Is it okay for a nail tech to mix gel systems?

A question we get a lot of here at HONA is “Is it ok to mix gel systems?”

Many nail techs experiment with a wide range of colours and products, which is an incredibly fun part of the job. And whilst we’d never want to restrict creativity, it's important to understand the risks involved when mixing different gel polish brands. 

Ultimately, mixing gel polish brands can be unsafe due to a variety of reasons, including:

Compatibility Issues

Different gel polish brands may have different compositions, which can cause compatibility issues when mixed. This can lead to uneven curing, chipping, peeling, or other issues that can affect the durability and longevity of the manicure. HONA Is it ok to mix gel brands?

Quality Control

Each gel polish brand has its own quality control standards, ensuring that the formula is consistent and safe to use. When mixing brands, it's difficult to determine if the combined formula will meet these same standards.

Allergic Reactions

Gel polish formulas can contain a variety of ingredients that some people may be allergic to (things like HEMA, HPMA, IBOA). Mixing brands can increase the risk of an allergic reaction since you're exposing yourself to a combination of different ingredients that can cause an allergy immediately or even over time. You can read more about allergy awareness in our guide for nail techs: Allergy Awareness for Nail Technicians.

HONA Is it okay to mix gel brands?

Warranty/insurance Issues

Using a single gel polish brand guarantees the product's warranty/insurance, while using multiple brands voids your insurance as you are not using the product as the manufacturer states. Mixing brands can also make it difficult to determine which brand caused an issue if a problem arises. 

Lamp problems

It's also important to note that when mixing gel polish brands, that the curing 'window' required by one brand may differ from another. This can cause issues when curing the gel polish under a lamp. Each brand of gel polish has its own recommended curing procedure, which is specific to the formulation of the product. These recommendations are based on the composition of the polish, such as what photoinitiators are used to activate the curing process. Read more: The Importance Of Using A Compatible Lamp As A Nail Technician.

HONA Approved UV LED Lamps
In order to ensure the safety and quality of your manicures, it's recommended that you stick to a single brand gel system. This ensures that you're using a consistent formula that's been tested for safety and quality, minimising the risk of any issues or complications.

Looking to switch to HONA?

Book onto our HONA Conversion Course and find out how HONA is creating a Safer, Stronger and Smarter industry standard.

This exciting and informative 1/2 day course will cover all Gel Manicure and PureBuild Course information. We go into depth on HONA's recommended techniques for applications of PureBuild and HONA Gel Polish. This is an essential course for anyone wanting to convert to HONA and become more informed on allergies, long wearing application and prioritising the health of the nails.