How Long Does Polygel Take to Dry Without UV Light?

How Long Does Polygel Take to Dry Without UV Light
Want to cure your polygel nails without UV lights? This article offers ideas for curing polygel nails without UV lights.

Nails are an essential part of a person’s appearance. People use fake nails to keep their manicures fresh and perfect as well as keep them lasting longer. There were two types of fake nails: acrylics and gel nails. Acrylic manicures ruin your natural nails because of harsh chemicals and also have bulkiness. Gel manicures make your nails brittle and cracked and cause skin disease.

If you want a perfect manicure that does not require harsh chemicals or monomers you should try Polygel. Polygel nails are safer than other extensions such as acrylics. They also reduce the chances of nail damage, unlike gel manicures.

Polygel Nails

Polygel nails are a combination of gel and acrylic manicures, offering the durability of acrylic nails and the flexibility of gel. Polygel formula is sold in a tube similar to toothpaste. It has cement-like consistency and the best part of polygel is that it is easier to apply. If you are familiar with acrylic manicures, you might have noticed that you need to work fast before the acrylic sets in, whereas polygel does not have that issue.

Polygel is a gel product when you apply it over your nails it is easy to work with and does not sit automatically. You can sit it over your nails for hours without worrying to get hard. It can be applied over your nails, tips, or nail extensions. You can choose your desired length or use an extension. Like other nail products, it does come in a different color, leaving us with various options. Polygel nails can last up to 21 days if you apply them properly.

Polygel nails

Alternatives for Curing Without UV Lights

Polygel nails have become very popular because of their easy application and long-lasting effect. It does need UV lights to dry the polish but we have gathered all the alternatives so that you can cure your polygel nails at home without needing UV lights.

1. Non-UV Gel Polish

The easiest way you can cure your polygel nails is by using non-UV gel polish. This type of gel polish does not require UV lights to cure. This new technology in gel polish also provides long-lasting effects just like gel polish. Before purchasing a gel polish make sure that it is non-UV gel polish. If the label on the gel polish does not specify it is non-UV it is most likely will need UV lights to dry the gel polish. You can apply this gel polish similar way you apply other polishes. This non-UV gel polish takes at least 1 hour to completely dry.

Non UV gel polish

2. Drying Nail Polish Spray

Another option you can consider is the drying nail polish spray. You can spray dry nail polish spray over freshly painted nails. It does take several hours to dry polygel nails.

How to set polygel nails with drying nail polish spray?

  • Place your hands over a hard surface covered with newspaper or paper towels.
  • Hold the can 6 inches away from your hands and spray a light coat over your wet nail polish.
  • Spray both hands in the same way.
  • Let your nails dry for several hours.
  • After several hours you will notice that the polish is dry and become hardened.
  • Wash your hands using soap to remove any residue.
Drying nail polish spray

3. Cold Water

It is the most common way of drying your polish quickly. After air drying your nails you may need to keep your nails under cold water for 3 minutes to dry the polish.

How to set polygel nails with cold water?

  • Air dry your nails for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Take a small bowl and fill it with cold water and a few cubes of ice.
  • Keep your nails under water for 3 minutes.
  • Your nails may look like it is already dried but may not be completely cured for several hours.
Cold water

4. LED Lamp

Instead of using UV lights, you can use an LED lamp to cure your nails. The LED lamp takes 45 seconds to cure polygel.

How to set polygel nail with LED lamp?

  • If you are considering using an LED lamp, put on a fingerless hand glove or sunscreen to avoid damaging your skin.
  • You can wear professional nail gloves.
  • LED lamps take less time to cure polygel it is still harmful as they still emit UV rays that’s why you still need to wear protective gloves.
  • Prepping your nails by removing previous nail polish, buffing the surface of the nail to remove shine, and cleansing the nail plate.
  • Apply one layer of base coat and cure it under an LED lamp for 30 seconds.
  • If you are worried about heat spikes, you can lower the power of the lamp.
  • Avoid touching your nails after curing.
  • Apply the polygel from the tube to your nails.
  • Keep your hands under the LED lights for 60 seconds and wait for the polygel to dry.
  • After 60 seconds, if you still feel that your polygel has not dried yet. Add another 30 to 60 seconds.
  • File and buff your polygel nails.
  • Apply a top coat of your choice and cure it under the lamp for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Now you can wipe away the stickiness from your nails.
Led lamp

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Canola Oil Cooking Spray

To dry your polygel nails you can use canola oil cooking spray. This can cure the top layer of your gel polish faster and moisturize your cuticles. It does take more than one hour to dry polygel nails.

