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How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

Struggling with clients whose nail polish chips or smudges?

Consider recommending acrylic nails. They're durable, resistant to chipping, and usually last 2-3 weeks before needing a fill-in.

Remember, nail growth varies per client, requiring different fill-in schedules.

Ultimately, acrylic nail longevity depends on both the client's nail growth and the nail technician's skill.

Professional Nail Tech Ensures Durability

As professionals, we take pride in our work, and we want our clients to have the best experience possible. That's why it's crucial to ensure the maximum durability of their nails.

The nail technician could apply a gel layer on top of the acrylic nails instead of nail varnish. The gel gives the nails a fresh and vibrant look and will last longer than nail varnish. Your acrylic nails should last longer with the gel layer.

If the nail technician prefers using nail polish, she should use a high-quality product that doesn’t chip or flake within a day or two. Always apply a topcoat for a longer-lasting effect. The client can use the same application method in the interim period between appointments.

Clients Influence How Long Acrylic Nails Last

Clients and their lifestyles have a direct influence on how long the nails last, too.

As a nail technician, you may have applied the acrylic nails professionally, but your client and their lifestyle may be disastrous for the nails and shorten their lifespan.

For example, if your client washes dishes without gloves three times per day, her nails won’t even last until her fill-in appointment.

Clients who take care of their acrylic nails may always have nails that look beautiful. Depending on how fast their nails grow, they could wait three weeks before they come for a fill-in.

So, my fellow nail technicians, while we do our part in applying acrylic nails professionally, let's also educate our clients on how to care for their nails and make them last. It's a team effort, after all!

Tips to Make Acrylic Nails Last Longer

Often clients have no idea how to look after their nails and then they blame the product or the nail technician. It’s your job to educate your clients.

We all know that feeling when a client comes in with a fresh set of acrylic nails, only to return a week later with chipped, lifting, or broken nails. It's frustrating for both the client and the technician, but fear not!

With a little education and guidance, you can help your clients enjoy beautiful, long-lasting acrylic nails. So, let's dive into some tips and tricks to make those nails go the distance!

Ensure Your Nails are Prepared Before Application

Preparing your nails correctly before acrylic application is crucial for the adhesion and longevity of acrylic nails.

This includes removing any old polish, trimming and shaping your nails, and pushing back your cuticles.

Prep Your Cuticles For Acrylic Application

  • Softening your cuticles with cuticle oil or cream and gently pushing them back with a cuticle pusher
  • Avoiding cutting your cuticles as this can increase the risk of infection or damage
  • How To File Your Nails

    Filing your nails in one direction using a fine-grit nail file to shape them and remove any rough edges. Avoiding over-filing or filing in a back-and-forth motion as this can weaken or damage your nails.

    How to Properly Clean Your Nails For Acrylic Application

  • Cleaning your nails thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt, oil, or residue.
  • Using a nail brush or an orange stick to clean under your nails and around your cuticles.
  • Drying your nails completely before applying any products or acrylics.
  • Go for a Fill-in When Needed

    A regular fill-in appointment will give your nails a fresh look and strengthen the set as your nails grow.

    Keep Your Nails Healthy And Moisturized

    • Keep your hands and cuticles moisturized throughout the day. It may avoid unnecessary cracks or breaks. 
    • Wash your hands regularly with a hand wash or antibacterial soap. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt. Make sure your nails are completely dry when you’ve washed your hands.

    Avoid Harsh Conditions And Chemicals

    • Wear gloves to protect the nails when doing housework, gardening, or washing up. Excess moisture may cause unnecessary lifting of the acrylic nails.
    • Be mindful of how you pick items up and how you open them. Take care to use your fingers, not your nails for unbuttoning or unzipping clothing. 
    • Use the pad of your finger when you type. It may sound great to hear the clicking of your beautiful nails against the keyboard, but it will shorten the lifespan of your acrylic nails.

    Go For Shorter Acrylic Nails

    • Wear your nails at a length you are comfortable with and that complements your lifestyle. Too long or too short nails may cause damage to the nails because you’re not used to the length.
    • Acrylic nails are hard; you could crack or break them by hitting them too hard against a surface.

    Use a Nail Dehydrator and A Nail Primer

    • Preparing the nail surface by removing oils and moisture to improve adhesion.
    • Applying a primer to create a strong bond between the natural nail and the acrylic.

    Use a Top Coat

    • Protecting the acrylic nails from scratches, chips, and fading.
    • Enhancing the shine and durability of acrylic nails.

    Avoid Putting Too Much Strain on the Acrylics

    • Being gentle when using your hands and avoiding activities that can damage the acrylics.
    • Using tools or gloves to protect your acrylic nails when doing tasks that can cause strain.

