solar nails

Solar Nails: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

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If you’re searching for a long-lasting, natural-looking nail enhancement, solar nails might be the perfect choice for you. 

In this handy guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are solar nails, the types of solar nails, and what they look like
  • How to apply and maintain solar nails to keep them looking beautiful
  • How to remove solar nails easily
  • The pros and cons of solar nails, and extra FAQs

What are Solar Nails?

Solar nails are a type of artificial nail, made using a combination of acrylic and a special type of powder designed to give the nail a natural, sun-kissed look, which is where the name “solar” comes from. 

Solar nails have been around for a few decades, created by nail industry leaders, CND.

One of the great things about solar nails is that they can be customized to fit your specific preferences. Whether you want a natural, understated look or something more bold and eye-catching, your nail technician can work with you to create the perfect set of solar nails. 

Types of solar nails

Solar nails can be applied over your natural nail bed, or over your nail tips. 

Solar nails are available in pink, white and clear colors, typically in a French manicure style, or as ombre nails. The good news is that you can paint over the top of them, so if you’re looking for a more statement look, you can easily paint them any color. 

What do solar nails look like?

Here are some images of solar nails. 

These pink and white solar nails are super sophisticated for clean girl vibes.


How gorgeous are these solar ombre nails?

Solar nails cost

So, how much do solar nails cost? The price of solar nails varies depending on the salon or nail technician you visit. However, you can expect to pay around $30 and upwards. 

Are solar nails safe?

Generally, solar nails are safe, but like all artificial nails, there are some things you need to keep in mind. 

  • Chemical exposure. The process of applying and removing artificial nails involves the use of various chemicals, such as acrylic liquids, powders, and solvents. These substances can emit strong odors and may contain potentially harmful chemicals. Nail technicians and clients should ensure proper ventilation and take necessary precautions to minimize exposure.
  • Nail damage. Improper application, removal, or maintenance of artificial nails can lead to nail damage, including nail bed infections, thinning of the natural nails, or weakening of the nail structure. 
  • Allergic reactions. Some people may be allergic to the chemicals used in artificial nail products. Allergic reactions can appear as redness, swelling, itching, or other skin irritations. If you have a history of allergic reactions or sensitive skin, get a patch test beforehand.
  • Maintenance and hygiene. Proper maintenance and regular visits to the salon for nail fill-ins or repairs are crucial for the health of your nails. Poor maintenance can lead to moisture accumulation, bacterial or fungal infections, and other nail-related issues.

How long do solar nails last?

Solar nails should last for 4 to 6 weeks with correct application. 

After a few weeks, you’ll probably need a fill-in appointment to maintain their appearance. Fill-ins involve filing down the growth at the base of the nails and applying fresh acrylic to fill in the gap. Fill-ins are usually recommended every two to three weeks, depending on your nail growth rate.

How are Solar Nails Applied?

If you’re wondering how to do solar nails, or how are solar nails done then listen up. 

The process of applying solar nails is very similar to acrylic or gel nails. However, there are a few key differences that set solar nails apart.

To begin the application process, remove any old polish from your natural nails and file them down to the desired length and shape. Next, apply a base coat to help the solar nails adhere to your natural nails.

After the base coat has dried, a liquid monomer needs to be mixed with a white or pink powder polymer to create a thick, putty-like substance. This mixture should then be applied to your nails and shaped to the desired shape and thickness.

Once the solar nails have been applied, they can air dry naturally.

What is The Best Way to Remove Solar Nails?

If you want to remove solar nails at home, then you’re in luck. This simple process is easy to do – just follow the steps below. 

  1. Gather the necessary supplies, including acetone, cotton balls or pads, aluminium foil, nail file, and cuticle oil.
  2. Use a nail file to remove the top layer of the solar nail. This will help the acetone penetrate the nail better.
  3. Soak a cotton ball or pad in acetone and place it on top of the nail. Wrap the nail with aluminium foil to keep the cotton ball or pad in place.
  4. Leave the acetone-soaked cotton ball or pad on the nail for 10-15 minutes. This will help soften the solar nail.
  5. After 10-15 minutes, remove the aluminium foil and cotton ball or pad. Use a cuticle pusher or orange stick to gently push the softened solar nail off the natural nail.
  6. If there is any remaining solar nail, repeat the process until it is completely removed.
  7. Once all the solar nails are removed, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Apply cuticle oil to your nails and massage it in.

