Nail Makeup

How To Strengthen Nails After Gel? Pro Manicurist Tips!

Gel nails are fantastic while you have them on. But post removal, your natural nails may suffer. Manicurists recommend some TLC and nourishment to strengthen nails after gel and keep them healthy.

Written by Tripti Mohan

On Jan 13, 2024 – 6 minutes read

How To Strengthen Nails After Gel

Gel manicures and acrylics can give your nails that sophisticated look. But did you know that continuous application could potentially damage your nails? Hence, it is essential to protect your nails from any damage. Here we have some tips on how to strengthen nails after gel removal.

Common Issues Post Gel Nails

How To Strengthen Nails After Gel Naturally

Before you understand how to strengthen nails after gel acrylic, you must get familiar with the ghosts you are fighting. The common issues with post-gel nails include nail thinning, peeling, dehydration, allergic reactions, UV exposure, and so on. Here is an overview:

  • Your nails crack and peel especially when you try to remove the gel polish in inappropriate ways. If you don’t go back to the salon to get the gel removed by professionals, you could be at risk of nail damage.
  • Do you find yourself wondering, “Why are my nails white after removing gel?” The components of gel such as acrylate could cause allergic reactions such as itching, redness, rashes, or even white spots on the nail(1).
  • After the application of gel polish, your nails are exposed to LED or UV light to help them dry soon. This UV exposure can cause damage to your nails in the long term. There is even a risk of skin cancer in such cases.
  • The dip in the overall health of your nails can manifest as nail thinning and dry nails.

Signs Of Weak And Damaged Nails

Weak And Damaged Nails

Unless there is an accident or so, nails usually do not get damaged overnight. It is a gradual process and if you are careful, you can see the signs of weak and damaged nails after gel removal.

  • Peeling: Gel polish need not be the only reason why your nails and the skin around your nails peel. It could be caused by iron deficiency or some allergy too.
  • Discoloration: If your nails seem to have a yellowish color, they might be suffering due to excessive exposure to gel and acrylics.
  • Brittleness: Chipping off or breaking nails(2) frequently is a sure sign of weak and damaged nails. This could be a result of excessive pressure on the nails or the various manicures that they undergo.
  • White Spots: Apart from zinc deficiency, white spots in nails could be caused by nail damage, infections, or allergic reactions.

Tips For Strengthening Nails After Gel

How To Strengthen Nails Overnight

Gel and acrylics are used instead of normal nail polish due to their minimal drying time, long-lasting look, and shine. Most importantly the effect of a gel manicure lasts for several weeks, which is why it is preferred by many. However, as we discussed, the application and removal of the gel have demerits too. It is vital to know how to strengthen nails after gel naturally. Here are some tips for you:

  1. Take a Break: The easiest and the best way to strengthen nails after gel acrylic is to let it happen naturally. We often get the gel polish removed from the salon and then apply another coating after that day’s manicure. This way, your nails never get to “breathe”. Expert manicurists suggest that you leave your nails alone in their original condition for at least 3 weeks (in a row) in 6 months. Keep them short, clean, and moisturized, and stop worrying about how to harden nails naturally.
  2. Choose a Healthy Diet: That’s right! The gel is not the only reason why your nails are damaged. The weakness and damage on your nails could be a result of some disease or deficiency too. In either case, it is important to have food items rich in iron, zinc, and vitamins for nail growth
  3. Nurture your Nails: Be watchful of signs of damage such as peeling, chippings, splitting, brittleness, black lines, discoloration, etc. Moisturize your nails and cuticles often so that they stay hydrated. Avoid using acetone too often to remove nail polish and use mild hand wash to cleanse your hands.
  4. Apply Nail Strengtheners: Nail strengtheners and nail growth serums are abundantly available in the market. These can be applied to the nails to help your nails get stronger and have healthy growth.
  5. Remove the Gel Correctly: This is essentially a precaution. After some days of application of the gel, we tend to scrape it or peel it with our nails. Trying to take off the gel inappropriately can cause a lot of damage. You must use the right products and follow the steps to remove the gel glue correctly if you are doing it at home.

Best Nail Strengthening Products

Take care to choose products from reputable brands. A bad product may do more harm than good by worsening damage. Here are our top 5 recommendations for you to pick from.

1. Hard as hoof nail strengthening cream by Onyx.

Hard as hoof nail strengthening cream by Onyx

Price: $7.94

This amazing product strengthens brittle, soft, and thin nails. It hydrates the nails and conditions the cuticles. Nails become harder and thicker. It is recommended by professionals to repair nail damage. It contains nail-loving ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, urea, jojoba oils, vitamins, beeswax, etc. This is one of the most loved nail-strengthening products and has hardly any negative reviews or reports.

2. HEIDI’S Nail Solution

HEIDI’S Nail Solution

Price: $24.03

This nail solution strengthens your nails and repairs your cuticles very efficiently. Apply a small quantity to nails, cuticles, and toes to see visible changes in 7-10 days. It contains no drying chemicals.

3. GAOY Clear Builder Gel

GAOY Clear Builder Gel

Price: $6.99

This is the best product for nail strengthening and apex building. It helps the nails to grow without chipping and lifting. This builder gel is clear and glossy. The only con is that it may remain sticky even after the cure and thus should be used with a gel base and topcoat.

4. Modelones Nail Strengthener

Modelones Nail Strengthener

Price: $6.99

This product with jojoba oil and keratin helps in the instant hardening of nails. It hydrates the nails and promotes growth. The effects are almost instant and last long. It has a high gloss and a natural pink tone after application. It is safe and free of any harmful substances such as formaldehyde, acetone, and phthalate. Additionally, it has no fragrance.

5. SOZGE Nail Strengthener

SOZGE Nail Strengthener

Price: $11.98

This product has a nitrocellulose-based formula and makes your nails hard and shiny. It can be used for hardening as well as base coat and topcoat. It contains essential oils, moisturizers, wheat protein, and calcium. It naturally nourishes and conditions your nails and cuticles. This is one of the best options for gel nail aftercare.


1. Does coconut oil strengthen nails?

Yes, coconut oil is a natural and very effective nail strengthener and moisturizer.

2. Can thin nails become thick again?

Yes, by using good nail strengtheners you can thicken your nails again.

3. Will my nails be ruined after gel?

This may be hard to hear, but yes, gel application can potentially damage your nails.

4. How long does it take for nails to recover from gel?

It can take 3 months or more for nails to fully recover from gel if you are not getting them removed.

5. Why are my nails so thin after gel?

Application and removal of gel involves filing and chemical treatments. These could cause thinning of nails.

Nail End

Applying polish and gel adds glamor to your nails. However, it could cause damage to the nails and cuticles. If you are someone who has frequent manicures, we hope this article has helped you understand how to strengthen your nails after gel. As a precaution, remember to take breaks between your manis and maintain a healthy diet so your natural nails grow healthily.

  1. National Library of Medicine. (n.d). Leukonychia: What Can White Nails Tell Us?. [Online] Available at:
  2. MedlinePlus. (n.d). Brittle nails. [Online] Available at:

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Tripti is your go-to guide for all things skin and hair. She is a trusted beauty consultant who offers personalized recommendations and expert tips to enhance your natural beauty.

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