How To Cut Natural Nails Under Acrylics

While we all love the beauty and glam of acrylic nails, they aren’t without a few snags. Your natural nails continue to grow underneath your faux nail, making your acrylic set look not so glamorous- if not cared for.

It’s only a natural occurrence when your nails grow out, so don’t be shocked. However, they tend to get really long, dirty, and annoying to deal with.

Unsurprisingly, the more your natural nails grow underneath, the more food, dirt, and bacteria can hide beneath.

Getting rid of nail growth is essential in keeping your nails as healthy as possible. So, if you’re wondering how to cut your grown-out natural nails, then stay with us.

Do your Natural Nails Grow Under Acrylics?

Like gel polish and other nail enhancements, your natural nails continue to grow under acrylics. However, the hard coating of your acrylics helps protect your natural nails from daily wear and tear while they grow. Contrary to false beliefs, your nails don’t grow faster with acrylic on.

As your natural fingernails gain length, so do your fake nails. But, unfortunately, the bitter truth- is junk and dirt can get stuck under easily, and you don’t want your fingers to look poorly groomed.

So if you want your natural nails to remain short and clean underneath, you’ll need to trim them or hit the nail salon regularly.

What Causes Natural Nail to Separate from the Acrylic at the Free Edge?

Another major bummer with natural nails growing out of acrylics is that they don’t grow out perfectly straight. Rather, it grows in a lower arch or c-curve shape.

If you notice, the bond weakens, and your nail begins to separate from the acrylic nail at the free edge or corners of the free edge.

Unfortunately, not only does this look tacky, but the separation can also create a gap that traps germs, crumbs, water, etc.

Other times, the problem may just be an error in your nail technician’s preparation and application of the acrylic.

Moisture, improper filing, poor shaping technique, and the length of the acrylic nails being too long for your natural nails could all be contributory factors.

What Happens when your Nails Grow Under Acrylics? 

There’s no denying that your natural nail can grow under acrylic. However, if the acrylic is not applied correctly, it can damage your natural nails.

When your natural nails grow out, your acrylics will mount pressure on the nail underneath, making them weak. Your long nails begin to feel sore, and if the acrylic nails start to lift, they can pull your natural nails along.

You don’t want to imagine the pain that comes with it. Let’s remember the annoying gap it leaves between the cuticles and the bottom of the nail, which can allow moisture to collect and bacteria to grow.

How To Cut Natural Nails Under Acrylics

Cutting real nails under acrylic is a delicate process that can be time-consuming. However, we’ve compiled simple ways to achieve this process without hurting yourself.

You will need nail clippers, a file (optional), or an electric nail drill. We explain both methods below.

Step-by-Step Guide Using a Nail Clipper

  • Firstly, before cutting, think of how much you want to take off. How short do you want to go? Easy, start with a tad bit and see how it goes.
  • Then, if your real nails are long and thick, break off the tips to make them thinner and easier to cut.
  • With the help of an orange stick or cuticle pusher, carefully push back your acrylic to create a gap between the acrylic and your natural nails. That way, you can see where you are cutting.
  • Next, use a sharp nail clipper to clip the excess nails into your desired length. P.S. when clipping, try to avoid clipping too close to the edge of the acrylic, as it can cause lifting.
  • After cutting away the excess nail, use a nail file to smoothen any rough edges.
  • Finally, add a drop of quality cuticle oil to your nails and coat it on your skin.

Steps on Using an Electric Nail Drill to Trim Grown-out Natural Nails

If a small nail clipper is not going under your artificial nails or there are chances of cramping your style, try using an electric drill.

Now, if you are a beginner, you have multiple chances of hurting yourself. The best option should be to go for your regular maintenance appointment.

However, follow these steps if you are a DIY queen and can’t wait until your next appointment.

You will need an electric nail drill and a needle bit for this process. If you own a carbide bit, you can use that too.

