How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

Acrylic nails are a popular choice for enhancing the look of your hands and fingernails. If you're thinking about getting acrylic nails and wondering how long they last, this post is for you.

We’ll discuss how to maintain your acrylic nails to extend their life and how factors like the condition of your nail bed might affect their longevity. Keep reading to discover tips and tricks for making your acrylic nails last as long as possible.

Ways To Make Acrylic Nails Last Longer

When you get a set of acrylic nails done, you naturally want them to last as long as possible—but only if they look good. Needing a fill-in just a week after your nails are done can be a bit irritating.

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The method used to apply your acrylic nails can definitely affect how long they last. For example, if your nail technician applies too much acrylic, the formula can clump and form a weak bond to your nail bed, resulting in acrylic nails that may pop off easily.

Or, if your nail bed is oily when the acrylic is applied, it can cause the acrylic to slide down the nail, resulting in the need for a fill-in within a matter of days.

Lastly, using your hands for many daily tasks that may scrape or dent your nails can also cause them to chip prematurely or break off. There are ways to extend the life of your acrylic nails. Let's look at some of them.

1. Fix Damaged Nails ASAP

Don't wait weeks to repair your acrylic nails; fix them immediately if they become chipped or cracked. When you ignore damaged acrylic nails, it causes damage to spread against the entire nail bed, making it more difficult and more expensive to repair.

If you happen to break the skin when your nail is cracked, you also risk getting an infection on your nail bed if the nail stays on.

2. Take It Easy On Your Hands

The biggest downside of having acrylic nails is that you have to be careful when performing certain tasks with your hands. This means being mindful when washing dishes, closing doors, and opening things with your fingertips.

For example, you should avoid activities such as opening cans with your nails, prying things open with your fingers, and using your nails to tear paper and tape. The easier you are on your nails, the longer they are likely to last without chipping or cracking.

3. Keep Your Hands Dry

Depending on your job and daily activities, this can be challenging. However, it is important to stay mindful that water can cause the glue holding the acrylic to your nail to loosen, especially if the acrylic remains wet for an extended period of time.

Also, acrylic nails that remain wet can be more susceptible to bacteria and fungus growth, so letting your nails breathe is definitely a good thing.

Always dry your hands thoroughly after submerging them in water. This is especially important when washing dishes, gardening, or performing other tasks. You can also dust your hands with baby powder to help wick away some of the moisture.

4. Wash your hands regularly

This may go without saying, but it's still important to note. Remember, wet and dirty hands can harbor bacteria, which is never good for acrylic nails.

It is also just as important to thoroughly clean the area under your acrylic nails, where your natural nails meet your fingertips.

The best way to do this is to take a Q-tip, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and apply it directly to the area beneath your nails. This will immediately kill any bacteria that may be lingering around your nail bed and remove any debris that may have accumulated during the day.

5. Moisturize your hands

Keeping the skin around your acrylic nails moisturized and healthy is also very important to extend your nails' life. Be sure to moisturize your hands daily and tend to redness, dryness, or peeling as soon as possible.

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If the area around your acrylic nails seems irritated, this could be a sign of infection, in which case you will need to remove the nails as soon as possible to address it.

6. Say no to acetone

Most nail polish removers today do not contain acetone. However, some do. Acetone can wreak havoc on your nails and skin, drying them out and making them brittle.

7. Apply a topcoat

Applying a topcoat or nail hardener to your acrylic nails once a week can help them last longer without chipping or breaking. Your nail technician will typically apply a top coat after you receive your manicure.

However, keeping a nice layer of topcoat on top of the acrylic nails is a good idea to protect them from everyday scuffs and knicks.

8. Apply nail oil daily

Like the rest of your skin, moisture, and oil greatly benefit your nails. To help maintain them, be sure to apply penetrating oil to your nails every week. You can use natural oils such as rapeseed or vitamin E.

The oils will keep your nails flexible and help to prevent breakage and cracking. You can also use other oils, such as jojoba or almond oil. When you remove your acrylic nails, apply oil daily to help nurture them while they recover.

