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Information about Nail Overlays

Sprinkles and pink overlays in Polytek.j

What are nail overlays?

Overlays are similar to a gel polish as they only cover your natural nail. They don't add length. Where they differ from gel polish is that they are built thicker over the stress point of the nail where it usually breaks; for shorter lengths a 'Builder In A Bottle' product should suffice, for longer length natural nails a hard gel is recommended. Both offer greater protection to weak nails. They can conceal nail surface imperfections such as ridges and irregularities and create a more appealing shape such as an enhanced Apex.

Can I grow my nails longer if I have overlays?

Yes you can! The main point of nail overlays is to provide extra strength and support to your nails to stop them breaking. Eventually your natural nail length will increase to the point where your next problem will be needing them shortened! 

How do I maintain my overlays?

Every two to three weeks your gel colour can be removed but the base structure left in place, then an infill can be applied. You can read more about infills here.

What are nail overlays made out of?

Overlays can be made out of most types of nail product. At your first appointment we will consider your lifestyle, work and hobbies to ascertain the best option for you...


The most minimal option is soak off gel, quick to apply and low profile, it is suited to those who only have marginally weak nails, that don't normally expose their hands to extensive wear and tear or who don't want to grow their nails particularly long. A step up from standard gel polishes are the relatively new builder gels known as 'Builder In A Bottle' or BIAB. These are simply thicker versions of standard gel designed to give a little extra support to very flexible natural nails, again, these are most suitable for short to medium length nails, they will soak off but they do take a little longer to remove. 

Next would be hard gels. Capable of taking a few knocks, hard gel is suited to those who are a bit more 'hands on', perhaps through a hobby or their occupation.  They are very light to wear but slightly less flexible than soak-off gels, providing more rigid support which really helps if you are going for extra length.

At the other end of the spectrum is Acrygel which is a modern hybrid made of both gel and acrylic. Super strong just like traditional acrylic but less dehydrating to your natural nails. Acrygel can deal with the toughest level of wear and tear. 

I have personally test run all my products over a period of at least two months to understand their capabilities and limitations so we will certainly be able to work out the best choice for you. If you would like a chat about this you are welcome to visit for a no obligation consultation.

Book your overlays at Care and Flair

If you would like to try overlays yourself go ahead and book a Builder Gel Manicure for shorter nail lengths or Hard Gel Overlays for longer nails here. Both include a gel polish colour of your choice.

Gel overlays at Care and Flair in Staplehurst Kent

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