How To Grow Out Acrylic Nails Without Removing Them

A gap forms between the fake nail and the cuticles as the natural nail grows. Fortunately, an acrylic removal procedure at your favorite salon easily fixes the problem. You’ll be in an out of the salon in 20 minutes max.

The only problem is that you may be unprepared to remove the acrylic nails. So, what are your options? How do you conceal the exposed space? Below, we explore several ways to grow out your acrylic nails without removing them.

How to grow out acrylics without removing them

An acrylic fill-in is the simplest way to grow out acrylic nails without removing them. The procedure involves the following;

  • Fill the space at the back of the nail with the same material as the old manicure.
  • Reapply the color and file and shape the nail.
  • Repair any damages to restore the old manicure fully.

How Long does it Take for Acrylic Nails to Grow Out? 

Generally, an acrylic nail lasts 6-8 weeks. However, regrowth begins after 2-3 weeks, depending on your nail growth rate.

For instance, nails grow faster in the younger population. So, you may notice a sizeable gap in the cuticle area within a week. Meanwhile, the growth rate is much slower in older people. It may take up to three weeks to develop a significant gap.

Similarly, certain health and medical conditions impact the regrowth rate. For instance, chemo drugs cause the nails to grow slowly or stop growing. Psoriasis, eczema, and lupus also affect nail growth. Finally, your nails may grow very slowly after a nail bed injury.

Can you just Grow Out Acrylic Nails? 

Unfortunately, it’s impractical to let the acrylic nails grow out forever. You may try for the first 2-4 weeks. But you soon realize that you must do something about it.

For one, the nails easily crack and break if you let them grow out uncontrollably. Moreover, grown-out nails may be too long for your comfort.

Challenges of Grown-Out Acrylic Nails 

The following are some of the main reasons you shouldn’t allow acrylic nails to grow out uncontrollably;

  1. It exposes the real nails: When acrylics grow out, they expose the real nails between the acrylics and cuticles, a gap that expands until you do something about it. Exposed nails create many issues, from aesthetic challenges to health concerns.
  2. Increased risk of nail lifting: As the acrylics overgrow, the adhesive bond between the false and healthy nails dries and weakens. Soon, this causes gaps, eventually causing lifting. The damage is most evident when clenching your fingers.
  3. Increased risk of injuries and infections: Acrylic nail lifting significantly increases the risk of injuries and nail infections. For instance, you may feel pain when making a fist. Similarly, the cracks above provide entry paths for nail fungus and other harmful microorganisms.

How do you Hide Growing Out Acrylic Nails?

There are several ways to hide grown-out acrylics. The following are the best methods to consider;

Solution #1: Negative Space Manicures

Negative space manicures involve applying acrylics while leaving open gaps. That way, overgrowth looks like part of the overall design. It’s a simple and easy-DIY job, thus a wonderful choice if you’re busy.

We recommend negative space manicures for classic French mani-pedis with neutral or transparent polish. The regrowth gap blends neatly into the design when the nails begin to regrow,

Similarly, negative space mani-pedis are perfect for ombre nails with intense colors at the tip that fade to neutrals and nudes as the manicure approaches the base of the nail.

The gradually diminishing colors make the regrowth gap unnoticeable. The same applies to other manicures with concentrated colors at the tips.

Negative space manicures can prolong the life of acrylic nails by up to a month. Indeed, you may squeeze a few more weeks from your mani-pedi if you’re adventurous with your designs.

Solution #2: Fill the Gap with Regular Nail Polish

Regular nail polish is the next best solution to acrylic overgrowth if you don’t like negative manicures.

First, it is cost-effective. So you can apply it regularly without burning a hole in your pocket. For instance, you can apply a regular manicure every 2-3 days. In contrast, gel polish is expensive. Moreover, it’s much easier to work with regular polish than gel colors unless you’re happy to visit the nail salon.

The biggest challenge is complementing or matching the existing colors. But you can always find a way out.

For instance, consider pairing regular polish with acrylic polish if dealing with block colors. Meanwhile, extend the pattern onto the exposed natural nail or select the most dominant color in the design if dealing with a patterned manicure.

Solution #3: Consider Glitter Nail Polish

If you’ve used glitter polish before, you know its transformative potential. Shiny nails restore your self-confidence and are perfect for a bold weekend look. They also stand out at parties and events; ask any celebrity nail artist if you’re in doubt.

So, it’s another worthwhile option for filling acrylic nail overgrowth. Moreover, glitter polish is more adhesive than regular polish. So it makes fewer lumps and bumps. Also, you can count on glitter polish to hide visible lines and cracks, breathing new life into the old manicure.

The best part is that you can apply glitter polish at home if you cannot visit a nail technician. First, wash your nails, then shape them with a file. After that, apply a fine line of glitter along the cuticle line to create a French manicure-like effect.

