Do you sometimes feel your nails grow faster when wearing acrylics? You’re not alone. Indeed, we’ve received thousands of queries from concerned clients seeking ways to “slow down” their acrylic nail growth.
So, is it true? Do your nails grow faster with acrylic or other artificial nails? If so, why? Also, what can you do about it? We answer these and other related questions below.
Why do nails grow faster with acrylics?
Surprisingly, natural nails don’t grow faster with acrylics. It’s an illusion resulting from longer acrylic nails. Long artificial nails sitting over short natural nails create the false impression that your nails are longer.
On the contrary, healthy and strong human nails grow at a standard rate of 1/8-inch per month, whether you rock natural or artificial nails.
Does Acrylic Help Nails Grow?
No, acrylics don’t help the natural nails to grow. Indeed, acrylics don’t improve the natural nails at all. Instead, they may damage your natural nails.
The only way artificial nails “help” actual nails is protection. This is especially true if you have short, brittle nails. Installing an acrylic set over the weak nails offers a hard, protective layer, shielding them from injuries and external damage.
A few products used alongside acrylic nails may help boost nail growth and reduce the risk of nail damage or stunted nail growth. For instance, some nail polishes contain nourishing and conditioning agents that support the proteins necessary for strong, healthy nails.
Similarly, some nail salons apply nail strengtheners during mani-pedi. Healthy nail hardeners containing vitamins B and E and amino acids strengthen the nail, reducing the risk of cracking or breaking.
Finally, regularly applying and massaging cuticle oil on your nails, cuticles, and the surrounding skin rehydrates and soothes the nails for healthy growth.
Do your Natural Nails Grow Under Acrylics?
Yes, your natural nails continue growing even when you wear acrylics or gel nails. This is why a small gap gradually forms in the cuticle area, exposing the natural nail. Regularly fill this gap for a uniform nail.
If your natural nails aren’t growing under the acrylics, there’s a problem. The most common issue is injury. Nail trauma, such as nail bed damage when removing the last artificial nails, may damage nail cells, stunting or impeding nail growth.
Alternatively, you should check your health and hygiene. For instance, do you lack certain nutrients? A lifestyle change may also interfere with the uptake of certain nutrients, causing stunted nail growth.
Finally, stress and chemotherapy may slow the growth of natural nails underneath acrylics. Speak to your dermatologist to pinpoint the issue.
How Fast do Acrylic Nails Grow Out?
Acrylic nails begin to grow out after 2-3 weeks. So it’s usually two weeks later. However, it can be longer than three weeks if you have stunted nail growth or a specific problem slowing down your nail growth.
As false nails outgrow, they open a small gap in the cuticle area, exposing your natural nail. It’s advisable to fill the gap to ensure uniform nails and protect the delicate nail plate.
Fortunately, acrylic fill-ins are quick and straightforward. The best idea is to visit your favorite nail salon, where the process takes under 25 minutes, including filing and buffing the fake nails. According to the latest industry reports, the average cost of acrylic nail fills in the US is $29.9.
Alternatively, you can fill your acrylics yourself. In that case, apply regular nail polish in the open gap, allow it to cure, and file and buff it to match the rest of the nail.
Then apply nail art (if necessary) and cuticle oil. For a top coat, you can use gel nail polish, dip powder, or poly gel.
Why do Nails Grow Faster with Acrylic
Natural nails don’t grow faster with acrylics. Instead, they appear to grow faster. However, the growth rate is the same whether you wear acrylics.
The illusion of your natural nails growing faster with acrylics depends on several factors. First, during the prep work, the nail technician trims the nail and pushes back the cuticles. This triggers “accelerated” nail growth to replace the lost tissue.
However, this process isn’t unique to acrylic nail users. Instead, it happens every time the nail loses tissue. It’s similar to the skin recovering after a cut. The tissue regenerates “faster” to heal the wound and restore organ function.
Acrylic nails grow faster because most acrylics are longer than natural nails. Rarely do we match the two. But your brain sees the acrylics as your real nails. So, the nails appear to grow faster.
Finally, healthy nails may grow faster if the technician applies strengtheners and growth-boosting products to the nail area during acrylic application.
For instance, nail varnishes and strengtheners containing coconut oil enhance nail growth. You can also shop for nourishing nail creams. They fight brittle nails, indirectly boosting nail growth.
Another option is nutrient-packed nail nourishers. For instance, several brands offer biotin-loaded products that provide the critical vitamin directly to the nail for improved health and growth rate. In addition, biotin improves nail strength, thickness, and hardness.
