Nail Primer Or Dehydrator First

Whether you are a professional nail technician or just learning to do your own nails, you may have heard of nail primers and dehydrators. While they may sound like similar products, they serve different purposes and are used in different steps of the nail preparation process. In this article, we will compare nail primers and dehydrators, explain when to use each product, and provide answers to common questions.

What is a Nail Primer?

A nail primer is a product that is used to prepare the nail before applying nail polish, gel, or acrylic nails. Primers are designed to create a bond between the natural nail and the product being applied to ensure it adheres properly and stays in place for as long as possible. Nail primers come in different formulas, but most contain chemicals that help remove any oils or moisture on the nail’s surface that could prevent adhesion.

Nail primers work by chemically bonding with the nail’s surface, creating a microscopic “rough” texture for the nail polish or gel adhesive to cling onto it. There are two types of nail primers: acid-based and acid-free. Acid-based nail primers are made with methacrylic acid or another type of acid to enhance adhesion, but they can be harsh on some people’s nails. Acid-free primers use other chemicals that work similarly but are gentler on the nails.

What is a Nail Dehydrator?

A nail dehydrator is a product that prepares the nail by removing excess moisture from it. It is desirable to remove as much water as possible to improve the bond. Dehydrators come in handy when working with natural nails, as the oils and moisture present on the surface can prevent adhesion between the nail and the product being applied.

Dehydrators primarily work by evaporating the moisture from the nail plate, allowing the nail polish or adhesive to bond tightly. They are usually made with isopropyl alcohol, acetone, or other similar compounds that act as solvents to remove moisture and oils from the nails.

Nail Primer vs Dehydrator: Which is Better?

The choice of whether to use a nail primer or a dehydrator depends on what you want to achieve. Although both products help improve adhesion, they serve different functions and are best suited for specific nail preparation processes.

Nail Primers should be applied first to the nail bed after the cleansing of the natural nail. After being applied, nail primer makes the nail plate’s surface rough, allowing the nail adhesive to get an excellent grip and stick. They can be used with gel, acrylics, and any nail polish. Furthermore, nail primer is the better option if you’re going to use an acid-free product.

On the other hand, Dehydrators needed to be applied before the nail primer. They are applied before bonding the material to the nails, and they allow the nail to dry out entirely from any oils, water, or other impurities that will prevent the glue or adhesive from sticking. You should use the dehydrator product for natural nails.


Question: Can you use a primer as a dehydrator?

Answer: No, you should not use primer as a dehydrator. Although both products serve to improve adhesion, they have different roles in the nail preparation process. Using a primer as a dehydrator can cause the nail to become brittle or weak due to the chemicals they contain.

Question: Can you use dehydrator and primer on acrylic nails?

Answer: Yes, you can use dehydrator and primer on acrylic nails. As with natural nails, dehydrators help improve adhesion by removing excess moisture and oils from the acrylic nail, while nail primers create a rough surface for the adhesive to cling to.

Question: Are nail primers harsh on the nails?

Answer: Some nail primers can be harsh on the nails, particularly those that contain acid. However, acid-free nail primers are gentler and less likely to damage the nail. It’s best to read the product label and follow the manufacturer’s instruction when using nail primers.

In conclusion, nail primers and dehydrators are essential products to improve adhesion and help your nail products stay put for as long as possible. While they serve different purposes, they work together to create a strong bond between your natural or artificial nails and the product being applied. It is important to use both products correctly during the nail preparation process to ensure the best results.