How To Shorten Acrylic Nails At Home

Do you have long acrylic nails causing you to type slowly on your keyboard? Can’t you pick things up easily or get in the way of your daily activities? If yes, then you’re not alone.

Many of us struggle from time to time with having too lengthy fake nails. So, we sometimes wonder how they shorten them properly. 

Well, don’t worry because if you’ve wanted to shorten them at home without making salon visits but need help figuring out where to start, this blog is right for YOU.

In this post, we will discuss what tools are needed and essential steps to cut down a set of acrylic nails so that your DIY nail project turns out just as expectedly perfect as if done professionally.

Why do you need to Cut Your Acrylic Nails?

There are a few reasons why you may want to shorten your acrylic nails. First, since acrylic nails can be very long, they may interfere with tasks like typing on a keyboard or using the phone for prolonged periods.

Additionally, you are doing manual work such as gardening or dishwashing. In that case, excessively long artificial nails can make any process challenging.

Besides, your acrylic nails may lift or come off if left too long, so cutting them can be a good way to avoid further cracking or chipping.

Can you Cut Acrylic Nails?

Yes, you can cut acrylic nails by yourself at home. Importantly, you should do it every two weeks.

Besides, you must use the right tools and follow the proper technique. With patience and extra caution, cutting your acrylic nails is possible even without going to a salon.

To cut your acrylic nails at home, you will need a good pair of nail clippers, sharp scissors, and some buffer blocks to file down the edges of your real nails.

With the right tools, you can easily trim acrylic nails and enjoy the perfect length and shape that is comfortable for your everyday routine.

Cutting vs. Filing Acrylic Nails

The two most common methods of shortening acrylic nails are filing or cutting them. While both methods will provide the desired result, there are some differences.

Cutting your acrylic nails means snipping them off with sharp scissors or nail clippers. 

This method is usually faster and easier than filing them, but it can make your acrylic nails have rough edges. Therefore, you must be careful when cutting your acrylic nails and always use sharp tools.

Filing your acrylic nails involves running a regular nail file over the surface of the gel polish until they achieve the desired length. 

Filing is slower than cutting but much less dangerous. It is also more accurate and produces a smooth, even surface.

No matter your chosen method, it’s important to be careful when shortening acrylic nails. Always use sharp tools, take your time, and apply gentle pressure so that you don’t overcut or break the nail tips.

Is It Possible to Shorten Acrylic Nails At Home?

Yes, it is possible to shorten your acrylic nails at home if you have the right tools and follow a few key steps. The best way to do this is by using sharp nail clippers or scissors, an emery board, and buffer blocks.

Make sure to take extra caution when cutting your nails and to file them down so that you get the desired length and shape without damaging your nails.

Following these tips will help ensure you can easily shorten acrylic nails at home without hassle.

Cutting at Home vs. Going to a Nail Salon

Despite their best efforts, it is difficult for nail salons to maintain complete cleanliness constantly. Tools are a prime case in point.

Even if they have been sanitized with powerful antiseptics or exposed to UV light, bacteria can still live on them. 

For those reasons, cutting your acrylic nails at home can be safer and more affordable. You don’t need to spend money on going to the nail salon, and you can take your time to make sure it is done correctly.

Additionally, cutting your acrylic nails at home provides an extra layer of personal hygiene. When you control the tools and environment, there is less chance of potentially infecting your nails and skin.

How Can you Cut Acrylic Nails At Home?

Once you want to cut your acrylics at home, you must ensure that you have the right tools and materials and use the proper techniques. 

Let’s explore the tools you need and the techniques to follow.

File for Short Nails and Clipper for Long Nails

You should have two items in your arsenal to achieve perfect nails: a nail file for shorter fingernails and clippers for longer ones. These allow you to trim and shape the length as desired while smoothing out any jagged edges.

Nail files are best for short nails since they are more precise and cannot overcut the tips. They are also less likely to cause any damage. 

Clippers are the perfect tool for cutting long nails, as they have a curved edge that allows you to trim them easily. But don’t let their effectiveness fool you; if your clippers become dull, they can cause harm and damage your nails by crushing them when used!

Techniques to be Used

Once you have the right tools, you can start cutting your acrylic nails. Here are some techniques to consider:

Cut in a V Shape

You can trim the edges in an upside-down V shape for significantly shorter nails and then cut down the center. If that isn’t enough for your ideal length, finish by filling it with a motorized nail grinder.