    Use High-Quality Products

    • Choosing reputable brands and products that are safe and effective for acrylic nails.
    • Avoiding cheap or low-quality products that can compromise the health and appearance of your acrylic nails.
    • Use premium topcoats and nail polishes.
    • Regular use of moisturizer.

    Strengthen Your Natural Nails

    • Taking care of your natural nails by keeping them clean, moisturized, and nourished.
    • Using nail strengtheners or treatments to improve the health and resilience of your natural nails.

    Have Longer Natural Nails

    • Growing out your natural nails to provide a stronger base for the acrylics.
    • Avoiding biting, picking, or cutting your natural nails too short before getting acrylics.

    How to Care for Acrylic Nails

    • Keep your acrylic nails clean, dry, and moisturized to prevent damage or infection.
    • Going for regular fill-ins to maintain the appearance and strength of your acrylic nails.
    • Following the aftercare instructions provided by your nail technician to prolong the life of your acrylic nails.

    Will Expensive Acrylic Nails Last Longer?

    • The cost of acrylic nails can vary depending on factors such as location, salon, and nail technician.
    • Higher-priced acrylic nails may use better-quality products and techniques that can improve their durability.
    • However, the longevity of acrylic nails also depends on how well you take care of them and your nail health.

    What Will Happen If You Allow the Acrylic to Stay Too Long?

    Here we will learn the importance of regular fill-ins, having a regular schedule of fill-ins and removals, and taking care of nails in between.

    Remember, as a nail technician, you have the power to guide and educate your clients on proper nail care. Be their nail superhero and save them from the potential hazards of neglected acrylics.

    Your clients will thank you, and their nails will be forever grateful!

    Why Regular Fill-Ins Important

    What's the big deal if you let your acrylic nails stay on for an extended period? Well, let me break it down for you:

    • Damage to the Acrylic Nails: Over time, acrylic nails can start to lift, crack, or break. If you don't go for regular fill-ins, those gaps can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

      And trust me, nobody wants a set of infected nails! Plus, damaged acrylic nails just don't look as fabulous as they did when you first got them.
    • Weakened Natural Nails: Now, let's talk about the natural nails underneath those acrylics. When you leave the acrylics on for too long, they can start to put pressure on your real nails.

      This constant pressure can weaken the natural nail bed, making it more prone to breakage and damage. And nobody wants weak and brittle nails, right?

    Schedule for Fill-Ins or Removal

    To keep your acrylic nails looking their best and to maintain the health of your natural nails, it's essential to follow the recommended schedule for fill-ins or removal. Here's what the experts suggest:

    • Fill-Ins: Most nail technicians recommend getting fill-ins every 2-3 weeks, depending on how quickly your nails grow.

      During a fill-in, the gaps between your natural nail and the acrylic are filled in with fresh acrylic, ensuring that your nails stay strong and secure.
    • Removal: If you decide that it's time to say goodbye to your acrylics, it's crucial to remove them properly. You can either go to a salon and have a professional remove them, or you can do it yourself at home.

      Just make sure to follow the correct steps and be gentle with your natural nails.

    Care for Acrylic Nails in Between Fill-Ins

    While regular fill-ins are essential, you can also do some things to take care of your acrylic nails between appointments. Here are a few tips:

    • Keep Them Clean: Cleanliness is key when it comes to maintaining the health of your nails. Make sure to regularly wash your hands and clean around the edges of your acrylics to prevent any buildup of dirt or bacteria.
    • Moisturize: Acrylic nails can dry your natural nails, so it's important to keep them moisturized. Apply cuticle oil or a nail strengthener to nourish your nails and keep them hydrated.
    • Be Gentle: Treat your acrylic nails with care. Avoid using them as tools to open packages or scrape off stickers. Remember, they may look strong, but they still need to be handled gently to avoid any damage.

    If you keep acrylic nails on for a long time, they can hurt your nails or even cause infections, making your natural nails weak.

    But if you stick to the plan for when to fill them in or take them off, and look after your acrylic nails between times you see your nail artist, you can keep your nails healthy and looking good.

    Final Thoughts

    Acrylic nails are tough and keep looking good for a long time. Usually, they can go for two to three weeks before you need to fill them in. But, how long they stay good can change based on how you live your day-to-day life.

    We, as nail artists, can make acrylic nails last longer. We can do this by putting on a gel layer or using the best nail polish with a top layer. If we teach our clients how to look after their nails, we can make sure their acrylic nails keep looking great for the longest time.

    So, let's work together to make every single set of acrylic nails look new and perfect!