Nail trends keep frequently changing, improving the fashion and nail styling experience for women. From breathable nail polish to applying rhinestones on nails, they focus on enhancing longevity and innovation in nail art. One such trend is gel manicures or gel nail polish.
Gel nail polish was introduced as a solution to nail polish chipping and a source of long-lasting manicures. However, Muslim women are skeptical about using gel nail polish and getting gel manicures done.
They have concerns about the halal status of gel nail polish and its impact on nails. If you also have these concerns, you are at the right place. Read along to find answers to all your queries about gel nail polish.
Before deciding whether gal nail polish is halal, you must first understand what gel nail polish is and what it entails.
What Is Gel Nail Polish?
Gel nail polish is made up of a different type of nail paint that dries only under UV or LED light. It is designed to give the user endless time to play with the polish without fearing it drying out. When they feel like the manicure is up to their satisfaction, they put it under a UV light or an LED light where it cures and hardens.
In this way, you do not have to fear smudging the manicure they meticulously did, as well as not having to rush before the polish dries.
How does it work?
Gel polish is made up of acrylic monomers and oligomers that bond together when placed under UV light. This process is called curing, and in a matter of seconds, the once-liquid gel turns into a hard, chemical-resistant coating.
While traditional nail polish starts to chip in one week, a gel polish manicure can last up to 2 to 3 weeks if you take good care of it. There is also the ease of not smudging your polish after you're done with your manicure by simply curing it.
Since it cures and forms a hard surface, removing gel polish is a bit of a tedious task. Unlike traditional nail polish, which you remove by simply using some acetone on some cotton, you have to soak your gel manicure in acetone for a couple of minutes for them to pop off easily.
Why was Gel Polish Needed?
Traditional nail polish has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. People used to paint their nails with crushed leaves long before modern nail polish came into being.
Originally, nail polish was used to represent your status in society. The aristocrats used to wear bright colors, while the middle class would wear nude shades.
When traditional nail polish came around, their initial formula was almost identical to that of car paints in smaller quantities. The formula was tweaked a bit but kept mostly the same through the years, resulting in the same results. The traditional polish needs to dry after every coat and needs to not be touched until completely dry; otherwise, you face the risk of smudging your design.
Gel nail polish was introduced in recent times to resolve most of the issues faced by nail polish users in the modern age. Today's consumers don't have time to sit and watch their nails dry, so the new formula of gel polish gets cured under a UV light, sealing the polish in, ensuring the safety of the nails, and promising a smudge-free manicure.
While traditional nail polish starts to chip after a few days, gel polish is said to last for 2-3 weeks due to the curing process.
Pros and Cons of Gel Polish
The reason for the popularity of gel nail polish is the unique features it offers in comparison to regular nail polishes. Gel polishes are composed of stronger ingredients that grasp the nail tighter than traditional lacquers and are strong enough to stand up to daily wear and tear without chipping.
The chemical compositions of gel polish and regular nail polish vary with each brand, but the major difference is that gel polish will only dry under direct UV or LED light contact, while regular nail polish can air dry.
- Many people find UV lamps to be reliable and convenient, helping them to attain their manicures faster without having to worry they might smudge the manicure before they even leave the salon.
- Other people have some reservations about the health risks of UV lamps. A study found that the exposure to UV light, while brief, is intense and can add up over time and might result in skin damage down the line.
- Due to this, many nail polish enthusiasts still hesitate to switch over to purely gel manicures and take breaks between sessions to give their skin enough time to rejuvenate.
Consumers look at products from different aspects. While some people love the aspect of the longevity of gel polish, others have some serious concerns about the frequent use of this nail polish.
- The application and removal of gel polish are more complex than traditional nail polishes.
- For people who like to change things up, gel nail polish might not be the right option.
- The removal of gel nail polish is time-consuming and can damage your nails. It is better to use traditional nail polish to cause minimal damage to your nail or breathable nail polish to keep them healthy.
- Those who have thin or brittle nails may damage their nails more with gel polish. A great option for them is letting their nails breathe by applying halal nail polish in between gel manicures. This helps keep the nails healthy while you still get a beautiful manicure.
Halal Nail Polish?
Halal nail polish is a type of nail polish that allows oxygen and water to permeate its coating and is made up of ingredients that are permissible to use for Muslims. Halal nail polishes are water and oxygen permeable. Muslims need water to reach their cuticles when performing ablution; hence the need for halal nail polish arises.
Often, the ingredients of traditional nail polishes go unchecked, and the dyes contain all sorts of animal-based products. Halal nail polishes ensure that the ingredients used in your polish are clean and not derived from anything prohibited in Islam.
You can better understand halal nail polish with the example of contact lenses. They allow oxygen to pass through them so your eyes remain hydrated. The same is the case with halal nail polish.