How to set polygel nail with canola oil cooking spray?

  • Place your hands over a hard surface covered with newspaper or paper towels.
  • Hold the can 6 inches away from your hands and spray a light coat over your wet nail polish.
  • Spray both hands in the same way.
  • Let your nails dry for several hours.
  • After several hours you will notice that the polish is dry and become hardened.
  • Avoid doing anything before your gel polish dries completely. As it can leave your fingers feeling sticky.
Canola oil cooking spray

6. Apply Thinner Coat

You can cure your nails quickly without using UV or LED lights if you apply thinner coats. When you are applying a thick-gelled layer, it will take more time to cure. This happens because more water and liquids from the formula need to evaporate.

Apply thinner coat

Simplest Ways to Apply Polygel Nails in 5 Minutes

If you are attempting to do polygel nails at home, you need to follow these steps to apply polygel nails at home:

  • First, you need to file your nails to smoothen out any harsh edges. It will also provide you with a smooth surface.
  • Try a dual or nail form to fit your fingers. You can also apply overlay on your natural nails.
  • Apply your base coat and cure it under UV lights. The amount of time it needs to cure your nails depends on your nail kits but you can cure it for 60 seconds.
  • Dip your brush in the alcohol-based solutions.  This prevents you from getting too much gel on the brush and easier to move the polygel around on the dual form.
  • Using your brush, you can squeeze the polygel on the dual form. You need to evenly distribute the gel over your nail or sculpt it how you want.
  • If you are using a dual form, press the polygel coated dual form on your nail to stick.
  • Cure your nails using LED light so that it can set the polygel.
  • If you want to remove the dual form you can remove it.
  • Then you have to cut the nail to your desired shape and file them.
  • Lastly, apply a top coat. Using LED light you should cure your nails for the last time.
Simplest ways to apply polygel nails in 5 minutes

How Long Does Polygel Take to Dry?

Polygel is a mixture of acrylic and gel polish. It is supposed to provide long-lasting shine and a glossy finish. With proper practice, a one-colored application of polygel takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you want to add a set of pink and whites it would take 2 hours. 

You can use UV lights or LEDs to cure your polygel nails. If you are considering using LED lights to cure your polygel, it will take 30 seconds. But for the UV lamp, it will take two minutes. It is better to use LED lights instead of UV lamps because UV lamps can cause skin damage.

How long does polygel take to dry

Is Polygel Better Than Acrylic?

Polygel is used to sculpt and fill in your extended nails just like acrylic. If you want to compare between polygel and acrylic, you will notice that polygel nails are lighter than acrylic nails. Polygel nails last longer than acrylic nails, which is another reason to choose polygel nails.
Yes, it may be expensive but the service it is giving us is worth everything. For acrylic nails, you need to work with the formula as soon as you can because it will harden quickly. But for polygel nails, you can leave the gel for as long as you can. It gives you the time to perfect your nail sculpture.


1. Does polygel dry on its own?

Unlike Acrylic, polygel cannot dry on its own. It stays where you place it. It can only harden if you cure it with UV or LED lights.

2. Do polygel nails break easily?

Polygel has a consistency of a gel and the strength of acrylic nails. If you apply polygel properly, it will not break easily.

3. What happens if you cure polygel for too long?

If you cure polygel for longer than it needs to, it can damage your natural nails and you may face difficulty removing them.

Final Thoughts

Polygel has the benefit of acrylic and gel polish. It can elevate your looks and make you more confident. This is why properly curing your polygel becomes a necessity. It has become a popular nail option for nail techs and clients. Polygel hardly causes heat spikes.

Because of the disadvantages of UV lights, LED lamps have become the replacement for curing polygel nails. Led lamps are easier to use than UV lights. Sometimes it can be harder to find LED lights, then you need to choose a suitable option according to the situation.

Key Points

  • Cold water is the most effective of curing polygel nails.
  • You can spray drying nail polish spray to dry out your polygel nails instead of using UV lights.
  • You can easily apply polygel in 5 minutes by following these steps.

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