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BIAB Gel vs. Hard Gel: How to tell the difference between the 2 builder nail gels

When it comes to nails, there are so many different products to use. There's the gel polish, builder gels, Acrylics, Gel-X extensions the list goes on.


A question I get asked often is the differences between builder gels. If you are familiar with nails and manicures, you probably know that sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the two, as they look pretty much identical when applied to nails - but are they? It's important to know the difference, whether you are new to nails, or looking to learn more about gel nail services, as it you can freely choose which one you love the most.


In this article, I share with you the main differences between BIAB Gel and Hard Gel builder, so you can choose the best option for your next manicure.




Now, before we start with the builder gels, I just wanted to quickly note that when it comes to your new set of nails, the available gel options are best decided once you have a nail consultation. This is to check the overall condition of natural nails, any previous issues with products, and check which one is better suited for ultimate nail health.


So what is Builder Gel?

Builder gel is a nail enhancement product that is used over the natural nail to ‘build up’ structure, and add extra strength or length.

There are two main types of builder gel.

BIAB, also known as builder in a bottle, and Hard Gel, also known as hard builder gel. Both can be used to build up nails, however, there are some key differences between them.


BIAB - also know as "Soft Gel".

A brush on gel, applied straight from the bottle using the included brush.

  • Can be used as a base layer under gel polish.

  • Used to grow natural nails by adding strength.

  • Suitable for very short extensions only.

  • Can be used on its own as a natural nail protector.

  • Removed by soaking off using acetone.


Hard Gel - also called "Hard Builder Gel".

A high viscosity (thick) sticky gel, applied from a tub using a separate brush.

  • Used as an alternative to acrylics.

  • Can be used to build up the natural nails to add strength.

  • Suitable for creating longer-length extensions.

  • Can be used on its own as a natural nail protector.

  • Removed by FILING OFF only. Acetone will not soak them off.

As you can only remove the gel by filing, it is necessary to use an E file during the removal process.


What are the differences between the two Gels?


1. Hard Gel is much thicker, and usually comes in a tub, whereas BIAB

Gel comes in a bottle (like Gel Polish).


2. BIAB Gel comes in a bottle with an attached brush, but with Hard Gel,

a completely separate brush is used to apply to nails.


3. Hard Gel is a stronger than BIAB Gel, which is better if you have long

natural nails or want long extensions. BIAB will begin to crack on very

long nails.


One thing you’ll notice about both BIAB Gel and Hard Builder Gel is that they look almost identical once finished.



BIAB Gel & Hard Gel Builder: Final Thoughts

So, as you can tell from above, the main difference depends on the finish you'd like. If you want stronger, durable nails or to add just abit of length, BIAB is perfect for this. However, if you have longer-length nails or want long extensions, a stronger product such as Hard Builder Gel is best.

When booking your nails, both builder-in-a-bottle and hard gel services are available to add on. So whether you're growing stronger natural nails or want longer-length extensions with gel, you are totally spoilt for choice.

Also, if you fancy learning how to create the flawless Builder Gel BIAB or Hard Gel nails, you can join the next accredited training course session. Maybe you just need to brush up on your skills or prep work, there is a 1-1skills option available to book online. All details are available in the 'Nail Training' tab above.

For any questions at all about builder gel or hard gel nails, feel free to email me.

Looking for you to seeing you soon.


Sending love as always,

Kerrie | Nzuri Nails & Academy


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