Another option is bringing the glitter higher up the rest of the acrylic nail, creating a reverse ombre effect.

Solution #4: Apply Cuticle Art to Hide Regrowth

Cuticle art is a relatively modern trend. But it’s spreading faster than a bushfire. A minimalist swipe of polish that hugs the nail bed, it is fun and chic without attracting unnecessary attention. Most importantly, cuticle art is a simple DIY procedure that you can do at home.

Begin with a clean base coat, though a neutral nail polish will do. Then dab a skinny brush in colored polish and apply it along the edge of the cuticle. It’s the perfect way to conceal the exposed space between the acrylic and natural nail.

Interestingly, glitter polish is one of the best products for cuticle art. A skinny stripe has the sparkly effect of a full glitter minus the costs. Alternatively, use regular or gel polish.

Again, go bold or go home. While subtler colors are wonderful for negative space manicures, cuticle art is about making a statement. So, popping colors like blue and pink are a great place to start.

Solution #5: Book a Refill at a Nail Salon

Finally, you can avoid acrylic nail removal by booking a regular refill at your favorite nail salon. It’s simple and highly cost-effective.

During a refill session, the nail technician first files off the existing color and inspects the nail for lifting. A professional salon also inspects the fingernails for bacterial and fungal infections. The technician will advise you accordingly if they catch any issues.

The next step is trimming down the existing acrylics with a nail file. This is optional but helps maintain the original acrylic nail length.

Then the tech makes an acrylic bead and applies it to the exposed area, blending it neatly with the existing acrylic. It takes a few minutes for the refill to harden. Once it does, the technician files and shapes the nails to perfection. Then they apply a fresh coat of color over the entire nail.

How to Touch Up Acrylic Nails at Home 

Yes, you can fill your own nails at home. You need a nail file, buffer, acrylic liquid and powder, and nail polish remover. Also, consider a dehydrator and nail primer. Of course, you also need an acrylic brush.

Here’s how to go about the process once you have the requirements;

  1. Remove the old nail paint: We recommend acetone-free nail polish remover as acetone-based polish removers may dissolve the acrylic nails. Wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in the polish remover. Then rinse the nails with cold water.
  2. Prep the nails: Buff the excess and lifted acrylics at the bottom, beginning with a 180-grit file, then a 200-grit, 220-grit, and finally a 240-grit file. Then push the cuticles.
  3. Prime the nails: Apply a dehydrator to remove excess oil from the nail plate. Then apply a drop of nail primer, spread it using the acrylic brush, and allow it to dry. We recommend 2-3 coats of nail primer for the best results.
  4. Prepare and apply the acrylic bead: Dip the brush in the monomer liquid, then the powder polymer to make a bead. Then apply it evenly on the nail, filling the overgrowth gap. Remember, the goal is evening out the overgrowth gap, not thickening the existing acrylic nail.
  5. Dry, file, and buff the nails: Acrylics dry within 20 minutes at most. After it dries, trim the nails to the desired length and shape them to your preferences. Then buff them with a nail buffer for a shiny appearance.
  6. Paint the nails: This is an important step as it makes the nail uniform. First, apply a base coat. Then apply the main nail polish, and finally, the top coat.
  7. That’s all. Now your nails are as good as new.

How Can I Make My Natural Nails Grow Faster After Acrylics?

Unfortunately, nails grow steadily at about 3.47 mm per month. There isn’t much you can do about it. 

But this doesn’t mean you should do nothing. For instance, a healthy diet ensures healthier, stronger nails that resist chipping and cracking. Thus, you attain the desired length in a shorter time.

Similarly, ensuring optimal nail hygiene prevents nail damage and infections, allowing you to attain the desired length sooner. Also, avoid biting or picking and regularly apply cuticle oil to soothe the nail bed and plate.

Grown Out Acrylic Nails FAQs 

Why do My Acrylic Nails Grow Out So Fast?

No, they don’t. Although it sometimes appears so, natural nails grow at the same rate. For instance, fingernails grow at a tenth of a millimeter daily, translating to 3.47 mm monthly.

The anticipation of a touch-up is the main reason nails grow faster with fake nails. Suddenly, minutes seem like seconds, and days like hours.

How to Fill In Acrylic Nails without Acrylic?

There are a couple of ways to fill acrylic nails without acrylics. The first option is glitter nail polish. It’s rich and chunky, perfectly sealing the exposed nail bed. Cream nail polish is another option.

Use the same color as the acrylics and apply a top coat for a durable manicure. Finally, you can always turn to gel nails.


Overgrowth is no longer a reason to remove acrylic nails. Indeed, it can be an opportunity to try new manicure ideas for strong, healthy, and beautiful nails.

For instance, negative manicures, in-fills, glitter polish, and cuticle art are practical ways to breathe new life into overgrown nails.

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