After applying nail polish, it usually takes 15 to 20 minutes for it to dry so you can start using your hands. If you are in a rush, this can be a long time.
Not to mention that after this drying period, you still have to be careful with your nails as the inner coats take up to an hour or two to dry fully.
Over the years, people have invented tips and tricks to make nail polish dry faster. Some people suggest drying the nails under the sun. Some suggest using a blow dryer, but does nail polish dry faster in hot or cold?
In general, cold temperatures help nail polish dry faster:
Here is Why Nail Polish Dries Faster in the Cold:
All regular nail polishes, especially those with more pigments, react better in cold temperatures. This is why nail polish dries faster when it is cold. Not only that, but cold temperatures also make nail polish last longer and less prone to chipping.
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Is Hot or Cold Air Better for Drying Nail Polish?
One of the most popular hacks for drying nail polish is by using a blow dryer to dry the top of the nail polish. Blow dryers are small handy appliances that you can use for different purposes.
For drying nail polish, using cold air is better than hot air.
Cold air works a lot better in drying nail polish compared to hot air since hot air might melt your new polish. So if you have a blow dryer and want to use it to dry your nails faster, use the cool shot button.
This button releases a wave of cold air to help your nail polish dry and solidify faster.
Warning: please don’t do anything that might harm yourself or your hand. Don’t freeze your hand to dry your nail polish faster!
Does Hair Dryer Heat Dry Nails Faster?
While a lot of people recommend using a hair dryer to dry nails faster, this is not effective if you are using heat settings.
Hair dryer heat will slow down the drying time of your nail polish. It may not even dry your nail polish at all.
This is because hot temperatures melt the nail polish. If you use hair dryer heat to dry your nails, they will become sticky and clumpy, and they will eventually smudge.
So if you have a hair dryer, turn off the heat settings and use the cool shot button or the cool air feature for drying nails.
Does Cold Water Dry Nails Faster?
Since cold temperatures can help speed up nail polish drying time, using cold water is another suggested trick for drying nails faster.
It would be best if you dipped or submerged your nails in cold water after applying nail polish. By doing this, the nail polish will harden and solidify faster, which can help significantly reduce the drying time of nail polish.
Here is how to use cold water for drying nail polish:
- Before applying nail polish, fill a small bowl with cold water.
- Add some ice cubes to the bowl.
- Apply your nail polish as normal, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Dip your nails in the bowl filled with cold water and allow them to be submerged for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Take your nails out, and shake off any excess water. You will see that your nail polish has solidified.
However, this is only effective in drying the top of the nails so that the manicure is dry to the touch.
With this method, the inner coats or layers of nail polish will still not dry. You still have to wait for an hour or two for these layers to dry completely.
So if you will be opting to use this method, make sure to take care of your nails and avoid using your hands to avoid bumping and smudging your nail polish. Even if the top is dry because of the cold water, the other layers of nail polish may still be wet.
Do UV Rays Dry Nails Faster Than Hot Or Cold?
If you are applying gel nail polish, then UV rays dry nails faster than hot or cold temperatures, but if you are using regular nail polish, UV rays are not that effective.
UV rays can cure gel nail polish faster. When the lamp emits UV light, there is a chemical reaction that occurs, which causes the nail polish to cure or dry faster.
Here is how UV rays are used to dry gel nail polish:
- Apply the base coat, making e sure that it covers your entire nails, so the gel nail polish does not get onto your nails. Then allow it to dry completely before applying the polish.
- Apply two thin layers of gel nail polish. Start with the first layer, and then cure it under the UV lamp for 2 to 3 minutes. Then repeat this step for the second layer.
- Lastly, apply the top gel. This is to finish off your gel manicure. Apply only one thin layer of the top gel, and then cure it under the UV lamp for 2 to 3 minutes.
These lamps are specifically designed for gel nail polish, and they can also work on regular nail polish by cutting down the drying tip for a bit, but this is not the most effective method for regular nail polish.
If you want to dry your regular nail polish faster, using cold temperatures still works better than curing with UV rays.
What Is The Most Efficient Way To Dry Your Nail Polish?
There are so many hacks to dry the nail polish faster, but essentially, the most efficient way to do it is by using additional products that are made for drying nail polish.
Nowadays, several products are formulated specifically for drying nail polish faster. These products work a lot better than any of the methods mentioned above.
Plus, they are affordable, and you can buy them from drugstores or any store that sell nail products.
Quick-Dry Top Coat Nail Polish:
This product is used the same way as regular nail polishes – with a brush and should be applied thinly. Formulated with silicone, a quick-dry top coat works well to reduce the overall drying time of nail polish.
The silicone in a quick-dry top coat works by drawing out the solvents to the surface so that they evaporate faster, thus speeding up the drying process.
Reducing the drying time also protects the manicure from being smudged or nicked.
Like quick-dry top coat nail polish, quick-dry drops also contain silicone, which helps the solvents evaporate faster and reduce nail polish drying time.
Quick-dry drops are very easy to use. They usually come with a dropper, and you must apply a few drops on the top of the nail polish.
This will dry your nail polish in a few minutes, cutting down the drying time by several minutes.
Nail Polish Drying Spray:
Out of all the drying products out there, the nail polish drying spray is the most effective.
A nail polish drying spray is formulated to make nail polish dry faster. This product is made to be sprayed onto wet nails right after your manicure.
Because of how effective it is, this product is commonly used in salons and nail spas. It significantly cuts down the drying time of nail polish and makes it smudge-proof in just a few minutes.
If you do your own manicure at home, this is a really good product to have. You have to spray it on your nails after applying your nail polish, and it will instantly dry in just a couple of minutes.