Is Dip Powder Better for Weak Nails?

Is Dip Powder Better for Weak Nails?


So, you have weak nails – whether they are naturally weak or something happened like you wore acrylics for years and now you are letting them recover, it can happen to anyone.  The good news is you don’t need to skip having a manicure done just because you have naturally (or not naturally!) weak nails.  We’re going to talk about some of the pros and cons of your manicure options if you have weak nails and cover off on some does and don’t whatever you decide to do.


Option 1 – Don’t do anything!

That’s always an option for you – if you don’t do a manicure of any type your nails should grow and if your weak nails are from damage to the nail, they will grow in thicker and stronger than the damaged nail.  On the plus side, you are guaranteed that you aren’t going to damage your nail with a manicure treatment, but there are a lot of downsides here, too.  For one, if your nails are weak, they might break or tear easily while you are waiting for them to grow out.  Also, if your nails are just naturally weak this isn’t going to help at all – the new nail growth will be just as weak as the old nail growth.  Not having a manicure is definitely an option, but not a very fun one – so let’s talk about some other ideas!


Option 2 – Nail Polish

The simplest, easiest possible manicure is a good old nail polish manicure – you might hear it called lacquer or nail lacquer – its all the same thing, most commonly referred to as Nail Polish by people, lacquer is the professional term in the business that helps separate it from Gel Polish.  The pros of Nail Polish are straightforward – it’s easy to do, and easy to remove.  So while your nails are weak you can still have a manicure, and there will be very little risk at removal time that you will damage your nails (use a file to file down the polish some when it’s time to remove, there is less risk of drilling off part of the nail if you do that!).  

The downsides of it are that it can chip or lift very easily, and it provides very little protection to soft or weak nails.  You can apply the polish and your nails will look good for a few days, but it will start to chip and it won’t be providing a lot of protection to your damaged nails, either.


Option 3 - Gel Polish

Gel Polish is an option, but it must be applied and removed correctly in order to not further damage your nails, so make sure you have someone who really knows what they are doing working on your nails.  There is a good chance if you are reading this that the soft or weak nails you have come from your Gel Polish manicure, and if that’s the case we would not recommend continuing with it until you get your nails back to strength. 

There are 2 main issues that can happen from a Gel Polish manicure that will cause soft nails.  The first is application – when you apply the Gel Polish and cure it with a lamp, it needs to cure all the way through.  If it doesn’t and some of the Gel Polish remains an uncured liquid on your nail, it will soften the nail bed as it sits on it over time.  When the Gel Polish manicure is removed, the nail will be weak and soft because it was in contact with the liquid Gel Polish for a long period of time and absorbing ingredients from it.  The other problem can come from removal – when removing a Gel Polish Manicure most Nail Technicians will drill down the Gel Polish so it can soak off faster.  The Nail Technician and Nail Salon are getting paid by the treatment they perform, so they are motivated to help make it go quickly so they can more customers in a day.  The issue is if they drill too far they can remove the top layer off the nail, which will cause weakening or softening as a result, so you need to make sure you have an experienced Nail Technician that doesn’t drill the nail at all.


You can use a Gel Polish Manicure on your weak nails, but just be extremely careful the application and removal are being done properly, and if you aren’t sure – or if you think it was your Gel Polish manicure that caused the weak nails in the first place – it might be best to try another option.


Option 4 - Acrylics

Will Acrylics protect your weak nails?  Yes, they will, they are incredibly durable and they will protect weak or soft nails from bending or breaking.  However, there is a huge cost to that – most likely your nails will be getting weaker from the manicure, or the application and removal of the manicure, over time. It becomes a situation where many women have been doing Acrylic manicures for a long time and now they feel like they can’t stop because their nails are so damaged underneath that they look great when the Acrylics are on, but if they were to stop the nails would look bad and be very weak, so they have to continue with the treatment.   That is the trade-off of Acrylics – they are strong and protective, but they are very damaging to your nails.


Option 5 - Dip Powder!

Luckily, there is another option to all of these that combines the best of the options together into one.  Dip Powder will provide almost as much strength as an acrylic set – much more so than Gel Polish or Nail Polish – but will not damage your nails like Acrylics. They can be removed by soaking in acetone, so as long as you or your nail tech don’t over-drill the manicure when you are prepping the nail for removal, you won’t damage your nail bed while removing it. This gives you have the protection of acrylics with a way to safely remove the manicure, so you can have weak or soft nails that are protected by a strong manicure treatment, and they won’t be damaged by the removal process.


For application, the curing process is different than Gel Polish so you don’t have to worry about the application resulting in soft nails.  Gel Polish has you apply the product then cure it, so you have to make sure it’s all cured or it stays as a liquid on your nail.  For Dip Powder, the only liquid that touches your nail is the Step 1, which is an adhesive.  It’s designed to be used with the human body and doesn’t cause damage to the nail, even if it’s not cured.  Because the actual manicure product is a powder, not a liquid like Gel Polish, you don’t have to worry about it being on your nail as a liquid.  Its already a powder when we use it for the manicure, so it can’t be absorbed into the nail.  That’s the key difference between Gel Polish application and Dip Powder application that makes Dip Powder safer to use on soft nails.


A quick note about removal/filing/drilling:  No matter what manicure you use if you drill or file too far into your nail you will damage it.  If you are buffing the top layer, you can remove the shine off the nail, but anything more than that can cause weak or soft nails, so be careful!

Hopefully this helps you understand why Dip Powder can be best for weak or soft nails.  If you are interested in trying Dip Powder yourself, you can order our kit here: 


If you have any questions or comments, you can reach us at  Thanks!