UV light to produce free radicals (very reactive molecules) that start the curing process. Regular nail polishes usually do not have these chemicals and cure by evaporation of a volatile solvent. There are some hybrid nail polishes that initially dry by regular evaporation but then continue to cure by photopolymerization for greater strength (e.g. Vinylux, Revlon Gel Envy, or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel).

Post 4

So which is the best nail dryer for gel or all types of dryers?

Post 3

@turquoise-- UV nail lamps are for regular nail polish, not gel ones. I've been using one for several years, it works well.

Post 2

@turquoise-- What kind of nail polish are you using? Because I thought that UV dryers are for gel nail polish and not regular nail polish. If you're using gel nail polish, it's tricky to use UV nail dryers at home and professionals recommend getting it done at the salon.

The only nail polish dryer machine I've used is a simple one with a fan. But I wasn't too happy about it because it would make the nail polish bubble if I used it while the polish was wet. So I would have to wait until it dried a little bit and then hold it under the dryer. So it didn't save me time at all.

I'm still looking for a better nail polish dryer myself.

Post 1

I love the UV nail polish dryer at the nail salon. I only need to put my nails under it for a minute and I'm good to go.

Is it possible to have a portable nail polish dryer at home that works as quickly and efficiently?

I don't want to spend a fortune, but I'm willing to invest in something that will work well and last me many years.

Any recommendations?

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