Cut from the Outer Corners

To ensure minimal breakage, begin trimming by clipping off only the ends of the nail from each outer corner. Subsequently, start cutting or filing no more than a few millimeters along one edge and repeat on the other side.

Once both edges are trimmed, you can safely clip across the entire width of your nails as there is no further resistance.

Cut a Little at a Time

Cutting them less than you initially intended when trimming your nails is best. It is because filing and shaping will cause you to take off more length than you expect.

Techniques to be Avoided

Now, let’s go over the techniques to avoid while shortening your nails:

Cutting the Too Much Nail Length

It would be best to cut only a few millimeters of your nails at a time. Cutting too much length can cause damage to the nail bed and leave them prone to infection.

The Vertical Crack Method

This technique requires you to insert a small flat object between the nail and the skin and crack it to break off the excess length.

It can cause your nails to become brittle and break at the tips. Additionally, it can leave sharp edges that are difficult to file down.

Using Dull Nail Clippers

Using dull clippers will crush your nails and may cause them to split or break at the tips. Therefore, it is essential to use sharp clippers sanitized with alcohol to reduce the risk of infection.

How To Shorten Acrylic Nails at Home

Once you have read and understood the abovementioned techniques, you can shorten your acrylic nails at home. Here is a simple guide that you can follow to shorten your nails:

Step 1: Decide How Much you Want to Shorten your Nails

The first step is to decide how long you want to take off. Make sure to cut only a little, or your nails may become weak and brittle. 

If you don’t want to trim too much of your nails, a nail file is a way to go – no clippers needed.

If you are still determining the desired length when trimming your nails, start with a modest cut and slowly file acrylic nails down further if necessary.

This way, you can achieve whatever look or manicure style that suits your needs without taking away too much at once.

Step 2: Start the Process From the Outer Corners

Once you have determined the desired length, start filing or trimming your nails from the outer corners.

Start by clipping off only the ends of the nail and then proceed to cut or file no more than a few millimeters along one edge and then the other.

To get a perfect nail finish, angle the clippers diagonally upwards towards the center of each nail, creating a slight point at its base.

Step 3: Use your Fingers to Pull and Remove the Cut Tip

After finishing each nail, you may use your fingers to pull and remove the cut tip gently. To remove the part you’ve cut, try carefully tugging or bending it back. 

Yet if your nail begins to crack vertically while doing so, instantly stop and see a nail technician instead.

Step 4: Thin Your Nails

To thin your nails, you may use a nail buffer. Start from the center and work your way outwards back to the sides in small circular motions. It will help to even out the thickness of your nails and make them look more natural.

Step 5: Smooth Out Serrated Edges

Once all the excess nail length has been trimmed, use a fine-grit file to smooth out any serrated edges. Make sure not to file them too much, as this can weaken your natural nails and cause them to break. 

When you’re looking to cut down your acrylic nails in a hurry, use a coarse file (100 grit) for quick results.

Alternatively, if you want more control over the trimming process and finer shaping of your nail edges, opt for a medium-grit file board between 180 and 220.

Step 6: File the Tips to your Desired Shape

Now that you have successfully trimmed down your nails, use a nail file to give them the desired shape. Choose from a square, round, oval, or almond-shaped nail shape. 

If you want to file your nails into a rounded shape, make sure that the base of the nail is slightly pointed.

Step 7: Clean your Hands

You may feel fine dust on your fingers after filing acrylic. To avoid an uneven finish while painting your nails, rinse the residue with warm water before you begin. 

Additionally, ensure that they are completely dry not to trap moisture underneath and cause chips or lifting in the nail polish. Remember to apply some cuticle oil.

Step 8: Apply a Top Coat

To help protect your acrylic nails, apply a clear top coat to seal in color and keep them looking fresh longer. A thicker top coat is better than a thin one as it will provide additional strength and protection.

Give your nails a finishing touch by adding an extra layer of the top coat along the outer edge. It will guarantee strength and durability and cover up any minor flaws caused by trimming or shaping – beautifying your manicure!

Step 9: Let the Polish Dry

Allow your acrylic nail to dry completely for a minimum of 20 minutes, ideally up to an hour, in order not to imprint any smudges or dents. It is the key step if you wish your natural nail results to remain flawless and intact!

Final Thoughts

Trimming and filing down acrylic nails can be a tricky process. Still, with the right tools and technique, you can quickly achieve salon-quality results at home, keep your nails healthy, and improve their overall appearance! 

The key to a successful trim is to start small and go slow. Then, follow the steps outlined above for a perfect finish every time. Then, with patience and practice, you can nail the art of shortening your acrylic nails! 

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