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The Evolution of Nail Care - Traditional Polish to BIAB and Gel Polish

The Evolution of Nail Care - Traditional Polish to BIAB and Gel Polish

The nail industry has evolved at pace in the past decade and a half, especially with the advent of Builder Gel in a Bottle (BIAB) and Gel Polish. These modern innovations have revolutionised the industry, offering professional nail technicians superior tools to achieve impeccable results. In this piece, we thought we would examine how the key products in a nail technician's arsenal have evolved over time and what we think the future could, potentially, hold.

From Beeswax to Revlon 

Nail care has a rich history, dating back to ancient civilisations where rudimentary forms of nail adornment were used. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that traditional nail polish, as we would know them, began to take shape. Early polishes were often cumbersome, prone to chipping, and required frequent touch-ups. In the 19th century, nail care was quite basic. Women used tinted powders and creams to colour their nails. Beeswax, gelatine, and egg whites were commonly used to add a bit of shine and strength. The process was time-consuming and the results were far from durable. Moving into the early 20th century, liquid nail polish started to emerge. Inspired by automobile paint, companies like Revlon began to produce the first modern nail polishes. These early formulas were an improvement on beeswax and gelatine but were still not the longl asting polishes we would recognise today.

The latter half of the 20th century saw the introduction of acrylic nails in the 1950s, providing a more durable option for those seeking longer-lasting manicures. This was a game-changer for the industry, allowing for more intricate and resilient nail designs. However, acrylic nails 60-70 years ago required (and in many cases still do require) a lengthy application process.

Gel Polish - the game changer 

Gel Polish, a modern nail art marvel, further exemplifies the evolution of nail care. Unlike traditional polish, Gel Polish is formulated with a combination of methacrylate compounds that polymerise when exposed to UV light. This chemical reaction transforms the liquid polish into a hard, resilient coating. The result is a glossy, chip-resistant finish that can last for weeks without losing its lustre - a game changer for nail technicians.

The benefits of Gel Polish are manifold. Its high-gloss finish is unparalleled, and its resistance to chipping means clients can enjoy beautiful nails for an extended period. For nail technicians, this translates to fewer touch-ups and more satisfied clients. And, of course, Glitterbels was an early mover in the HEMA-free  Gel revolution. 



BIAB - Builder Gel in a Bottle 


Enter the 21st century, a period marked by rapid technological advancements in beauty and cosmetics, along with every other facet of life. One of the most significant breakthroughs in nail care in recent years is the development of BIAB. Unlike traditional polishes, Builder Gel is a hybrid product that combines the ease of application of a polish with the strength and durability of a gel. It’s formulated with a unique blend of polymers that provide a flexible yet robust coating, making it ideal for both natural nails and extensions.

The application process of BIAB is straightforward, much like applying a traditional gel polish, but it offers the added benefit of self-levelling properties. This means that it smooths out any imperfections on the nail surface, creating a flawless finish. BIAB, like gel polish, is cured under a UV or LED lamp, which significantly reduces drying time and enhances its durability. This innovation has been a game-changer for nail technicians, allowing you to offer clients a product that not only looks beautiful but also lasts longer.

The future of nail products looks incredibly promising, driven by continuous innovations in material science and technology. We have no crystal ball but we would expect to see advancements in bio-based and eco-friendly formulations that minimise environmental impact while maintaining superior performance. We also think we could see things like smart nail products, incorporating nanotechnology, could even potentially offer self-healing properties and enhanced durability. Additionally, advancements in LED and UV curing technology might reduce curing times even further, making salon services quicker and more efficient. Customisable nail solutions tailored to individual nail health and style preferences could also become mainstream, providing a more personalised client experience. As these technologies develop, professional nail technicians will have even more powerful tools to create stunning, long-lasting nail art with minimal upkeep.