Nail Dryer | Everything You Need To Know

Getting a good smooth finished manicure done is not an easy thing. One has to wait around for a long time to let the nails dry especially while using the gel nail polishes or acrylic nails which can take a lot of time to dry. In salons, this time is cut short in half using a nail dryer. You can also get one for home to dry your manicures instantly in half the usual time with several portable hand dryers available. For helping you in purchasing a good nail dryer, I have here a basic buyer's guide for purchasing nail dryer.

How Nail Dryers Work

Nail dryers work a lot like hair dryers do, except they are made for drying nails as opposed to hair. Like a hair dryer, most models use either warm or cold air to dry nails faster. A nail dryer uses an intake system to draw in the air and then blows it out over a platform where the customer places her hands or feet. Some types also use UV light for drying. The UV lights are typically attached above the platform, which allows users to insert their hands below the lights to obtain dry nails quickly. Certain types of nails require different dryers, and buyers can also choose between different sizes of dryers as well. Professional models are usually very large, but they have more options to choose from.

Nail Dryers for Natural Nails

Buyers who use real nails as opposed to fake ones applied by a manicurist can use a portable dryer. Natural nail drying does not come with any special requirements, since the paint bonds with the nail just fine by itself. Portable dryers merely decrease the waiting time by supplying a stream of cold air over the nails.

Portable Dryers

There are several features to look out for when it comes to portable dryers. They should be able to be used anywhere, which means they use batteries to operate. Most models run using two AA batteries, but buyers can also find options that plug into the wall if desired. This makes the portable dryer more versatile since a buyer can use it at home and when they are travelling. Portable dryers are not much larger than a clutch purse, so they are small enough to fit inside luggage bags.

Portable dryers are generally the least expensive option since most of them only come with a cold air setting. For buyers who want a model that is comfortable, it is suggested to buy one that has padding on the nail platform. The padding offers support to the wrist while waiting for nails to dry, making for an enjoyable experience. Padded models cost slightly more, but are still less expensive than their professional counterparts.

Nail Dryers for Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are fake nails that are first applied in a salon by a manicurist. The manicurist files down the natural nail and then places bonding glue between the acrylic nail and the natural nail. Once this bonding glue completely dries, it permanently seals the acrylic nail over the natural one. Customers who want to get rid of their acrylic nails have to dip the entire nail into acetone nail polish remover. Typically, the polish remover weakens the acrylic nail enough so that it can be peeled off. Stubborn nails that refuse to come off may need to be professionally removed by a manicurist.

Warm-Air Dryers

Acrylic nails must be dried under a warm-air dryer the first time they are applied. This means that if the buyer applies their own acrylic nails at home, then she needs to purchase a warm-air dryer. These dryers usually include cool air settings as well, which can be used after the first application. However, keep in mind that cold air does not make the acrylic nails bond with the natural nail. Only warm air does the trick.

There are many professional salon models of warm air and cool air dryers. These models are larger than portable nail dryers, making it difficult to transport them while travelling. Because of this, it is easiest to keep them in the house and use them only for in-home nail applications. Warm-air dryers typically have two parts, one for the hands and one for the feet. Most models also include padding on the hand or foot platform for additional comfort.

Nail Dryers for Gel Nails

Gel nails are another false nail application that gives a more natural appearance than acrylic nails. They are also healthier for the natural nail than acrylic applications since they do not create the type of damage that leads to bacterial or fungal infections. Gel nails can only be cured, or bonded, under UV light. For this reason, they are typically only applied in professional salons. These nails do not last as long as acrylic nails either, and removal can be difficult. Some types are able to be removed by soaking them in acetone, but most applications require a return visit to the nail salon to take them off.

UV Dryers

Customers who do gel nail applications in their own home need a UV dryer. These are the most expensive dryers, but they also come with the most options. A UV dryer almost always has settings for cold air and warm air. This means they can also be used for natural nails and acrylic nails. UV dryers are as large as warm air dryers, and they are not known to be portable.

UV dryers are often sold as professional dryers. However, always make sure that any item marketed as a professional nail dryer includes the UV option before purchase. Buyers who like to paint their feet, as well as their hands, need to select models with both a hand and a foot console. Install the nail dryer inside the home where it can be used regularly when needed.

Choosing Nail Dryers

Nail dryers come in a wide range of price points depending on their options. A portable nail dryer is the least expensive option, while a professional nail dryer with a UV light is much more costly. Before purchasing a dryer, buyers need to ask themselves a couple of questions. The main consideration is how often a buyer paints their nails at home. If a buyer only paints their nails occasionally, and they only use natural nails, then there is no reason to purchase one of the more expensive models. A portable dryer works just fine.

Buyers who often change out their fake nails or paint their nails at least once a week should look into a professional nail dryer. While the upfront cost of this dryer is more expensive, it allows them to save money by doing their nails at home. Both gel and acrylic applications can get expensive, so if a buyer is able to apply them herself, then she is able to make some more room in the budget for other things besides trips to the nail salon. For example, women usually have to visit a nail salon for gel nails because they do not have a UV dryer in their home. Owning a UV dryer allows them to forgo visiting the salon. Consider how useful the nail dryer can be before making a final decision.


Buying the right nail dryer means finding one that meets the buyer's entire nail polishing needs every time. Having the proper nail dryer in the home means fewer visits to the salon and more savings for the pocketbook. This means that even if a nail dryer seems very expensive, it can quickly pay for itself in the long run.

Start off evaluating nail dryers by examining the types of nails that they dry. Natural nails only require drying in a cool-air portable dryer. Acrylic nails have to be dried under a warm-air dryer to completely seal the bonding glue. Meanwhile, gel nails can only be cured under a UV light dryer. Most types of professional dryers include all three options and are the best bet for anyone who likes to change out their nails.

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