If you scout through Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media platforms, you’ll find beautiful pictures of acrylic nails.
Of course, your celebrities and influencers are included in the fun too. From the Kardashian sisters, Rihanna, Saweetie, Billie Eilish, etc., the beauty space is going agog with acrylic manicures. From simple to over-the-top nail art designs, acrylic nails will continue to be a staple for manicure lovers.
They offer more longevity than regular polish. Plus, you can rock your full set for weeks without signs of chipping or breaking- that is, if properly maintained. But how long do they last and fall off with time? Let’s answer your questions on all things acrylics.
What are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are artificial nails made from a mix of acrylic powder and liquid monomer combined into a blob of dough and applied to your nails using a brush.
It can be created using the tips or form approach, and once the mixture is applied, it is then sculptured into your desired shape and left to air dry-they don’t require curing with UV light.
To finish it up, it is painted with a base coat, your preferred nail polish color, and a top coat.
They are versatile in shape and length, and if you love intricate designs, your nail manicurist has a larger canvas to work with.
Compared to other artificial nails like gel nails, dip powder nails, press-on nails, etc., acrylic nails are highly durable.
However, acrylic nails can protect your natural nail bed if properly applied. Plus, we strongly discourage use if you are sensitive or reactive to its chemical properties.
How Long do Acrylic Nails Last?
If you have been considering jumping on the acrylic nails trend, you should know that its durability is its selling point. Acrylic nails are an investment of your time and money, and we are sure you want to get your money’s worth.
Thankfully, acrylic nails are exceptionally strong and can last anywhere from six to eight weeks without chipping, lifting, or breaking. However, the longevity of your acrylic nails depends on how you maintain and care for them. Poorly done and maintained nails are more likely to lift, chip, or peel before their time.
Nonetheless, fake acrylic nails require maintenance every two to three weeks to fill in any space or imbalance created by the growth of your natural nails.
How long acrylic nails last varies from one person to another. For example, some people’s natural nails grow more rapidly than others, not forgetting nail biters whose nails may lift a lot sooner than the two weeks mark from biting and picking their nails.
So a professional manicurist must attend to your nails to retain their texture and beauty at least every two weeks.
How Long do Acrylic Nails Last without Fill-ins?
Acrylic nails are extremely durable and last 2-3 weeks without fill-ins. Your nails will start to grow out after that naturally, but the rate at which they do depends on your nail care and maintenance.
If you don’t maintain or care for them properly, your acrylics can lift, chip, or peel sooner than 2-3 weeks.
When natural nails grow, it creates a gap that can easily trap moisture, dirt, or bacteria. As a result, lifting, chipping, or breaking may begin to happen to your nails.
However, to avert any negative effect on your nails, you will need a fill-in to cover the gap created by the natural nail growth.
Not only does a fill improve the appearance of your manicure, but it also helps to extend the life of your acrylic nails.
Furthermore, it reduces the risk of bacterial infection, so we advise you to only go up to three weeks with your fill-in appointment.
How Long do Acrylic Nails Last with Gel?
Acrylic nails with gel polish can last 2-3 weeks. But as with any artificial nail treatment, how long your acrylics with gel lasts is affected by how they were applied and your nail care routine. Also, your gel polish will need to be redone before your acrylic nails.
Your acrylic nails can be painted with gel polish, regular nail polish, or filled with dip acrylic powder.
Aside from the fact that gel polish looks great on your acrylic nails, it also offers long-lasting protection. Although the application process is more time-consuming than regular nail polish, it is worth it.
As you’ve already learned, acrylics can last six to eight weeks. With gel polish, your acrylic manicure will last approximately two weeks.
However, we still emphasize the need for a regular touch-up to have a new coat of gel applied. Visit a professional nail salon to prevent your gel manicure refill from looking blotchy.
Will Expensive Acrylic Nails Last Longer than Cheap Ones?
In the real sense, you may be tempted to opt for expensive acrylic nails and services in the hope of it being more long-lasting. Unfortunately, when it comes to nails, expensive does not always equate to quality.
Unfortunately, many believe the contrary. Many nail salons have capitalized on this wrong notion by selling below-par acrylic products as premium ones.
