Welcome to our 1st Episode of the Japanese Gel Fundamentals Series, and I mean FUNdamentals. Fun intended.
In this series you can expect to learn all about the WHY of Japanese Gels and also the How-to of troubleshooting common nail tech issues with the use of Japanese Gel.
Since announcing the start of this series, a few of you have asked if this will be like MGN, my online program, and the answer is No. In MGN I take you by the hand through my exact method of application for all of my salon services. In other words, I take you step by step through the application technique of my Japanese Gel Overlays, extensions, and nail art. So if you’re already in MGN, this will not be that kind of learning, it will definitely be more supplemental.
If you’re new to this channel all of the upcoming episodes to this series will guide you into what Japanese gel is and why it’s been such a game changer for me and almost 300 other students who’ve already made the switch.
By the way, MGN stands for Master Gel Nails, and at the end of most episodes of this series, I’ll briefly take you through a quick breakdown of what the program is all about.
Today, we will be answering the big question of…
How are Japanese Gels different from other gels? I’m going to give you 5 defining characteristics of Japanese Gel that makes it stand out from the crowd!
So grab a sip, pen and paper and cozy up to this 1st lesson… I’m so excited to get started!
The first Characteristic that makes Japanese gel different from other gels is that…
#1 Japanese gel is typically soak-off gel offered in pots (or jars). At least for us in the states, prior to the popularity of Japanese Gel we equated potted gel to mean it was hard gel. And with the exception of Presto’s builder gel, that is generally no longer true. Every brand of Japanese Gel I’ve ever worked with has been soak-off. And by soak-off I mean that you can dissolve your gel nails with acetone in order to remove them from your natural nails. In order to remove hard gel from off of your natural nails you actually need to file it down thin and let it grow out from your nails.
Now that is not to say that Japanese soak-off gel cannot be filled in and has to be ‘soaked-off’ every time. A Japanese soak-off gel builder allows you for that convenience also.
On a little side note, ‘soak-off gel’ and ‘soft gel’ are for the most part still synonymous of one another, but recently with the introduction of builder-in-a-bottle products we’ve needed to specify where these types of gels fall, in regard to their texture and feel. For now know that tinted builders in a bottle are soak-off gel with semi-hard texture.
And for the big question of whether pot or bottle. I’m a potted gel girl all the way unless it’s a pedicure, in which case I am reaching for both my bottled foundation gels and colors.
So to recap. Typically all Japanese gel is primarily potted, soak-off gel with a primary texture of soft and semi-hard finishes. Both of these textures in Japanese Gels are flexible and it is why they work extremely well on the nails. A soft gel texture will be more bendy, while a semi-hard one will be more rigid.
#2 Japanese Gel is a do-it-all system.
First, I want to define what a “system” in nails is. A system can usually refer to a broad category of product types. Under the broad category there are also sub-systems.
Japanese gels fall in the broad category of Soak-Off Gel (and remember what we learn earlier… we can also say soft gel). So you’ll often hear me say Japanese -soft gel- systems vs Japanese -soak-off gel- systems because it rolls off the tongue a little better.
Let’s take a broad category ‘system’ like acrylic. Technically, EVERY product in nails has some form of acrylic by the way, including nail polish. So when we say acrylic nails we really are referring to liquid and powder nails. Now that is not where I’m going with this conversation but yes, all nails are a form of plastic-material enhancement.
So again, acrylic nails are the broad category, but it can also have a subcategory like… “dip nails”. All dip is, is fine acrylic powder adhered or cured onto the nail with a resin, in the form of a glue or gel.
Now unto my point, it is a common misconception that you cannot use soft gel AKA soak-off gel to build extensions. Oh yes you can my friends. Hear me out.
Japanese gel brands offer strong builder gels that you can use to extend the natural nails. Vetro’s is even considered to be construction-grade, it is that strong. I’ve tried all of the ones from my favorite brands like Kokoist, Leafgel, and Vetro, and they are so strong. I’m talking I’ve built free-form extensions with them. You can get my full step by step checklist on how to create these using the link in the description box below.
AND BY THE WAY, you can do it all w/o a separate dehydrator or bonder bottle. That’s right additional dehydration agents like these are not required for long wearing gel nails! So when you’re shopping, there is no need to search for these. They won’t be there. All of the bonding agent is find in each brand’s base gel.
