Not all of us have been blessed with strong and long nails. Luckily, the contemporary manicure market offers different options for us to enjoy sturdy and long-lasting nails. Acrylic manicures are one such method for ‘building’ an extension for your natural nails. It is one of the most popular choices for those of us looking for an attractive and well-designed manicure. But how long do they generally last for once they have been applied? I spent some time researching and would like to share what I found with you here today.
So, how long can you keep acrylic nails on for? A full set of acrylic nails, created by a combination of liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer), lasts between six to eight weeks. If you keep them longer, you risk the extensions falling off on their own. The nail glue will eventually dissolve or becomes too weak to keep your acrylics firmly attached.
Some tricks to help your acrylics lasts longer include: keeping your hands moisturized, wearing gloves, and not skipping out on regular fills.
It is generally recommended that with acrylics, you visit your salon every two to three weeks to refill the growth.
Lack of refill can affect the overall fresh look of your acrylic nails and their life span could become shorter.
For purely aesthetic reasons, though, a refill can be skipped. It is ultimately up to you and your budget.
In fact, if the colors of your design are more natural and the shades blend in with your own nail, then the gap may not be that visible.
When the time comes to remove your acrylics, it is best to go to your technician. Acrylic nails fall off with acetone.
If you remove them at home, however, you risk damaging your natural nails.
Let us know take a closer look at the most commonly asked questions related to acrylics, their longevity, and some other considerations for these extensions.
How Long Can You Wear Acrylic Nails?
If taken care of, acrylic nails last between six and eight weeks.
This is longer compared to the gel technique, which requires visits to the salon once a month for a complete makeover.
Acrylics are also sturdier and much less susceptible to breaking. Very often, those who do not have time for frequent maintenance, turn to the acrylic option rather than gel.
They are preferred by celebrities and nail artists also because they allow for length manipulation and much bigger size of the nail plate and are widely used for photo-shoots, Instagram and commercials.
Every two to three weeks (depending on your own individual nails’ dynamics) a visit at your nail beautician is necessary to refill the growth.
Your natural nail underneath does not stop growing. Eventually a gap appears between them.
Not refilling it can result in a shorter lifespan.
That is because the acrylic nail loses its solid base that holds in together. Without it, the fake nail can start peeling itself off after only two weeks.
Ways To Make Your Acrylic Nails Last Longer
There are some tricks you can apply to help your acrylics last longer. Take a look at these simple steps!
- Do your research.
- Refill regularly
- Don’t let any dirt get stuck underneath/or on your nails.
- Keep your hands moisturized.
- Wear gloves while cleaning or doing manual work.
- Be gentle to your nails. Avoid hitting them against hard surfaces.
- Give a break to your natural nails every two-three months.
Let us know take a closer look at each recommendation in further detail:
Do Your Research
If you trust your technician, that’s great! If you don’t, do proper research on the best and most reliable salons.
It is important that you go to an experienced professional, who knows how to take care of your nails.
Acrylic nails weaken your natural ones; make them thinner and more sensitive.
That is why it is important to trust your manicurist. It is advisable to not try making your own acrylic nails at home or removing them by yourself.
As mentioned already, there could not be a bigger emphasis on refills! The best way to make your nails last longer is by not skipping refills!
As with general nail care, don’t let any dirt get on or under your nails. This can compromise the glue and make it dissolve easier.
Dry skin is weaker; therefore, the base holding your nail becomes weaker. Make sure you apply hand cream or oils always when needed.
Protect your manicure with gloves, while cleaning or doing manual work. this will prevent them from drying out, or frequently becoming wet and dry which weakens the glue and the extensions.
Avoid the risk of crashing them or harming the designed surface of the nail plate. Don’t expose them to harsh chemicals and aggressive substances.
In the end of the day, acrylic nails last because your natural nail is strong, even and healthy.
If you want to keep enjoying this technique, take a break from it every two-three months and let your own nails recover!
