Published Jun 3, 2022
We love a good manicure, but sometimes our favorite techniques (i.e. acrylic, gel or dip powder) can leave our nails looking and feeling fragile. Luckily, there’s a new manicure in town that is formulated to strengthen thin and brittle nails. Meet BIAB nails. This polish keeps nails strong and healthy, while looking chic. We’ll break down everything you need to know about them ahead so you’re ready for your next appointment.
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What Are Biab Nails?
BIAB, which stands for “Builder in a Bottle” is a soak-off gel builder that acts as a base, builder gel and topcoat. Developed by British nail brand, The Gel Bottle Inc., the polish keeps nails long, strong and healthy, which explains why its become so popular recently.
So, is BIAB polish good for nails?
Short answer: Yes. Natural nails can benefit from trying the BIAB technique over other manicures. Plus, the application and removal process is less likely to damage your nails than classic styles like acrylics, gel or dip powder. When BIAB polish is applied, it leaves a strong but flexible layer behind that keeps your natural nails protected.
What Are The Benefits Of Biab Nails?
Whether you choose to rock a clear coat or an intricate nail design, a coat of BIAB polish can strengthen your style. But if you’re still on the fence, here are five benefits of BIAB nails:
- It’s great for weak and damaged nails. BIAB nails strengthen your natural nails and encourage growth. If applied consistently, your natural nails will stay protected from everyday wear and tear, while getting stronger in any damaged areas over time.
- It can repair and reshape existing nails. Whether you broke a tip, need an infill or are a chronic nail biter, BIAB polish can be painted on top to mend or reshape your nails to your liking.
- It’s a great nude shade. If you’re looking to keep things simple, BIAB polish comes in a range of modest shades that resemble your natural nails. The layer isn’t too thin (like gel) or too chunky (like dip powder or acrylic) so it puts less pressure on the nail beds.
- It can act as a protective barrier to gel manicures. While you can wear BIAB polish on its own, you can also apply it before your next gel manicure to reduce damage to your natural nails and prolong the life of your mani.
- It’s vegan and cruelty-free. BIAB polish is free of harsh ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin and camphor. The “5-free” formula keeps natural nails nourished until your next infill.
What’s the difference between gel and BIAB nails?
- It has a gentler removal process. When removing gel (or acrylic), drilling and harsh filing are often included to make the removal process quicker. However, this technique can damage your natural nails and make them thinner over time. BIAB nails are removed by soaking your nails in acetone. While this can still be drying and weaken your nails, it won’t cause as much damage as the other methods do.
- It cures harder under an LED light. The drying process will make your nails more durable and stronger, which leaves little to no room for breaking, bending or chipping. The polish layer is hard but still comfortable to rock all month long.
- It’s great for a minimal style. There’s no need to rely on long extensions or dramatic nail shapes with BIAB nails. The application process is quicker than acrylic nails and the results last longer than a gel mani.
How Long Do Biab Nails Last?
BIAB nails can last for up to four weeks depending on the growth of your natural nails. (Tip: Don’t forget to pre-book your appointment for infills, y’all.)
How do you remove BIAB nails?
The soak-off method reduces damage to your natural nails. While it’s always recommended to get BIAB nails removed by a professional, you could do it yourself. All you’ll need is a bottle of acetone, some cotton and tin foil to get the job done. First, place an acetone-soaked cotton ball onto your nail and wrap a strip of tin foil around it to keep it in place. Wait a few minutes before unwrapping the foil and brush off the excess polish using the cotton ball. (If there's still leftover polish, repeat the steps.) Once the polish has been removed, massage a few drops of cuticle oil and moisturizer over your nails and hands to rehydrate the area.
With the cost of for BIAB nails starting at $40 (which is similar to gel manis), we just might be official converts.