Do Acrylic Nails Ruin your Nails when they Grow?
Generally, no. Acrylic nails don’t inhibit natural nail growth. For instance, a few false nail users often wonder if thicker acrylic nails impede the breathability of the natural nail underneath. But, again, no, it doesn’t.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that human nails are safe from acrylic nails. On the contrary, you should regularly inspect your acrylic and real nails to ensure everything is fine.
For example, damage to the nail plate or nail bed can impact natural nail growth. The nails become stunted if the damage affects the blood veins underneath. Similarly, infections arising from poor nail prepping can affect nail regrowth.
Harsh nail chemicals can also ruin your natural nails and impede their growth. For instance, wearing gel polish for a long time renders the nails weak, brittle, and unable to support a regular growth rate.
How to Stop Acrylic Nails from Growing so Fast?
Unfortunately, there’s no scientific way to stop or slow nail growth. So, you have to get used to the new reality.
However, there are a few other ways to deal with fast-growing nails;
- Avoid acrylic nails: If the “fast” nail growth impacts your life substantially, the best solution is to avoid acrylic nails. Consider alternative false nails, like regular nail polish, or rock natural nails.
- Install short acrylic nails: Match the length and shape of the acrylic and natural fingernails. That way, the natural nails grow at the same rate as the acrylic nails.
- Shorten acrylic nails: Yes, you can trim back acrylic nails. Use sharp clippers and cut them back to the desired length. Then file the tips and buff your nails.
What to do with Overgrown Acrylic Nails
You can deal with grown-out acrylic nails in two ways – remove them or fill them. Fortunately, both processes take under 30 minutes at the nail salon.
But we recommend acrylic fill-ins every 2-3 weeks as they’re quicker and more cost-effective. Also, you can apply a fill-in at home to save salon costs. The process is similar to applying acrylics but shorter;
- Use nail polish to remove the old paint
- Wash the nails and buff them to a smooth texture
- Apply 1-3 coats of nail primer over the old acrylics and natural nail
- Apply a new acrylic coat to the exposed area and shape it
- Allow the nails to dry
- Apply nail polish
- Apply cuticle oil to keep your nails healthy
How to Cut Acrylic Nails without Messing them Up?
Many people trim back their acrylic nails during fill-ins. However, you can do it at home for convenience and to save costs.
Here’s how to cut your acrylic nails without damaging them;
- Decide how long you want your acrylic nails.
- Position the nail clippers on the outside of the nail.
- Cut the nail tip inward, towards the center
- Mirror the cut on the other side of the nail.
- Pull the loose nail tip with your fingers to remove it.
- Thin out the nails using a nail file or motorized grinder.
- Smooth out the jagged edges with a nail file.
- File the nail tips into the desired shape using a 180-200 grit nail file.
- Rinse the nails with running water to remove acrylic nail dust. Then let the nails dry.
- Apply a thin layer of nail polish to provide a protective barrier.
- Allow the nail to air-dry.
Other Ways to Get My Nails to Grow Fast
Occasionally we long for faster nail growth, perhaps to cover cracks and damages or to rock longer nails. Thankfully, you can take a few steps to accelerate nail growth;
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet rich in cysteine, folate, biotin, and zinc improves nail growth. Also, consider vitamin A and C-rich foods. Fruits and green vegetables are choke-full of these nutrients.
- Avoid picking, biting, or pushing your nails: Pushing or trimming the cuticles stunts nail growth. Similarly, avoid biting your nails.
- Avoid harsh soaps and cleaners: Exposing your hands to harsh chemicals, solvents, and soaps pull natural oils from your nails and damages the all-important keratin.
- Moisturize the nails regularly: Cuticle oil and moisturizers hydrate the nails and surrounding skin. A hydrated nail bed supports faster nail growth.
- Be wary of artificial nails: Gel nails and acrylics are beautiful. However, they can damage your nails. For instance, prepping the nails for acrylics leaves the nail plate thin, brittle, and bereft of life. So, avoid false nails for faster natural nail growth.
- Consider valuable supplements: If you type “fingernail supplement” on Amazon, hundreds of results appear. These products are rich in keratin and biotin, ensuring faster nail growth and stronger, healthier nails.
Acrylic nails appear to grow faster than natural nails. However, this is an illusion. Instead, healthy nails grow at the same rate or about 1/8-inch per month.
Nonetheless, a few factors, like biotin-rich supplements, can enhance nail growth. Similarly, a healthy diet rich in vitamins also boosts nail growth and development.