Working as a nail tech over the years, I've had a lot of women ask me what the difference is between hard gels and acrylics. Well, there is a huge difference. Hard gels feel more natural than acrylics. Gels have greater flexibility to them whereas acrylics are much more rigid. Also, gels are clear and non-yellowing which gives them a more natural appearance. Most of my clients comment on how natural they feel and look.
Application is a little different. Acrylics and can be extended with a nail form
or can be applied to a tip. Acrylics harden and can be filed into the desired shape. Gels can also be extended with a nail form or can be applied to a tip, but they need to be cured in a UV or LED lamp.
The maintenance is the same with both products. Meaning they need to be filled every 2-3 weeks. However, filling hard gels takes less time. And from your nail tech's perspective, much easier to work with.
I personally prefer wearing and doing hard gels for my clients. I feel the product I use gives my clients nails that are shiny, clear, and less maintenance than their own nails.
It really boils down to your own personal preference.