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What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out? [The 3 Best Options]

There is nothing better than pampering yourself with a luxurious gel manicure! Well-thought designs, glittering lines, a few stones, personalized colors. They all look great. You can then proudly present your brand new nails, perfectly shaped tips, stylish design and carefully selected colors wherever you go. All it takes is an hour with the manicurist. But it does not last. Soon, growth gaps begin to appear and the impression is just not the same any more. 

You may even wonder what to do when gel nails grow out? You generally have three options when gel nails grow out. One of the best options is to incorporate the design into your natural nail plate. You can do this by choosing gel colors and details that will automatically blend into your natural nails as they grow out. Other options include using regular polish to blend the gel with your natural nail or getting your nail technician to refill the gap with new gel.

When you have gel nails, your natural nails will not stop growing. Around two weeks after your gel application, a gap between the gel layer and your own nail starts will start to become visible.

At first, it is not that noticeable. Even more so if you opt for beige, white, classic French or ombre with white combined with pale pink or a natural base.

But otherwise and contrary to this, if you choose bright pink, red, orange gel and anything alike, the gap will soon become striking. These colors simply do not blend with the natural nail and human skin.

So, while your options do depend on your preference and what color gel you decide to go for, thankfully there are some things you can do.

One trick often used is called negative space manicure – exposing part of your nail in the design.

Another very easy thing to do is filling in the gap with an ordinary nail polish. Just make sure you choose one that is as close as possible to your design or at least goes well enough with it.

Lastly, you can always pay your technician a visit for a professional refill.

Let us know discuss your options in some further detail so that you know exactly what to do when the time arises. We will also be looking at whether you can even just leave your gel nails to naturally grow out and how to effectively cover gel nail growth.

So be sure to keep on reading to get all the information you need!

Options For When Your Gel Nails Grow Out

Don’t let the glamorous impression your gel nails leave get spoilt by a growth gap! 

The options for when your gel nails grow out basically come down to three. This will help to extend their value. Shall we get creative?

Act smart! Apply negative space manicure.

Negative space manicure is a trick when you incorporate the colours of the gel into your own nail.

Expose the lower part of your nail (the one closest to the base) in the design. Patterns differ, but the majority of negative space manicures display the nail at the bottom.

Later on, your nail blends in naturally with the gel colors. To make it easier to imagine, here are a few examples:

  • Paint your nails in white and/or beige colors. It doesn’t have to be a plain single-colored design. Speak to your nail technician and discuss different options. You can do a combination of lines, shapes, adding a stone or two at the tips. The main goal is to design the base in a way that when the growth gap appears, it is not that much visible. It is more of an optical illusion – there is no colour that will completely match with your natural nail.
  • Classic French works perfectly. The white tips remain intact for a month. Choose a natural or even better – transparent base – and the growth gap is practically invisible!
  • Ombre with white at the tips and pale pink base or natural. Or any colour at the tips for that matter! Ombre is a very delicate and elegant technique when two colors smoothly blend into one another. The word literary means “having colors or tones that shade into each other”. Initially, it was used for fabrics, in which the colour graduates from darker to lighter. By the way, this style is perfect for jobs such as waitressing, flight attending or any occupation where your hands are on display. If you go with classic shades, you don’t need to worry about your manicure for a month.

Use Regular Nail Polish.

Yes, good old nail polish that’s been with us since we can remember! Most salons don’t even offer it any more as customers’ interest for it has hugely declined.

However, when the growth gap shows it comes to your rescue. Simply paint the gap and it is gone. Make sure you choose a matching colour with your design. For example:

  • Single-colour designs go really well with sparkles – either silver or gold.
  • Multi-colour designs should be combined with whichever colour dominates the pattern.
  • Filling in a gap with a transparent base goes with anything.

In the end, don’t forget that you should always feel at your best! Pick a colour that makes you feel confident and attractive.

Visit Your Technician For A Refill.

The most recommendable way to go, of course, is to visit your technician. A professional and polished refill will give you a fresh new look.

Your nails will look brand new for another two weeks before getting a new set. 

Can I Just Grow Out Gel Nails?

Yes, you can grow out gel nails. As long as there is no lifting of the gel polish over your natural nail.

Shortly put, lifting is peeling off of the gel. It can happen even two days after application.

Most common reasons are bad preparation of the nails (shaping, smoothing the edges) and unskilled application. Good news is it happens rarely.

The reason why you should not grow out the gel, if there is lifting, is because it can damage your natural nail. It should be removed properly by your manicurist with a special electric file.

Peeling, especially regular, can lead to cracking and brittle nails.

If the gel remains intact, you can grow it out and only file the length and the edges, and the tips every now and then.

Bear in mind that gel polish is usually very stiff and difficult to manipulate. In most cases a regular file is not capable of shaping the gel at all due to its sturdiness.

How Long Does It Take For Gel Nails To Grow Out?

If you want a complete grow out, it will take around two-three months. It all depends on your individual nail growth.

Sometimes it can be longer. Generally human nails grow about one millimetre a week, if they are healthy.

It takes two weeks on average for a growth gap to appear.

How Do You Cover Gel Nail Growth?

Stay ever glamorous! You can cover gel nail growth with a few simple steps!

  1. Blend in your nail with the gel design.
  2. Cover up with nail polish.
  3. Take care of your skin and cuticles.
  4. Visit your technician for a refill.
  5. Get a new set.

Let us know look at these options in further detail:

A very smart approach to cover up growth gaps is to blend your nail with the design. Choose a pattern in neutral and easy-on-the-eye colours. Eventually, when the nail grows, the gap will not come as shocking. The only person who will notice it easily will be just you.

Seems like we are forgetting the ordinary nail polish still exists! It might come off after a couple of days but it is a perfect solution for a refill. Choose a colour that goes with your design and simply paint the growth gap.

Taking care of your skin and cuticles does not cover the gaps. However, having clean and moisturized nail surrounding definitely improves your looks and the gap at least looks respectable and well-maintained.

Getting a premium, yet affordable cuticle oil (like this best selling brand from Amazon) is one of the best things you can do to take care of your cuticles and nails. It should be in everyone’s regimen!

It is also usually advisable to go to your salon for a refill. Not only the gap will disappear but your entire manicure will look refreshed.

Keep the level always up! Gel polish lasts a month but you can get a new set any time.

Finally, let’s not forget that gel nails require care. Avoid crushing them against hard surfaces, especially if you do manual labor.

Don’t expose them to strong chemicals and substances, and keep your hands moisturized. Never peel off the gel as it damages your natural nails.

Gel polish is a very modern and innovative technique for a long-lasting and glamorous manicure.

Unlike acrylics, it is a much recent method and it is cheaper. It lasts one month; your nails are strong and resistant. Most people don’t apply ordinary nail polish any more at all!

In Summary

When the growth gap starts showing, you can easily cover it up with a few simple steps.

However, prevention is always better than cure so it makes sense to get a nail polish ahead of time that goes well with your design.

Even before then and before attending your appointment, choose a design that involves natural colors.

Later on it will blend smoothly with your nail.

Classic French manicures with natural base or ombre are perfect options.

Alternatively, you can opt to design only the tips and leave the base and pretty much your entire nail with a transparent colour.

In this way the growth gap will be practically invisible. You can also be professional and ask your technician to refill the gap.

Finally, even though a set lasts a month, you can always get a completely new one any time.

Now that I have described options for gel nails care, I would say go out, get a manicure and enjoy feeling colorful, confident and shining!