How Often Should You Get A New Set Of Acrylic Nails?
If taken care of, a set lasts from six to eight weeks or about two months. You do not need a full set too often.
It is important to properly take care of your manicure. If you don’t, you risk needing a new set after two to three weeks, which will make everything much pricier.
Remember, acrylic nails are an investment.
Is It Bad To Leave Acrylic Nails On?
It does not matter if you apply acrylic, gel or ordinary nail polish. Any artificial product causes some harm to your nails.
Acrylic is not any worse apart from a few details needed to be taken into consideration.
The removal process can weaken your nails’ natural state. If not done properly, it can lead to permanent damage.
That is why it is so important to trust your technician completely. Self-removal at home is not recommended. To make acrylic nails stick to your own, the plate has to be filed until it feels rough.
Skipping regular breaks from this filing procedure can result in thin and brittle nails.
At rare occasions users of acrylic nails experience allergic reactions to the glues, chemicals and dyes.
Otherwise, having acrylic nails itself is not any more harmful than other methods. It is more about the care applied later on.
What Happens If You Have Acrylic Nails On For Too Long?
In short, several things can happen when you leave your acrylic nails too long:
They Fall Off On Their Own
If you leave your acrylic nails beyond their lifespan, they will start falling off on their own.
The glue dissolves and becomes weak. Other reasons can be poor application, bad quality glue or incorrect use of tips and sizing
Damage To Your Natural Nails
Leaving the acrylics to fall off on their own is not a good idea. The lack of proper removal can seriously damage your natural nails.
There is a risk for parts of your real nail to fall off together with the fake one.
A nail infection can also occur if the enhancements are too long or rigid. Signs of infections include redness and swelling.
Another cause for an infection when leaving your artificial nails for too long is when a gap is developed between the fake nail and your own.
This gap is moist in a warm environment and provides perfect conditions for an infection.
Although rarely observed, an allergy can be developed from the chemicals used for acrylic nails, especially, when you use them for longer periods of time.
Resin and formaldehyde are two substances used for acrylics. They could lead to a skin condition called contact dermatitis.
It is like eczema at the base of your nail where the enhancement is attached.
Many users smell an unpleasant odor. However, this is only while applying the nails. After that, the smell disappears completely.
Even so, some users remain with the impression that the smell will not subside and this makes them give up this service.
Overall, if you suffer from ever short and brittle nails, acrylic nails are a great solution. With the proper care and in the hands of a competent nail beautician, you can enjoy a long, strong and modern manicure.
Curiously enough, the method was invented by a dentist in 1934 as a way to prevent nail biters from biting their nails. At the time no one suspected that acrylics will turn into a trend of the beauty industry.
Nevertheless, they have since become the preferred manicure for special occasions, celebrities and fashion photo-shoots, even along with day to day wear.
A full set lasts between six and eight weeks. You need to do refills at the growth gaps every two-three weeks.
If not, you risk them falling off on their own, which can seriously damage your natural nail.
Other tricks you can apply to make them stay longer are keeping your acrylics clean, put on gloves when working manually, moisturizing, and treating them gently.
If you leave them for too long, there is a risk of damages, nail infections, allergies, and developing skin conditions.
If you observe any of these, then maybe acrylics are not for you. You can consider alternatives such as gels.
It is not going to make your nails longer, but it will keep them much stronger and resistant.
Ultimately, acrylics look more natural and healthy compared to gel. They do not change the shape of the natural nail as they are very flexible and adapt to the growth.
Also, acrylics provide much bigger opportunities for designs. You can choose to depict paintings, nature, and water, for example.
Another advantage of this technique is that frequent visits to the manicurist are not required.
Hey – I’m Jemma – a certified nail technician and manicurist with over fifteen years of hands-on industry experience. I created AlmondNails.com to share all that I have learned about the nail industry – from the different types of manicures available, suggestions for wear, recommendations for keeping nails strong and healthy, all the way through to providing the best nail salon tips and practices.