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Is BIAB good for brittle nails? ›
If you have weak, brittle nails that won't grow, or you bite your nails, BIAB is perfect for you. The thick gel strengthens and protects nails from splitting and breaking. You can also use it to mend broken nails and extend the natural nail length.Can BIAB be used with tips? ›
BIAB and Cover Nude Builders are a range of soak off gel builders that are ideal for sculpting and tip extensions.Does builder gel help weak nails? ›
Nail builder gel works by repairing and strengthening the nails. It can help to fill in cracks and breaks in the nail surface, making them appear smoother and more even. The gel also helps to strengthen the nails by helping to grow healthy new nail cells.Does BIAB make nails weak? ›
It works like a gel but it dries strong and durable, meaning you're less likely to chip between sessions. Almost all treatments pose a risk to your nail health, but BIAB works differently from the gel polish you might be used to, and can actually strengthen your natural nail rather than weaken it.What is the best treatment for brittle nails? ›
- Moisturize. Try a dedicated nail oil or a hand lotion with alpha hydroxy acid or lanolin. ...
- Limit manicures. ...
- Go natural. ...
- Avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. ...
- Get a paraffin wax bath. ...
- Wear gloves.
Because of its flexibility, emery boards are typically gentler, making it a good option for those that have weak nails. Glass: “This is probably the most durable nail file and doesn't wear down like other types,” notes Mahalli. “It can be easily sterilized with rubbing alcohol, which makes it your most hygienic option.Do you need builder gel for tips? ›
Builder gel is used when you want to create length, thickness or add strength to the nail. You can apply builder gel to either natural nails for a non-chip overlay, or use it with nail tips to create extensions or enhancements.Can you do Tips with builder gel? ›
Builder gel is a nail enhancement technology that is odourless, strong and can be used on natural nails for strength or can be used with tips or forms to create long nails.What are the cons of BIAB nails? ›
The beauty of BIAB is that is can be used on its own or as a base underneath gel nails to minimise any damage gel polish may cause. The only downside is that BIAB sometimes does not fit into the edges or creases like gel or shellac does. However it does dry harder, meaning it is more durable against chipping.Does BIAB strengthen nails? ›
Essentially, BIAB hardens and strengthens the natural nail, whilst creating the same perfect glossy look you'd expect from other treatments, such as gel or acrylic nails (all without adding too much bulk or thickness). BIAB can be used alone, or extensions can be added for customers who prefer longer nails.
How many layers of BIAB should I use? ›
BIAB can be used as a base coat, meaning it goes straight onto the nail bed and bonds to it under UV or LED curing, effectively adding another layer to the nail to strengthen it. We can even use two to three coats on weaker nails, which can make the nail virtually indestructible!How often should you have BIAB? ›
B.I.A.B is applied underneath your gel polish. The builder gel is applied first, set and filed. Then your gel colour is applied over the top. You will then return every 3 weeks where the B.I.A.B is infilled and fresh colour applied over the top.How long can you have BIAB nails? ›
A BIAB mani can last up to three weeks, but with proper nail prep it can last much longer. We don't advise keeping a BIAB set on for too long though, after around four weeks they can either be infilled or soaked off.What's the difference between builder gel and BIAB? ›
What is BIAB? BIAB – which stands for builder in a bottle – also known as builder gel is a range of strengthening gel products that are applied to the natural nail, much in the same way regular gel polishes are, but it has a thicker consistency that improves the nail's strength.How many times can BIAB be infilled? ›
The Gel Bottle BIAB Nails
~ A maximum of two infills is recommended before a soak off of BIAB and replace new, to maintain good health in the nails.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiency causes of cracked nails. The body also requires proteins and B vitamins to effectively build strong, healthy nails.What causes extremely brittle nails? ›
Cause: Not Enough Nutrients
Rarely, brittle nails can mean you're not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs. For example, low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) can cause scaly skin, dry hair, and brittle nails along with muscle cramps.
“Drinking enough water is essential for health, and nail health is no exception,” says Dr. Solomon. “Without adequate moisture, nails can become brittle and break or peel easily.” Staying hydrated will help your nails retain moisture and stay strong.
BIAB nails are a great option for anyone looking to grow or strengthen their natural nails. They're also good for nail biters; the gel is much thicker and stronger than a standard polish, so it's more resistant to biting.How is BIAB removed? ›
BIAB™ should be buffed first and then soaked off using neat acetone. This can take between 10 and 12 minutes but this time may increase if extensions are longer or if a higher apex is built.