What Are the Pros and Cons of Solar Nails?

T. Alaine

Solar nails are a type of fake nails that offer an alternative to standard acrylics. This type of artificial nails is often touted as being stronger, more durable, easier to maintain, and more economical than normal acrylic nails. Of course, there are some potential drawbacks despite all the purported benefits. The application process is generally lengthier, the initial cost is more expensive, and access to true Solar nails may be limited.

Solar nails are only available in French-tips.
Solar nails are only available in French-tips.

The main difference between Solar nails and acrylic nails is that they are applied in gel form directly to the nail, whereas acrylic nails are applied using fake nail extensions. Proponents of the Solar method consider this an advantage because there is no risk of the nail accidentally ripping off and damaging the natural nail underneath. Of course, applying any synthetic products to natural nails has the potential to dehydrate and damage the nail beds over time.

Applying solar nails is a very laborious process.
Applying solar nails is a very laborious process.

Applying these nails is a very painstaking and laborious process with many steps that all require expertise and a steady hand. Maintenance, however, seems to be easier. Acrylic nails need to be refilled about every two weeks, whereas Solar fingernails generally do not need refilling for at least three weeks. So, even though the initial cost of Solar nail application is higher, some money might be saved long term because of less frequent touch-ups. Additionally, the nails will not fade or yellow when exposed to stimuli such as tanning bed bulbs, a common complaint of regular acrylics.

Solar nails will not fade under the light of tanning bed bulbs.
Solar nails will not fade under the light of tanning bed bulbs.

Another pro for Solar nails is that they are durable and long-lasting. The integrity of the design lasts longer because the French-tip pattern is formed by using different colored acrylic products. French-tips that are painted with nail polish over fake acrylic nail extensions are much more likely to chip. Solar designs will also last much longer than painting tips or other patterns onto natural nails. The downside is that Solar nails are only available in French tips, unlike acrylic extensions or natural nails that can be painted in a variety of colors and patters.

Perhaps the most prominent con is that there is sometimes confusion over getting the true product. The name “Solar” refers to a specific type of false nail product made by the company Creative Nail Design, not to the general procedure or outcome. Consequently, some customers who ask for Solar nails may actually receive a similar treatment performed with a different brand of products. This is problematic because customers who do not recognize the difference may be tricked into paying more for a lesser, or at least different, product.

The fingernails should be soaked and cleaned before applying Solar nails.
The fingernails should be soaked and cleaned before applying Solar nails.

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Discussion Comments


Solar nails come in a wide variety of colors. It all depends on the nail salon you go to!


@donasmrs-- I'm sorry to disappoint you but Solar nails aren't easier to remove than acrylic nails because they are the same thing. There is no difference between acrylic and Solar nails, they are just applied differently so Solar nails don't require as many touch-ups. But they are equally damaging to natural nails and they are as difficult to remove as acrylic nails.

Most artificial nails are made of the same ingredients, it's just the application process that differs. If I had to choose one, I guess I would go with regular acrylic nails. Solar nails are just acrylic nails with a different name and a higher price.


Is Solar nail removal easy? I have the hardest time removing acrylic and gel nails at home. I'm looking for an alternative that's easier to remove.


My friend has Solar artificial nails done once a month. She used to have acrylic nails and she had to get them filled every two weeks because her nails grow very quickly. But with Solar nails, she only gets them done once a month. So I think that Solar nails are definitely better. I'm thinking of getting them myself.

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