Acrylic nails are sophisticated, beautiful, and trendy. It seems like every A-list celebrity can be spotted sporting them at Hollywood parties and movie premieres. Acrylic nails make it easy to apply even the most complex nail designs. But does the added length of acrylic nails make them fragile? Do they break easily?
Acrylic nails don’t break easily. They are incredibly durable and can last up to two months as long as they’re filled in every few weeks. The materials in acrylic nails—liquid monomer and powder polymer—cause the nails to harden, making it extremely difficult for them to break.
In the rest of this article, we’ll talk more about why acrylic nails don’t break easily, how to make them last even longer, and how to safely remove them.
Do Acrylic Nails Break Easily?
As long as they are cared for properly, acrylic nails are hard to break. In fact, acrylic nails are actually stronger than gel nails. This is due to the main ingredients in acrylic nails: a liquid monomer and a powder polymer. When this liquid and powder are combined, they quickly harden nails and protect them from damage.
Unlike gel nails, acrylic nails don’t need to be cured using a UV light. Instead, the monomer and polymer react when they are exposed to air, making acrylics easy to apply. Because of the added steps, however, applying acrylic nails takes longer than gel nails. It may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to have a full set of acrylic nails applied to your hands.
How To Care For Acrylic Nails
Treating your acrylic nails with care will help them last as long as possible. While they are very durable, they are prone to break if they’re repeatedly exposed to chemicals or treated roughly.
One of the easiest ways to help your acrylic nails last for weeks on end is to wear gloves when you’re working with chemicals—such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. Certain chemicals can erode your acrylic nails, making them more fragile and likely to break. Wearing gloves keeps your nails from coming into contact with any harmful chemicals, therefore keeping them intact.
Another way to keep your acrylic nails from breaking is to make sure you dry your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with water. If water stays on the nails for too long, it will seep in between the acrylic and natural nails and cause them to separate. After you wash your hands, be sure to spend time drying off each nail.
You can also lengthen the lifespan of your acrylic nails by oiling them regularly. Keeping the nails moisturized with oil will keep them from becoming dry and brittle. A little bit goes a long ways—applying a small amount of oil to each nail every day will help them last days, if not weeks, longer.
Visiting a nail salon every few weeks while you have acrylic nails will keep them looking great and lasting a long time. The nail technician will apply the acrylic solution to any new growth on your nails, helping to keep moisture from seeping under the nail.
Of course, you should also consider the correct nail length for your lifestyle. If you’re working with power tools or doing a lot of typing every day, extremely long acrylic nails probably aren’t the right choice.
They’ll be placed under too much pressure on a daily basis, not to mention it’ll be hard to get anything done! Instead, opt for a nail length that lets you use your hands freely while allowing enough space for beautiful designs.
How To Remove Broken Acrylic Nails
If you do your best to take care of your acrylic nails and they still end up breaking, don’t fret. There are simple ways to safely remove the acrylics while keeping your natural nails healthy.
First of all, make sure you don’t just rip off the acrylic nail when you discover that it’s broken. Tearing off the acrylic nail without any prep work will destroy your natural nails, making it next to impossible to reapply acrylics.
Instead, head to your local nail salon to seek the assistance of a qualified nail technician. While it may seem like overkill, nail salons are well-equipped to safely remove your acrylic nails and apply new ones.
After using a small file to shave off the first layer of the acrylic nail, the nail will be covered with an acetone-soaked cotton ball that will break down the chemical bonds of the nail. The acrylic nail can then be easily removed.
The nail technician will remove any remaining acrylic with a cuticle pusher to create a clean space for new acrylics to be applied. Even if you’re not replacing your acrylics, the technician will probably apply a small amount of cuticle oil to rejuvenate your natural nails.
If you simply can’t make it to the nail salon, you can imitate this routine at home. Make sure you have a nail file, acetone polish remover, cuticle pusher, and some cuticle oil on hand. Follow the steps listed above—making sure to let your nail soak in acetone for at least 10 minutes—to make sure the nail can be removed easily.
Do Acrylic Nails Ruin Your Nails?
Acrylic nails won’t ruin your natural nails as long as you manage them properly. Of course, if you rip off your acrylic nails without applying any acetone, the acrylics will damage your natural nail bed.
Because of this, it’s important to let a professional remove your acrylic nails whenever possible. No matter how simple it may seem, nail technicians have the experience and materials necessary to remove your acrylic nails in a healthy, stress-free way.
Taking a break from acrylic nails from time to time is another simple way to keep your natural nails healthy. When you keep your nails natural for a few months, any imperfections are able to heal and your nails have an opportunity to refresh.
Properly caring for your acrylic nails—and having them removed and replaced by a professional nail technician—will help them last for weeks on end, letting you focus on enjoying your life rather than trying to keep your nails from breaking.