So to summarize… Yes, you can do it all with Japanese soft gel systems. Manicures, structured natural nail overlays, and free-form extensions, as well as a ton of nail art styles. No need to learn everything in the scope of nails, in fact the more specialized the easier you’ll be able to attract your clients and charge premium pricing. If you haven’t already. Check out my Free training in the description box below to learn exactly what I mean.
#3 Less dilution ingredients, like monomers.
Let me ask you this, Have you looked at the price of Japanese Gel? It is typically on the higher end… and so many people kind of get caught up with that. But here is one of the reasons why that is the case. Often times Japanese Gel Nail brands work from raw materials, and what I mean by this is like, from scratch.
Like have you ever been to a restaurant and had the waiter tell you, Oh, Hey-by the way we’re a scratch kitchen… and you’re like… OK, what does that mean? Well it means just about everything they make you is made in-house. Dressings, soups, sauces, etc… They don’t buy those dressings and soups, and sauces already premixed they mix them and serve them in-house.
In much the same way, top Japanese gel nail companies work from raw resins, (AKA the main component of gel) and mix in monomers, photo-initiators, pigments, and whatever else their custom mix requires. For this reason by the way, Japanese Gel Nail Companies are highly competitive, and you may just see the bare minimum info required by law in their Materials Safety Data Sheets because most are proprietary blends or custom mixes.
So let’s put it all together, the less dilution agents like monomers, the more resin (or gel) material you are getting. This is why your gel nails even after 6 weeks still look good because you have more of that gel material and less dilution agent. And the price of Japanese Gel usually reflects that you are paying for gel not monomer!
Now keep an eye out on monomer concentrations exceeding 20%. Exposing yourself or clients to concentrations higher than that can make you allergic. 2 popular monomers causing issues with allergies when in concentration higher than 20% are HEMA and ethyl acetate. I did a video on this topic a little while back so make sure to check it out, if you want to learn more on this topic.
#4 Japanese Gel is produced in small batch.
This allows for maximum quality control. Now because of small production oftentimes companies are not able to slash costs significantly because they are not essentially getting there quality raw materials at super cheap bulk prices.
So for example, the less amount of something there is, the more expensive it will be, according to the law of supply and demand right? Now you may be saying, well great, if there is the demand then let’s just buy and produce more and lower the cost. Well, it is not that easy, if a company cannot manage the demand then the quality of their products may go down. Small batch allows for maximum quality control.
One of my favorite Japanese Gel companies, sort of found a solution to this by not only producing in Japan, but actually owning that production company and bottling their gels here in the U.S. And I want to know how you feel about that concept, Made in Japan, bottled in U.S. Let me know in the comments section.
#5 Just about every Japanese Gel brand offers training.
Ok. This last characteristic of Japanese Gel I think is my favorite of them all, and it really sets it apart from the competition… and that is the education offered behind their brand.
Now I want to be clear their products are for professional use, but a license is not required to buy. I’m not totally opposed to this because after all their products are responsibly made, generally non-toxic and hypo-allergenic. But the fact that most of them offer a curriculum for those who want to go the extra step to ensure proper use and long wear is a big plus for me. This is one of the reasons why I initially became such a fan of Japanese Gel!
And if you’d like to sign up for my next brand certification training, pick up a free resource on the brand you’re interested in and I’ll send you also a class update once available. I offer these certification trainings online, so that everyone from anywhere can join, and they are both fun and intense.
And there you have it 5 characteristics on what makes Japanese gels different then other gels. All 5 of these characteristics have kept me and my community hooked and have allowed us to grow viable businesses with the combination of premium prices, premium products, and premium education. Our clients can only rave, and come back for more TLC
Thank you so much for joining me on this 1st episode of our Japanese Gel Fundamentals series. I told you earlier I’d tell you all about my online program of Japanese Gel Nail education, and I’ve detailed it all in the link in my description box along with all of the other resources mentioned in this video. Check them out, and I’ll see you again very soon for Episode #2 if this Japanese gel fundamentals series where we’ll be talking all about what items to buy when getting started with Japanese Gel. Bye for now.