The reason why it is called halal is that it enables Muslim women to offer daily prayers. On the other hand, traditional nail polishes create a barrier between Muslim women and prayers.
- Halal Nail polish is good for your nails as it allows oxygen to reach your nails. While your nails don't need oxygen to breathe, oxygen helps keep them shiny and prevents them from being brittle or getting infected.
- Many people prefer halal polish over gel manicures due to several reasons, like the convenience of being able to do them at home and the ease of taking them off by using minimal acetone.
- The easy removal of polish also encourages people to be more creative with their designs without having to think about their long exposure to UV lamps and acetone.
Is Gel Polish Halal?
A halal product is anything permissible for use by Muslims. The “Halal” tag in the beauty community means products that do not contain products that are prohibited in Islam, such as alcohol or certain animal-based products.
The chief characteristic of gel polish is that you cure it under a lamp so that it forms a layer on top of your nail that is much stronger than normal polish and protects your nail, and doesn't chip easily.
The layer on top of a gel manicure, obtained after curing your polish, is neither water permeable nor oxygen permeable, meaning you cannot perform ablution while wearing it.
On the other hand, depending on the ingredients, there are nail polish brands that make gel polish that does not contain any animal-based product or alcohol, which is not permissible in Islam.
This means that gel nail polish can be halal but not water-permeable. Therefore, although you can not pray while wearing gel polish, it is not prohibited to wear gel polish in Islam, and you can choose to wear it when you don't have to pray.
How is Gel Polish different from Breathable Nail Polish?
The differences between breathable polish and gel polish, while major, are not that big as they both give a similar result.
- Gel polish doesn't air dry and has to be cured under a UV light to be set completely within seconds. While breathable polish air dries, the process cannot be sped up through lights, making it more prone to getting smudges.
- You can use breathable nail polish at your home with ease, without requiring any special instruments. On the other hand, you need to use a UV lamp while applying gel nail polish to cure your polish.
- Taking off a gel manicure is also slightly different from a regular manicure. You can remove breathable nail polish by simply using a piece of cotton soaked in acetone. To remove gel polish, you need to soak your nails in acetone for a couple of minutes for them to soften enough to not harm your nail and easily come off.
- Breathable nail polish has various textures and varieties and provides you with the ease of doing your manicure at home. While it is possible to do a gel manicure at home, most people prefer to go to a salon as you need special instruments for a gel manicure, unlike the regular manicure, where you just need a bottle of nail polish.
To summarize, gel polish uses a technology where you apply liquid gel polish to the nails, and it hardens within seconds when it is placed under a UV or LED light. The cured nail polish does not smudge like traditional nail polish and is considerably more durable and longer-lasting than a regular manicure.
While halal and breathable nail polishes have been invented in the traditional nail polish formula, a breathable nail polish formula is yet to be designed in gel polish. Gel polish has clean ingredients, and although it is halal, it cannot be used by many Muslims as they cannot perform ablution, which they have to do to pray 5 times a day.
A good alternative to gel polish for Muslims is using breathable halal nail polishes and not having to remove their nail polish 5 times a day, which is simply impossible with gel polish.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is gel nail polish?
Gel nail polish is a type of nail polish that does not dry on its own. After applying it on your hands, you have to keep it under a UV light or an LED light for it to cure, i.e., form a solid layer of polish over your nail. Gel polishes use ingredients that grip your nail tighter than traditional nail polish and, in turn, don't chip as easily and can last considerably longer than traditional nail polish.
Is gel polish water permeable?
Since gel polish is cured by forming a hard layer on top of your nail, it is not water permeable and, in turn, cannot be classified as breathable or halal. A halal polish needs to be water permeable so that Muslim women can do ablution for performing their five daily prayers.
Is gel polish halal?
Different brands use different ingredients to formulate their gel polish, and as a consumer, we should always do a quick overview of any product we use and look at what it is made of.
If your gel polish is free of any substances prohibited in Islam, then it is okay to use it.
Is gel nail polish water-permeable?
No, gel polish is not water permeable, as it forms a hard layer on the nails, restricting water from reaching the nails. This means you cannot do wudu wearing it. We recommend using gel polish on days you don't have to pray to avoid any inconveniences.
Can you perform ablution with a gel polish manicure?
A gel polish manicure forms a layer on top of your nails that is neither water nor oxygen permeable. To perform wudu, it is necessary that water reaches your nails, which is not possible while you have a gel manicure. This means you can not perform ablution while you have a gel manicure.
Can Muslims wear gel nail polish?
Yes, Muslims can wear gel nail polish, as wearing nail polish is not prohibited in Islam. However, you must remove it before praying since gel nail polish is not water-permeable.