How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

Red and black art design on nails. Isolated.
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Are you thinking of getting acrylic nails? Girl, let me tell you about how gorgeous they can be! You can get them in a variety of colors and designs.

Plus, you’ll be able to extend the length of your nails if you wanted to. Get them in various shapes as well.

But how long do acrylic nails last? How long will you enjoy having beautiful nails that make you just so happy when you see them?

Typically, you can expect your acrylic nails to last for approximately three weeks. After that, you’ll need to get a fill-in or a new set of nails.

How long it will last will depend on the individual that’s wearing them. There are things that could make them last longer and could ruin them before you hit the average mark.

From one acrylic nail fan to another, let me help you make your acrylic nails last longer. Here are some of the things you should know.


How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?

Acrylic Nails

What’s the main reason why you want acrylic nails? Is it due to the flexibility when it comes to design?

Or are you like most of us who would want our well-manicured nails to last longer? Typically, regular lacquer polish will only last for about two to three days without chipping.

Acrylic nails are known to be the best type of nail for those who want a manicure that lasts.

You can typically get acrylic nails at your favorite salon or beauty supply store and have them applied in just a few minutes.

They will take around 15-30 minutes before they’re dry enough to be used.

The nails should last you around 2-4 weeks (depending on the individual).

To keep them looking fresh, you can get a fill-in when they start to grow out after around two weeks.

Things To Avoid To Make Acrylic Nails Last Longer

Acrylic Nails

Do you want your nails to last as long as possible? Or do you tend to ruin your acrylic nails prematurely?

You can definitely make your nails last longer if you avoid the following:

Improper Nail Preparation

Do you do your own acrylic nails or are you going to a professional nail technician? Either way, proper nail preparation is essential to making your acrylic nails last longer.

Avoid filing or clipping your nails in the wrong way before you have the acrylic applied.

Buffing the nail surface should be done in order to remove any oils that could have settled in the surface. Doing so will help the acrylic nails stick better.

After buffing and filing, the excess dust should be removed using a brush so that it doesn’t affect the adhesive.

If you already have acrylic nails, it is crucial to carefully check if there are lifting issues. In such cases, it should be repaired first before filling in.

Applying Pressure On The Acrylic Nails By Improperly Using Them

If you don’t want your nails to lift or break then avoid applying too much pressure on them. This should be done by making sure that the acrylic nails are only used for what they are designed for.

For example, using these nails to open cans could cause scratches along their surface which could lead to serious damage.

The same goes when using nails to scratch hard surfaces.

Doing so could ruin them before they have a chance to last for an average of 3 weeks. I know it can be disappointing to see your nails showing signs of damage. But remember that you might be the reason for that.

Although acrylic nails are durable, they are not indestructible. They can still break or scratch when used improperly.

Water Exposure For Prolonged Periods Of Time

Water exposure is another thing that can affect the durability of your acrylic nails. Acrylic nails are durable because they are less flexible compared to gel nails.

However, that makes them susceptible to lifting. When the nails get wet from washing dishes, washing hair, etc., they soften up and expand a little. After they dry, they harden again and become compact.

Repeated cycles of soaking and drying of the nails could loosen the adhesive.

Although the acrylic nails may not completely pop off at the same time, there may be lifted areas on the edges or sides.

If it is not immediately repaired, it could cause total damage of the acrylic nails or worse, it could cause nail infection. If your fingernails smell bad, that’s a bad sign.

What To Do To Prolong Acrylic Nails

Acrylic Nail Art

Now that you know what to avoid, it is now time to take note of what you can do to prolong your acrylic nails.

Properly Select The Length And Size Of Your Nails

You can wear longer acrylic nails as you can always get them trimmed to your preferred length. However, if you are not used to long nails, they may be more prone to damage. You can’t treat them just as you would your shorter nails.

They may get in the way of your activities if you are not used to having them. That’s why it is still best to choose a length that you are comfortable in.

If you get them longer and you find they’re uncomfortable, it is best to return for a trim so you can be more comfortable wearing them and going through your daily activities.

Limit Water Exposure

You might be surprised by how simple it is. To make the acrylic nails last longer all you have to do is limit their exposure to water.

By doing so, the chances of your nails lifting are significantly lower. What you can do is limit your hands from getting wet for at least an hour after the nails are applied.

If soaking your nails is unavoidable, make sure to dry them thoroughly once they’re done being submerged in water.

You can use rubber gloves to prevent your acrylic nails from getting wet in case you need to do the dishes or the laundry.

Proper Nail Filing And Buffing

Nails that are not filed properly plus hard acrylic nails could lead to the acrylic nails getting damaged even faster. Make sure that you file your nails properly to avoid sawing them like sandpaper.

Buffing is important to ensure proper adhesion of the acrylic nails plus it would help remove any caked-on adhesive from previous applications.

Taking Care Of Your Acrylic Nails

Avoid opening things with your nails like soda cans or plastic seals. Although it may seem very convenient to use them because of their length, it causes damage o the acrylic nails. It could chip or lift them.

Don’t forget to clean under the nails from time to time!

Have A Regular Fill-In Appointment

One of the best ways to make your acrylic nails last longer is to have them regularly filled in. Doing so would ensure that the layers are evenly applied and there are no gaps or lifted areas anywhere.

If you’ve had a fill-in appointment, then you’re already on the right track in making your nails last for an average of 3 weeks.

Having a professional do the job would make sure that it is done right. They’d be able to check if you just need a fill-in or if your acrylic nails need replacement because of their current condition.

How Long Should Acrylic Nails Be Worn?

Adventurous Acrylic Nails

We are all for prolonging your acrylic nails. But how long can you really keep them? Do your natural nails need to take a break from wearing them?

The exact amount of time that you should be wearing acrylic nails and taking a break from them is still controversial.

There are varying opinions about them but most experts suggest a break after 3 to 6 months. Taking a break from acrylic nails is beneficial to your natural nails. It gives them time to breathe and some time to get stronger.

With the break period, you may better see the current condition of your nails because they aren’t covered with acrylics. You will be able to better assess if your nails are damaged, dry, or fragile.

Although you shouldn’t expect any serious damage due to acrylic nail use, you still want to give a break for your nails. After all they can be uncomfortable to wear — particularly early on.

Damaged, split nails due to acrylic nails are possible but are most common for those who don’t do them well or those who don’t remove them properly.

If you or a professional nail technician applies and removes them correctly, there should be minimal damage expected.

In case you see any damage to your natural nails, you could apply a natural topical treatment to the affected nails. Give your body nutritious foods so that your nails will be able to recover faster.

Getting to see if there’s any damage issues with your nails is helpful. But an even more important reason to take a break is so that you can monitor for fungal infections.

Acrylic nails are beautiful and awesome, but don’t overdo them!

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).