How To Dry Polygel Without A UV Light

If you’ve bought a polygel nail kit that has no UV lamp and wonder how to air dry polygel without a UV light then this article explores whether you can do it and how you can do it.

After all, if you want your polygel extensions to be strong and stay on your nails well this material needs to be dried thoroughly. So let’s dive right in.

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How to dry polygel without UV light

Can I dry polygel without a UV light?

Can polygel air dry? In short, no. Polygel is made from a mixture of acrylic powder and builder gel that contains UV photoinitiators, polymers, and oligomers.

So this material can only be cured under a source of UV light. That means a UV/LED lamp and not the sun.

UV photoinitiators in gels and polygels react with the wavelengths of UV rays emitted by a UV light.

Photoinitiators absorb the light and give out free radicals that cause the polymerization reaction that makes polygel harden.

Can I cure polygel with UV rays from the sun?

You may think that since the sun produces UV rays that can affect our skin and eyes, it has enough power to trigger the polymerization reaction in polygel.

The answer is no, you can’t cure polygel nails by simply exposing them to the natural sunlight.

It’s a fact that UV rays emitted by the sun can have some impact on polygel.

For example, if you have left a polygel brush with a bit of material stuck to it you may later find that this material has hardened, thanks to the exposure to natural light from the window.

However, the sun’s UV rays are too weak to cure polygel nail extensions or
a polygel overlay on natural nails.

They don’t have the necessary wavelengths for the full polymerization process of this material.

Curing polygel like that will take forever. And to be honest, it’s impossible.

You’ll just waste your time sitting with your nails near the window doing nothing.

Bonus tip:

However, if you want to try curing a gel-based nail product using sunlight only you can try Bio Seaweed Unity gel nail polish.

It’s a unique non-toxic gel nail polish that can be cured both under a UV light and natural light from the sun.

It’s also a one-step polish that combines the base coat, top coat, and color polish in one bottle.

Can I cure polygel with cold water?

Using cold water to harden regular nail polish is an old and well-known trick.

So you may wonder whether you can cure polygel with the same method.

Unfortunately, the answer is no, you can’t cure polygel with cold water without using UV light.

Cold water does nothing to make polygel harden because it has no impact on the UV photoinitiators and the polymerization reaction.

The only thing cold water can do to your polygel nails is make them lift off your nail plate.

Water, like any moisture, prevents polygel from sticking to the nail’s surface.

Unlike slip solution, water doesn’t evaporate quickly.

That’s why you should always dry your hands and dehydrate the nail plate before you apply polygel.

Avoid any contact of water with freshly done uncured polygel nails and don’t use it to dry them. It won’t work but will ruin your manicure.

How can I dry polygel without a UV light?

The only alternative to curing polygel without a UV lamp is using an LED lamp.

LED lamps are the only substitute for UV lamps available on the market now.

UV lamps have UV light bulbs inside that emit UV rays that harden photopolymers in polygel.

While LED lamps have a bunch of LEDs that emit UV rays.

These UV rays will cure polygel perfectly.

In fact, an LED lamp cures polygel a lot faster than a UV lamp.

A UV unit takes 120 seconds to cure polygel and most LED lamps only need about 60 seconds to fully cure polygel of any consistency and color.

Just make sure you use a unit that has 36W of power or more.

The higher the power the quicker it will cure polygel or gel nail polish.

Less powerful units will also cure polygel but it will take more time.

Don’t be afraid of high-power units because polygel almost never causes heat spikes during the curing process.

LED lamps have become such a great and popular alternative to UV lamps that they have basically replaced UV light bulb units.

A few years ago, there were some gel nail polishes, like CND Shellac, and builder gels that were only UV-curable.

The reason for this is that UV lamps emit a wider range of UV wavelengths than LED units and these polishes fell outside the LED-curable range.

But today, almost all products on the market are LED-curable, including Shellac, which has been reformulated.

So these days, UV-only lamps with bulbs are becoming obsolete. They are heavier, plus the bulbs are fragile and need to be replaced from time to time.

LED units are easier to use and are more portable.

That’s why using an LED light is great for curing polygel without a UV light.

How to dry polygel with an LED/UV light?

  1. Prep your nails

Push away the cuticles and file down long nails a bit.

Remove any previous coating like gel nail polish or acrylics.

Wash and fully dry your hands or sanitize them.

Buff the surface of the nail gently to remove shine.

Cleanse the nail plate to remove any dust from filing.

Remove natural oil and moisture from the nail by using a nail dehydrator.

Use a nail primer to improve the adherence of your polygel manicure.

  1. Apply the base coat

Add one layer of gel base coat and cure it under the LED/UV light for 30 seconds.

Use a low power setting if your lamp has it to prevent heat spikes.

Don’t wipe away the stickiness after curing.

  1. Apply polygel

Squeeze polygel from the tube and apply it to your nail or spread it over the dual form and apply the form to your nail.

  1. Cure it under an LED lamp

Place your hand under the lamp and use a 60s setting.

Keep the hand under the lamp for 60 seconds and wait for the polygel to dry.

Normally you won’t feel any heat spikes.

If your lamp is weak and the polygel hasn’t dried add another 30-60 seconds to cure it until it’s fully dry.

Remove the dual form, file, and buff your polygel nails to perfection.

  1. Apply the top coat

Use one coat of your favorite top coat and cure it under the lamp for 30-60 seconds.

Wipe off the sticky layer if needed.

You’re done!

Recommended reading:

Best Polygel Nail Kit Reviews And How To Apply Polygel At Home

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Best Polygel Dual Forms For Perfect Nail Extensions

Is Polygel Bad For Your Nails? 9 Reasons Why It’s Safe

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Can I Use Water As A Slip Solution For Polygel?

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