Coming from a professional beauty therapist, I should known whether or not acrylic and gel overlays are damaging. In my personal opinion, acrylic is more damaging then gel. Gel is one of these things that needs to be maintained in order for them to be a success. However I do feel that gel or acrylic is never the best way to go. It will also change the way your nails grow, and, once removed, it will take manicures and constant TLC to get them back to normal. The nails can become brittle and weak, this is simply caused by lack of oxygen to the nail, as well as water damage through the gel, and acrylic.