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Why Do Acrylic Nails Hurt The First Day? [Top 10 Reasons]

If you have recently had acrylic nails applied on top of your natural nails, you may be wondering why they hurt at first. Particularly, why they are painful the very first day following application. Even if you have them done at a professional salon what can be the causes of this? I

So, why do acrylic nails hurt the first day? The majority of the time it is due to the way your natural nails were prepared and how the acrylics were applied. Fortunately, this pain will be relieved the next morning or so. If this pain lasts for an extended period your nails may have incurred damage and it is advised to seek out another salon in the future.

Understand that regardless of whether you got your nails done professionally or not, discomfort is usually experienced immediately after application.

Fortunately, this pain will be relieved the next morning or so.

Acrylic nails hurt on the first day for many reasons, and in the following sections,

I will discuss some important factors that influence this pain.

Your Natural Nails Have Been Filed Down

To position acrylics on natural nails, technicians will use several specialized tools. They will need to file to smooth and flatten the natural nails to ensure a good fit.

But if you’re not used to having your nails filed down to such an extent, you will feel a bit of discomfort and heightened sensitivity.

If your artificial nails are not well-fitting, technicians can file your nails almost to their base, which can cause you slight discomfort after you have your artificial nails done.

It should be noted, however, that this discomfort will eventually disappear as the natural nail accumulates its base and becomes denser.

Sometimes nail technicians can file too far. This is usually the result of getting a treatment done by a technician with a lack of experience.

It is therefore very important that you check out reviews of nail salons and not just always opt for the cheapest one.

Do your research, and if you notice that this issue persists, consider changing the salon.

The Acrylic Is A Bit Thick

When your technician applies acrylic to natural nails, and the tip of the nail, a little bit of acrylic is all that is really required.

However, some nail techniques apply too much product, making acrylics thicker than necessary.

If your acrylic nails are on the thicker side, they may cause you some discomfort on the first day until you get used to having them attached to your natural nails.

Your Nail Technician May Have Applied Too Much Pressure When Applying Your Nails

It is not uncommon to meet a nail technician with a heavy hand.

When a nail technician is heavy, they can apply a little too much pressure on your nails.

It’s not something they intentionally do, but the extra pressure can make you uncomfortable after you make your acrylic nails.

If you feel too much pressure when you have your nails done, be sure to say this and let your nail technician know before they continue to do your nails.

You Are Not Used to Having Something on Your Nail Bed

If you don’t get your nails done often, you will simply not be used to having something heavier on your nail bed.

Those who wear acrylics regularly will generally not experience the discomfort.

So if you are new to this treatment, consider that it will feel different as your natural nails now have a barrier that covers them.

Even if it feels a little weird, you should start getting used to acrylic in a day or two.

Your Cuticles Were Recently Pushed and Plucked

Some people feel pain after getting acrylics because their cuticles were pushed and plucked.

The nail technician usually pushes the cuticles to make room for the acrylic powder that is applied to the natural nail bed.

When the cuticles are pushed, and the extra skin on the side of your nails is pulled off, it can lead to some sensitivity on that first day.

Its always a good idea to liberally apply a cuticle oil before and after having acrylics done. This will help your natural nails strengthen. Here is the best natural product on Amazon.

You Have Naturally Thin Nails

Some people have naturally thin nails, while others have naturally thicker nails.

If you know that your nails are very thin, it is possible that your thin nails are not used to acrylic.

The extra pressure of having a nail tip and acrylic on the top of your natural nail bed could leave you a little uncomfortable for a day.

Glue Can Irritate Your Nails

Nail technicians must ensure that they use the right type of glue when applying the tip of the nail to the nail bed.

Some types of glues can easily irritate the nail bed, causing discomfort.

As long as you are not allergic to the glue used by the nail technician, you should not have any problems. The irritation should only last a few hours.

The Drying Process Can Take Time

You will need to have your nails hardened when you apply gel varnish to acrylics.

However, the hardening process takes time. During the first few hours, as your nails heal at home after your visit to the salon, you may feel some discomfort.

Your Nail Technician May Have Been A Little Too Hard on Your Nails

Many times, you may have had the experience of your nail technician exerting too much pressure on your nails, and other times, some of the technicians are just a little rough.

Even if they have been in the profession for years, and understand the ins and outs of applying acrylic nails, sometimes they rush to get the job done quickly. This can make them a little rough.

While you are having your nails done, if you feel your nail technician is too rough or you feel uneasy, then you should communicate the same the very moment you feel it.

This is not only to express your discomfort but also to ensure that your natural nails do not cause you any pain after your acrylic nails have been done.

Acrylics Can Cause a Tightening Sensation That Hurts Some People at First

It is fairly common for you to feel a tight fit, and even discomfort, when your technician glues a nail tip to your natural nails in order to attach acrylic to them.

The tightness you may experience occurs mainly for the primary reason that after the application of the glue, the nails must be pressed firmly down on your natural nails so that the acrylic covers the first half (front half) of the natural nail completely.

This is done before acrylic powders can be applied to the nails. If you experience a tightening sensation or any other type of discomfort, be assured that it will disappear within hours.


Acrylic nails are gorgeous and offer an attractive aesthetic change. However, it is important to understand how they will feel once they have initially been applied.

There are many reasons why you can experience pain because of having acrylic nails done. It is better to understand the cause and make sure that it does not become a prolonged and recurring problem.

If you are new to acrylics, then the pain you experience may be due to you adapting to how they feel and having extensions applied to your natural nail.

Otherwise, it could be an issue with the technician/salon as outlined in some of the ten most common reasons listed above.

If you continue to see the same nail technician and you notice that your nail technician is applying too much pressure or is a little too rough with your nails, be sure to talk about it or move to another salon.

As long as you communicate with your nail technician about what feels okay and what feels too much, you should not have a problem.

And, if you feel that every time you get acrylics they feel uncomfortable, consider getting yourself and applying a heating pad to your hands for soothing relief.

They are available for an excellent price on Amazon.