  • First, clean your nails thoroughly with antibacterial soap and warm water before starting, as you don’t want to deal with infections.
  • Set the electric drill at a slow rotating speed- you don’t want to harm your cuticles.
  • Next, slowly buff out the real nails, starting from the middle before working to the top.
  • Then work slowly and dust off residues so you can see the progress.
  • Repeat the process till you feel a smooth surface.

How do you Keep Natural Nails Clean Under Acrylics?

The artificial nail can have your fingers looking gorgeous and groomed. However, dirt and oil can easily accumulate under acrylics when your nails grow out.

So you need to keep your natural nails and the acrylic clean to be sure bacteria and fungus don’t get under them.

The good news is cleaning dirt out of your real nails is very easy. Here are pro tips to guide you.

  • Firstly, you need a soft-bristle brush, an alcohol cleanser, two Q-tips per hand, and your desired nail moisturizer oil.
  • Next, wash your antibacterial soap and warm water to eliminate accumulated dirt and oil.
  • You can also use a soft-bristle toothbrush or nail brush in circular motions to remove dirt.
  • Then, start by rubbing alcohol on your Q-tip or cotton swab. Then rotate it around your cuticle area and nails to clean dirt.
  • Next, use a cuticle pusher to remove dirt and debris from your nails.
  • Don’t soak in pure acetone.
  • Follow up by applying some nail oil, lotion, or cream to moisturize your hands.

That’s it. Your nails will be clean and tidy again. You can repeat this process every day to avoid infections. But if you have difficulty keeping your nails healthy, it may be time to visit your nail tech.

Can Nails Grow Healthy Under Acrylics?

You may be wondering if your stunning set of acrylics with beautiful nail art will prevent your real nail from growing healthy.

On the contrary, your nails can grow healthy under acrylic- if well cared for. Plus, when you wear acrylics, the hard coating of acrylic will protect your real nails while they grow.

However, coming across bad nail technicians who lack experience may do your nails more harm than good.

Regardless, you owe it to yourself to keep your nails clean after daily activities and stay hydrated to prevent your nails from becoming dry and brittle.

How to Keep your Nails Healthy With Acrylics

While clear acrylic can be super fun, dirt and grime make them a nightmare. Cleaning your nails is the best way to avoid breakage, nail damage, germs, and infections. Wash your hands with antibacterial soaps and ensure they are fully dry.

Moisture can cause your artificial nails to lift and encourage the growth of bacteria, germs, and fungi. You can also wear gloves when washing or using chemical cleansers.

As your nails grow, consider going for a touch-up every 3-4 weeks. If you notice any break, crack or separation, request salon visits. Also, don’t attempt to pull out your acrylics; instead, go to a nail technician to remove them safely.

Finally, remember to allow your nails to breathe. In your desire to always have the perfect nails, allow some time for your nails to regenerate before wearing new acrylic. Remember to moisturize your hands as well.

The Best Solution for Damaged Nails

It’s common sense that when you wear acrylics, it can be hard on your nails. It can be a lot from the chemicals in the product used to apply the nails to the acetone used to soak the nails to remove them.

This is why you must give your nails the much-needed rest it deserves. Time without artificial nails gives your nail plate and bed a chance to repair themselves.

Getting your natural nails healthy again after acrylic or during a break is relatively simple. But, again, you can protect your hands by wearing waterproof gloves when doing chores that require you to get your hands wet. That way, you reduce the amount of water in your nails.

Give your nails some TLC by moisturizing them with your preferred oil. Vaseline, cuticle oil, and coconut oil are excellent choices for deep absorption into your nail and skin.

Also, gently buff and harden your nails with a base coat that contains gelatin matrix for the best results.

Final Thoughts

Your nails are not just a beauty statement. They can also tell a lot about your overall health.

While wearing acrylics can hide our nail flaws and give them an attractive look, your natural nails can be damaged if not cared for.

So, ensure you trim your real nails often to avoid a build-up of dirt, oil, bacteria, and other nasties. 

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