As a professional nail technician, I understand your struggle.
Waiting for nail polish to dry is a common frustration.
You’re probably asking, “How can I make my nail polish dry faster at home?”
Imagine being able to paint your nails and have them dry quickly, looking gorgeous without the need for extended waiting time.
We’re all living busy lives, with plenty of other activities we’d rather spend our time on.
We’ve all been there, following the mundane routine: paint, blow, wait.
Paint, blow, wait – rinse and repeat.
Then, impatience takes over, we make a move, and… smudge.
Instantly, our freshly painted design is ruined, and our precious nail polish is wasted.
Perhaps, we’ve even smeared polish on our clothing or furniture!
Isn’t there a more efficient method? Absolutely, there is…
Depending on the formula, nail polish can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes to dry completely – if you just let them dry naturally.
If you’re looking for ways to accelerate the drying process at home, the top three strategies are: immersing your painted nails in a bowl of ice water, using rapid-drying nail products, and utilizing the cool setting on a hairdryer.
Today, I’ll guide you through these efficient, simple, and inexpensive techniques to speed up nail polish drying at home.
Let’s dive in…
How To Dry Nail Polish Quickly
First off, let me assure you that blowing on each nail or frantically waving your hands around is not the best approach.
Instead, consider one of the following three methods:
Method One: The Ice Water Technique
- Start with a bowl – it doesn’t have to be fancy. Any regular bowl in your kitchen will work.
- Fill this bowl halfway with cold water. Remember, warm or tepid water won’t do the trick. The water needs to be chilly.
- Toss in a handful of ice cubes, around four or five depending on the size of your bowl. You’re aiming for a cold water bath, not an ice-filled bowl with no room for your hand.
- Set the bowl aside and let it cool. While it’s cooling, you can start painting your nails. Preparing the bowl before painting your nails helps avoid smudges.
- After painting your nails with your desired polish, and while they’re still wet, immerse them in your ice-cold water bath. Hold them there for about a minute. The cold water will cause your nail polish to harden quickly onto your nails.
- Once you remove your nails from the bowl, you’ll see they’re completely dry. You can even rub your nails to double-check – you’ll find no polish comes off, and they won’t smudge or smear.
- Now, you’re ready for your second coat. Repeat the ice water step to quickly dry the second layer.
- Repeat these steps for your other hand, for both your base and top coats.
That’s all there is to it!
Method Two: Use Quick-Drying Nail Products
If you’re shopping for new polish, consider quick-drying nail products as a solution to avoid the ice water technique in the future.
You’ll find many brands and products advertising themselves as “quick-drying.”
You can opt for quick-dry drops. After you’ve applied your top coat, add a couple of drops per nail.
Your nails should dry within a minute! Plus, these products often contain beneficial ingredients like Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E, which help to strengthen and grow your nails.
Alternatively, you can buy quick-drying top coats. These formulas are designed to dry your nails in just a few minutes
These quick-drying top coats are applied after your first coat and expedite the drying process. I personally recommend Seche, a top-rated brand on Amazon.
By gradually replacing your nail polish collection with quick-drying products, you’ll be able to enjoy instantaneous drying in a variety of shades without needing the other two techniques.
Method Three: Use A Hairdryer
This is another practical method, especially since most of us already own a hairdryer and may not have ice cubes readily available.
Here’s how to use a hairdryer to dry your nails:
- Start by applying your base coat or color polish to all the nails on one hand.
- Use the cool air setting on your hairdryer and blow it over your wet nails for approximately 1-2 minutes. The cool air will facilitate rapid drying without drying out the polish.
- Simply repeat the process for your top coat and second hand.
A word of caution: Always make sure your dryer is set to cool air before you begin, and maintain a distance of about 10 inches from your nails.
You don’t want to touch or smudge your fresh polish accidentally.
Using warm air or holding your dryer too close could negatively affect how your polish sets and may potentially harm or irritate your skin.
If you’re as impatient as I am, or if you’re juggling a hectic schedule, these techniques are perfect for speeding up the nail painting process.
In a perfect world, we’d all have a selection of fast-drying nail products.
However, I understand that budget constraints might be a factor, or maybe you just want to dry the nail polishes you already own quickly.
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.