One major key factor that plays a role in the durability of your artificial nails is the application process.
If your acrylic nails are handled by a professional manicurist using good products, your nails will adhere and last longer than when handled by an amateur. Plus, high-quality acrylics will survive longer than low-quality ones.
What Happens if I Allow My Acrylics Stay for Too Long?
Undoubtedly, acrylic nails are a durable option if you want to add strength, length, and thickness to your natural nails.
But ideally, is it right to let your acrylics stay for too long? Technically you can leave your nails on for a while if done right, but it’s not recommended.
Since even when done right by your manicurists, our daily activities or habits can cause lifting. So it’s best to have them changed or removed every few months.
Truthfully, you don’t want the same artificial layer on for more than three to four months because the longer you let them stay, the thinner they get and leave you at risk of bacteria getting trapped between the artificial layer and your natural nail.
Also, some skin types are very sensitive to the chemical properties used to fix acrylic nails. So, the longer they stay on, the higher the chances of developing an allergic skin reaction which may result in swelling, redness, or itching around the nail.
In worse cases, this reaction can lead to separating the natural nail from your nail bed. We trust you don’t want to experience that.
Another consequence of allowing your acrylics to stay for too long is that the chemicals may dry out your nails’ natural oils, causing your nails to break easily or become brittle.
We understand you want the most value for your investment, but it’s important to know when to draw the line.
What Causes Acrylic Nails to not Last as Long?
Admit it; you get a satisfying feeling when you get your art-themed acrylic nails at your local nail salon.
However, just as happy as you are when you get your acrylic full set, you may feel defeated when they don’t last as long as you thought.
If you are wondering why this happens, here are four reasons:
1. Poor Nail Preparation
Whether you are getting your nails done with nail technicians or doing it yourself at home, your preparation process can influence the durability of your nails.
Acrylics adhere better on spotless nail beds free from dust, cuticle oil, lotions, or grime. Ideally, if you fail to prep your nails by cleaning and removing shine, your nails will not last long.
2. Your Real Nail Condition
The condition of your fingers matters a lot. If you have naturally oily nails, you may experience prematurely lifting faster than those with dry fingers.
Plus, if your nail health wasn’t up to par before getting your acrylics, it may further damage your nails and cause them to have a shorter lifespan.
3. Application Process
If a qualified and experienced nail technician applies correctly, your acrylic nails will last. To this end, we advise you to visit one who knows the dos and don’ts of acrylic application.
4. The Acrylic Products
Bad-quality liquid monomers and powder polymer will harm your nails more than good. Before getting your nails done at the salon, ask about the brand of acrylics they use because poor-quality acrylics will only last for a while.
How to Make your Acrylic Nails Last Longer While Keeping your Natural Nails Healthy
If you are looking for tips on making your acrylic manicure last longer while keeping your real nails healthy, here are a few of our trusted tips.
1. Opt for Short Acrylic Nails
While long nails are aesthetically attractive, it’s best to go for a shorter acrylic manicure. The longer they are, the more likely they are to lift prematurely.
In addition, there is a tendency to have more pressure and strain applied to them during your daily activities.
As a result, your acrylic nails tend to weaken the strength of the glue, causing the nails to lift more quickly.
2. Use Premium Top Coats and Top Up yourself
A top coat will form a hard protective layer over your acrylic nails, protecting against water, detergent, and other harsh chemicals that can wear out your acrylic nails.
Asides from that, it can give your false nails a glossy shine and protect them from getting damaged.
If you can’t go into the salon for a quick top-up, you can do it yourself to make your acrylic nails last longer and stay fresh. If you’ve got your UV lamp at home, just DIY the process to prevent chips and save time and a few dollars.
3. Moisturize your Hands
Keeping your hands and cuticles moisturized daily can lengthen the life of your acrylics.
Regular moisturizing with a hand cream, balm, or cuticle oil helps to keep your nails hydrated and your acrylics intact. Plus, it is perfect for your nails and surrounding skin and prevents them from drying out.
4. Be Careful with Hand Sanitizers
Acrylic manicures can crack if exposed to strong chemicals, and some hand sanitizers have strong chemical properties.
