Acrylic nails been around for years, but thanks to a combination of celebrities, Instagram, and our collective nail art obsession, they’ve seen a resurgence in recent years. Acrylics are great for adding length and strength to your nails, and they may also help you create a bigger, more uniformly shaped canvas for elaborate manicure designs. A little lesson on science: Acrylics are made up of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer that come together to produce a paste that adheres to the natural nail. It’s then shaped to the appropriate shape and solidifies in place to give the nail more strength, length, and thickness. Acrylics have a terrible reputation, yet they’re no more harmful to your nails than other fake nail treatments. They aren’t without side effects, though, and if you don’t take the proper steps to manage them, they will get worse. The removal process can weaken your natural nails, but it won’t harm them permanently if done correctly.
Acrylics should last six to eight weeks, with a fill required every two to three weeks, depending on how quickly your nails develop. A fill—a touchup between the bottom of the nail and the cuticle—not only improves the aesthetic of the manicure, but it also extends its life. Fills are crucial because lifting occurs as your nails begin to grow.
Avoid the temptation to pick them off yourself at all costs. Going to a nail expert to get acrylics removed properly is the best and safest method to do it. It’s crucial to avoid attempting to peel them off yourself or removing them in an unsafe manner, as this might result in harm. It takes a little longer and effort than standard polish removal, but it’s well worth it.
Do your homework on the salon, as you would any other treatment—proper care and attention to detail may help extend the life of your manicure in the long term. Aside from that, the two biggest enemies of acrylics are wearing them over their expiration date and failing to keep up with fills.