Acrylic nails are a fun way of adding some drama to your natural nails, whether it’s a particular length or shape that you’re going for. But how long are acrylic nails supposed to last?
In short, if you take proper care of your acrylics, they should last anywhere up to eight weeks, but you’ll need to see a technician every two to three weeks for some in-fill.
What Are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are a kind of fake nails. They’re made from a powdered polymer and a liquid monomer, which are mixed together to create a gel-like substance.
This is then applied to your natural nail bed and shaped into the nail shape that you’d best like.
Acrylic nails can be used to fill out nails, or as nail extensions for added length. They’re durable and robust as long as you take proper care of them but can start to chip if you’re hard-wearing.
You can also get acrylic overlays done. These do not provide an extension to the length of your nails and will last around three weeks. However, they do provide a hard protective coating over your natural nails.
How Long Are Acrylic Nails Supposed To Last?
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how long acrylics are supposed to last, because it will vary from person to person, depending on how well you take care of them.
However, broadly speaking acrylic nails will last anywhere from six to eight weeks.
Within that time, however, you’ll need to see your nail technician in order to fill in the gap that will develop between the acrylic in-fill and your natural nail bed.
This is because your natural nails will grow out, which will cause this space or gap to grow.
You should expect to see your nail technician after around two to three weeks for in-fill appointment.
Again, this will depend on the care that you take of your acrylics, as well as the time your natural nails take to grow, as well as their natural oiliness.
If the sides of your nails chip or grow in a way you’re unhappy with, you can file your acrylics to keep them properly shaped. You can do this at home and you don’t even need an electric file.
If you bite your nails, this might also cause the acrylics to break quicker.
How To Make Acrylic Nails Last Longer
Here are a few things you can do to extend the durability of your acrylic nails:
Prepare your natural nails
Before you go for your acrylic appointment, you can prepare your natural nails for the polymer and monomer.
It’s best to try and keep the length of your natural nails as consistent and even as possible, and avoid attending the session with super-short nails.
Acrylic nails will get dirty and collect bacteria, so cleaning them is a sure-fire way to extend their life.
Use a soft brush and gentle soap in order to clean out this gunk, dirt, and debris, and then carefully dry your hands and nails.
Take care of your hands
Your nails will thank you for regular use of hand cream and cuticle oil. Conditioned hands and nails are happy hands and nails, and your skin will also appear healthier.
Use a thick hand cream overnight for maximum moisture, and use a cuticle oil nightly.
Avoid heavy chemicals
When performing chores like doing the washing up, take care to wear gloves so as to reduce the exposure of your acrylics to heavy chemicals and detergent.
Warm soapy water will cause acrylics to start lifting, so avoid this as far as possible.
Similarly, try to avoid using hand sanitizer that contains alcohol, as this might also interact with the acrylic and cause lifting.
If you have to do a lot of typing for work, try to hit the keys of your keyboard with the pad of your finger rather than the nail itself.
Putting undue pressure on your acrylics will shorten their lifespan, so avoid any activity that will do so, including lifting heavy objects.
Get a gel manicure
Get a gel manicure on top of your acrylics in order to keep them looking their best.
It will ensure the polish looks bright and new for as long as possible, and will provide an extra layer of protection against wear-and-tear of your acrylics.
You can always get a simple polish manicure over the top instead, but this won’t last as long as a gel manicure.
Use a good top coat
A good top coat can make or break an acrylic manicure, so be sure to use the best one possible in order to prevent chips and keep your new look locked in for as long as possible.
You can always replace your top coat between appointments with your nail technician, too, to perform some necessary maintenance whilst you wait for your in-fill.
Spend time without
Giving your natural nails a bit of a break to heal and strengthen without acrylics is important.
Try to alternate time spent with an acrylic manicure and without one, so that your nails have the chance to recuperate somewhat.
What Will Happen If You Allow The Acrylic To Stay Too Long?
If you leave your acrylics on your nails for too long without proper care or maintenance, you do risk causing an infection.
As your natural nails grow out, a gap will develop between your nail bed and the acrylic in-fill.
Over time, this can collect moisture, which encourages the growth of fungus and the development of bacteria.
As such, you may be risking a seriously gross infection if you do not properly clean and care for your acrylics – and remove them when they’ve been on your fingernails for over two months.
Acrylic nails are formulated from chemicals. Some individuals may find themselves becoming irritated by prolonged exposure to these chemicals and may experience an allergic reaction – anything from itchiness to swelling or redness.
Similarly, the chemicals might cause your nails to dry out, making them brittle. You may lose your natural nails as a result of this.
Luckily, it’s quite easy to remove acrylics using hot water if you don’t have an appointment booked to have them redone.
How Often Should You Get Your Acrylic Nails Done?
You should aim to see a nail technician every two to three weeks in order to fill the gap between your acrylics and natural nail bed. Don’t ever go for longer than three weeks.
This will reduce the risk of fungal infection, and help to manage the pressure caused by your natural nails and the lifting of the acrylics.
Can Acrylic Nails Damage Your Natural Nails?
If you don’t take proper care of your acrylics, then your natural nails may experience some damage.
The chemicals in the acrylic formula may dehydrate and dry the natural oils of your nails, which can cause brittleness and breakage.
It’s essential that you visit a reputable nail technician. The products and chemicals that they use can significantly impact whether or not your acrylics will damage your natural nails.
Many technicians will use MMA (methyl methacrylate), which is an intensive chemical that’s actually banned by the FDA.
However, it’s commonly found in nail salons, because alternatives are more expensive.
MMA is a nasty chemical that can cause real damage to your natural nails. First off, your technician will likely use an electric drill in order to create a ridge-like texture on your natural nails, as MMA needs this in order to stick.
This can cause natural nail damage.
But MMA is also super hard to remove. As such, it can also result in damage to the natural nail in the removal process, and can even result in the whole nail ripping off.
This is both painful and takes a long time for another nail to grow in.
It’s essential that you take the time to research your technician prior to attending your appointment, so as to be sure that you’re in a salon that uses MMA-free products and comes highly recommended.