So, while they have become necessary in keeping our hands clean and free of bacteria, they can also break down any coating on your nails. Therefore, it’s best to use sparingly and don’t go overboard with the amount.
5. Wear Gloves when Cleaning
When undertaking chores, ensure that you wear protective gloves. Your cleaning products are usually packed with many chemicals detrimental to your acrylic nails. So, wear gloves to prevent your nails from lifting sooner than expected.
6. Avoid Biting or Picking your Nails
Biting, picking, or cutting your nails can cause them to break, resulting in nasty injuries or, worse, infections.
7. Avoid Pressure on your Nails
Putting pressure on your nails can slowly weaken your set and cause them to lift quicker than usual, so don’t use them as tools.
Activities such as using acrylic nails as a can opener, scratching, scraping, or lifting flat items should be avoided.
Rather we recommend you use the pad of your fingers instead. Plus, if you are very hands-on, you can reserve acrylics for only a special event.
How to Care for Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are a great investment, so why should you mistreat them? You should take proper care of them so they stay longer and fresh. Below are ways you can care for your manicure.
Be Gentle with Them
Remember to be gentle with your nails. A lifted or separated acrylic nail can be painful and damage your nail beds, so don’t use your nails to open hard containers or do tasks that can damage them. To be on the safe side, wear waterproof gloves.
Pick the Right Shape and Length
Consider the work you do when picking out your nail length and shape. Sticking to short nails is best to prevent them from breaking off quickly.
Keep your Nails Dry
Another rule of thumb in caring for your nails is to keep them dry. Too much exposure to water can loosen the adhesive glue, damage your acrylic, and may lead to lifting and fungal infection.
So ensure to dry your nails after every activity that involves water completely.
We cannot emphasize the importance of letting a professional remove your nails. Acetone can cause your acrylic nails to deteriorate and may damage them with time.
We don’t recommend removing acrylic nails yourself, but if you have to, ensure you get an acetone-free nail polish remover. Use alcohol or go to a nail salon to get it properly removed.
Use Cuticle Oil to Keep Your Nail’s Surrounding Skin Healthy
Vitamin E, cuticle oil, and lotions can keep your nails flexible and healthy, preventing them from cracking. If your natural nails constantly dry out, it can weaken your artificial nails. Do well to keep them moisturized.
If Damage Occurs, Avoid Fixing It Yourself
In case of any damage, accidental chipping, or splitting of your acrylics, don’t be tempted to repair them yourself. You may further damage your nails or complicate the process.
As you’ve learned, damaged acrylic nails can increase the risk of infection, so ensure you go to your nail technician, who can use clean tools to solve the problem.
Do Acrylic Nails Fall Off?
Acrylic nails can fall off weeks or months after application, depending on the circumstances. The adhesive bond to your natural nails may weaken and fall off on its own.
This happens when they have been on your real nails for an extended period beyond their lifespan, and the nail glue has dissolved or becomes too weak.
Other reasons that could cause this include your daily activities, failure to apply a primer, incorrect use of acrylic tips, poor application, poor sizing, and poor glue quality.
The technique is everything when it comes to professional manicure application and aftercare maintenance.
Therefore, while acrylics can fall off on their own, you do not want this to happen because the underlying nail may become damaged, causing discomfort or even bleeding.
So we advise you to go to a reputable nail technician to prevent your nail from falling off prematurely.
How Long do Acrylic Nails Last Before they Fall Off?
Depending on your preference, a gel manicure is great, but a full set of acrylic is durable and long-lasting. However, as we’ve mentioned, they can fall off due to varying circumstances.
If you do a lot of activities with your hands or participate in sporting activities, your nails can fall off any time from two to three weeks.
So it’s best to go to a professional for a refill or total removal before they fall off and hurt your nail bed.
To repair them a tiny bit before your refill appointment, use nail glue from a drugstore to reattach the acrylic at the point of separation.
If you are looking to have your nails looking perfect for several weeks, then without a doubt, acrylics are your plug. Not only are they sturdy, but they are also very fashionable.
You can rock your set for six to eight weeks; however, depending on your nail growth, we recommend you follow through with regular upkeep and maintenance.
In addition, you can follow our tips to make them last longer while retaining their quality.