Are BIAB Nails the Solution for Brittle Tips? Let’s Find Out

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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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...