What Is a BIAB Manicure?

By Dean Laming on January 31st, 2024

As client expectations for beautiful, long-lasting nail looks increase, nail technicians need a diverse range of skills – from classic manicures and sculpted tips to trending embellishments like Swarovski crystals or chrome powder.

One speciality technique gaining popularity is the BIAB manicure, a method using a unique gel product for nail strengthening and extensions. Here is what technicians need to know about the BIAB manicure method:

What is BIAB?

BIAB stands for Builder In A Bottle, a revolutionary product in nail technology. It’s a type of gel, thicker than standard nail polish, that can be used both to strengthen natural nails and to create nail extensions. Applied directly onto the client’s natural nails or nail forms, BIAB provides instant, hassle-free elongation and strength.

Unrivalled Design Potential

BIAB allows for a wide range of artistic expressions, from classic French manicures to vivid colors, chrome accents, animal prints, or foils. It offers the flexibility to create intricate nail art designs with ease. The product cures in minutes under an LED/UV lamp, resulting in durable extensions that feel lightweight and move naturally with the client’s own nails.

Super Fast Application

BIAB’s application is straightforward and time-efficient. Once applied to the natural nail or a nail form, the gel is sculpted to the desired shape and then cured under a light, cutting service times significantly compared to traditional sculpting or acrylics. What could take over an hour with other methods is achievable in under 30 minutes with BIAB technology, allowing for more appointments per day.

Long-Lasting Finish

The flexible, ultra-thin BIAB gel feels featherlight yet provides strong adhesion and reinforcement for long wear. Unlike acrylics, which require heavy dehydration and can compromise nail health over time, BIAB protects the natural nail surface while lending strength. When growth appears, the BIAB layer can be filled or removed cleanly without drilling or damage, offering a seamless maintenance process. BIAB manicures can last beautifully for up to four weeks and beyond.

Healthier Alternative for Natural Nails

Traditional extensions often require aggressive filing and dehydration during application and removal, which can weaken natural nails over time. The BIAB gel forms a protective barrier over the natural nail plate without the need for damaging preparation methods, helping maintain nail integrity and health through multiple applications.

The Process Step By Step

Here are the simple steps to BIAB application:

  • 1 – Sanitise and Prep

    • Disinfect hands and nails thoroughly. Gently buff the nail plate to remove shine, ensuring optimal adhesion of the BIAB gel. Avoid over-scrubbing cuticles to prevent skin tears during application.
  • 2 – Apply BIAB

    • Apply the BIAB gel directly onto the natural nail or a nail form, sculpting it to the desired shape and thickness.
  • 3 – Cure Under Light

    • Once sculpted to the desired shape, cure the nails under an LED lamp for about 60 seconds to harden the gel.
  • 4 – Refine and Finish

    • Shape and buff the cured BIAB to the desired finish lengths and shapes using soft grit files and buffers. Apply cuticle cream if needed and finish with your favorite nourishing oil and hand cream.

Why Salon Saver for Nail Technicians?

As a nail professional, mastering BIAB techniques can greatly expand your creative possibilities and earning potential, but it’s also crucial to fully protect yourself. At Salon Saver, we offer specialist nail technician insurance, covering risks like accidents, property damage, and liability claims. Our tailored policies are designed with professionals like you in mind, offering practical coverage, superior support, and industry expertise to protect your career. Contact us today to discuss your unique insurance protection needs. We help make navigating the world of risks, regulations, and opportunities smoother, so you can keep achieving beautiful BIAB nail goals.

Dean Laming

Dean Laming is a Chartered Insurance Broker with more than 25 years insurance experience. Through various underwriting, operational and management roles, Dean has built up extensive knowledge of the hair and beauty sector and is now Managing Director of Salon Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Dean Laming

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