Acetone can be harsh on your skin and nails so moisturize your hands and nails regularly to keep them healthy.

How to Maintain Solar Nails

Here are some tips to help you maintain your solar nails.

Refill your nails regularly

To keep your solar nails looking natural and beautiful, you should refill them every two to three weeks. This is because your natural nails grow, and the gap between the solar nail and your natural nail will become more noticeable. 

Avoid discoloration

To prevent discoloration of your solar nails, avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals, such as chlorine in swimming pools, and excessive sunlight. If you are going tanning or waxing, cover your nails with a towel or apply sunscreen to protect them.

Be careful with your nails

Solar nails are durable and flexible, but they still require care. Avoid using your nails as tools to open cans or scratch surfaces. Also, be gentle when washing your hands and avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbers that can damage your nails’ appearance.

The Pros and Cons of Solar Nails

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of solar nail manicures. 


  • Natural Look. Solar nails are made of a special type of polymer resin that gives them a natural appearance to mimic the look of your own nails. This makes them a great choice if you want a natural look without having to spend a lot of time on maintenance.
  • Durability. Solar nails are more durable than traditional acrylic nails, so they’re less likely to break or chip. This makes them a great option if you’re looking for long-lasting, strong nails.
  • Extensions. Solar nails can be used to create extensions, giving you the ability to have longer nails without having to wait for your natural nails to grow out.
  • Refill. With regular maintenance, solar nails can last for up to three weeks before needing a refill. 


  • Discoloration. Solar nails can become discolored if they’re exposed to UV rays, so it’s important to wear sunscreen or avoid tanning beds if possible.
  • Maintenance. While solar nails require less maintenance than traditional acrylic nails, they still require some upkeep like regular fills.
  • Glossy Appearance. Some people may not like the glossy appearance of solar nails, and prefer a bolder look without having to apply nail polish over the top. 
  • Cost. Solar nails can be more expensive than traditional acrylic nails, so they may not be a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

Solar nails vs acrylic nails

Are solar nails better than acrylic?

Solar nails are similar to traditional acrylic nails, but they have a few key differences. For one, they’re generally thinner and more flexible than traditional acrylics, which can make them more comfortable to wear. 

Additionally, solar nails tend to be more resistant to chipping and breaking than other types of artificial nails, making them a popular choice for those who want to maintain their manicure for an extended period.

Solar nails vs gel nails

Which is better, gel or solar nails?

Well, it really depends on your preferences. Gel nails need to be curated under a UV or LED lamp, whereas solar nails can air dry. However, gel nails can be applied in many colors, while solar nails are typically pink and white, although you can apply nail polish over them. 

Solar nails vs dipping powder

Dipping powder nails are a lightweight option which are also known as SNS nails (Signature Nail Systems) and involve a process where a base coat is applied, followed by dipping the nails into a colored powder multiple times. The powder used in dipping powder nails is typically made from acrylic, gel, or other types of polymers.

Dipping powder nails offer a wide range of color options, allowing for more versatility in terms of nail designs and finishes, whereas solar nails are only pink, white or clear. 

Shellac vs solar nails

Shellac nails are also created by CND but involve a special type of nail polish being applied to the natural nail and then cured via a UV or LED lamp to provide a long-lasting, chip-resistant, glossy finish. 

Solar nails, on the other hand, are a type of artificial nail enhancement. If you want longer nails, then Solar nails are a good option. If you’re only searching for a long-lasting polish, then Shellac is the way to go. 


Do solar nails lift?

Yes, solar nails can lift if they’re not applied properly. For that reason, it’s best to go to a reputable nail salon. 

Are solar nails good for your nails?

Solar nails can be damaging if they’re not applied, maintained, or cared for correctly. That means keeping your nails clean and dry to prevent infections, as well as choosing a reputable salon for application and fill-ins. 

Can you paint solar nails?

Yes, you can paint solar nails any color by applying nail polish over the top of them. 

Solar Nails: Quick Recap

By now, you should have a good understanding of what solar nails are, how they differ from other types of artificial nails, and their benefits. 

If you’re looking for a long-lasting, durable, and natural-looking manicure, solar nails are definitely worth considering. Just be sure to do your research, find a reputable salon, and follow proper maintenance and care instructions to ensure that your nails stay healthy and beautiful for as long as possible.

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