Do Acrylic Nails Ruin Your Nails?

While acrylic nails don't necessarily ruin your nails, they can be tough on them. Neglecting to care for your natural nails between acrylic applications can lead to dryness and brittleness.

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Continuously wearing acrylics without allowing your natural nails to recover can weaken them, and the chemicals involved in the application process may irritate your skin and nail beds.

It’s important to avoid unnecessary use of acetone as it can further dry out your nails. Additionally, dry nails tend to grow slower and weaker.

Maintaining the health of your natural nails is crucial when you decide to remove the acrylics. To ensure your nails stay healthy, especially if you frequently get acrylics, consider reading "How Often Should You Get A New Set Of Acrylic Nails?" This article will guide you on the best practices for nail care when wearing acrylics.

So, while acrylic nails offer a stylish look, taking care of your underlying nail health is essential to avoid long-term damage. Here are a few ways to keep your natural nails healthy:

  • Use non-acetone nail removers when removing acrylic nails.
  • Go to a nail salon that uses LED lights instead of ultraviolet light to dry and cure acrylic nails. LED lights have lower radiation levels, so you reduce your exposure to ultraviolet light—which is always a good thing.
  • Try to wear artificial nails less often. Take at least a two or three-week break before your next acrylic nail application. This way, your natural nails can breathe, repair themselves, and restore their natural oil balance.
  • Ask your technician to omit the cuticle trimming process from your manicure. It's common for technicians to trim your cuticles before applying acrylic nails. Doing so can make the skin around your nails prone to infection and irritability. This makes it easy for germs and bacteria to get inside of your nail bed and cause potential infections. Keep in mind that nail infections can take quite a while to heal.

Do Acrylic Nails Hurt The First Time?

Many women experience irritation on their fingernails and even a tightening sensation after getting acrylic nails for the first time due to the application process.

If you find that your nails are sensitive or sore after receiving an acrylic nail manicure, don't fret, as this is a common occurrence.

You are likely not used to the filing that occurs when acrylic nails are applied. The soreness will usually go away within the next 24 to 48 hours.

However, if you notice extreme soreness or broken skin on your fingernails, remove the acrylic nails as soon as possible, as these are signs of an infection.

When getting your first acrylic nail application, ask the technician to avoid the cuticle trimming process to avoid hand irritation.

It's best to go with a square or oval-shaped nail for your first application, as pointy tips can make your fingernails a bit sorer after they are applied--which is usually due to the nail's filing.

To relieve soreness, try warming a hand towel with water and folding it over to set your hands inside. Allow your hands to sit inside for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will also help to loosen up the acrylic.

Does Acrylic Break Easily?

Acrylic nails don't break as easily as you may think. It depends on how well the nails were applied and how you keep them up afterward.

For example, if you frequently use your acrylic nails for everyday tasks that may cause them to chip or crack, such as opening bottles, tearing opening packages, or cleaning your home, they may be more prone to premature breaking.

Being mindful of your acrylic nails and going to a reputable nail shop can help your nails to last longer. For a deeper understanding of these enhancements, consider reading our article: "Acrylic Nails: Advantages And Disadvantages."

Are Gel Or Acrylic Nails Better?

Neither type of nail is necessarily better than the other. However, they do have some differences worth considering, especially if you are getting artificial nails for the first time.

Regarding durability, acrylic nails tend to be more sturdy than gel nails; on average, they last longer. However, gel nails are fairly easy to remove and can even be filed off, making the re-application process much easier and quicker.

Overall, you'll find that gel nails are a bit easier on your fingernails, and they can be beneficial if you are recovering from nail damage or looking for nail extensions that you can wear for months on end without having to have as many breaks to let your nails breathe.

Understanding Acrylic Nail Longevity

Acrylic nails typically last between 3 to 5 weeks, but their longevity can vary based on maintenance and application quality. We hope this post has helped clarify how long you can expect your acrylic nails to last.

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