Nails and How to Repair Them

To all of you awesome nail gurus out there,  I have some questions about nails. I have never been a big nail person due to a bad experience after a trip to a nail salon. The nails hurt so bad that I had to have them removed and it was obvious that the nail tech was a little grind happy and it took months for my nails to grow out of the massive indentations. Long story short, I decided to give getting my nails done another shot. While this time they were painless and beautiful, it was time to get them removed. It took about an hour and a half to remove the nails. (The tech said that she didn't know what was used on my nails - appeared to be a combination of acrylic and gel). So now I have the unattractive indentations in my nails, my questions are:

Is it normal for nails to be grinded so deep? Can I ask for them not to be filed down?

Are there any recommended products to use after the damage to make the nail stronger?

Is there a real difference between the acrylic and gel nail?

Thank you all for any info, I love nails, just not sure what I should be asking for when getting them done. Happy Holidays to all you beautiful people!

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