Are you curious about acrylic nails? Maybe you've seen stunning manicure videos on Instagram and wondered how they achieve those flawless looks. Well, you're in the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of acrylic nails, exploring what they are, how they're applied, their impact on nail health, and much more. So, let's get started!
What Are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are artificial nail tips that are glued to your natural nails. They are held in place with a thick and durable coating, which can be customized to your preference in terms of shape, colour, and nail art. These nails can give you the length and style you desire, allowing for endless creativity and personalization.
The process of applying acrylic nails involves a combination of polymer powder and liquid monomers. When these two ingredients are mixed, they create a putty-like consistency that is moulded onto your natural nail and the nail extension. A skilled nail technician will shape the acrylic nail to match the contour of your nail bed before it air dries. Finally, the nail is filed into your desired shape and finished with nail polish and art.
It's worth noting that acrylic nails differ from press-on nails in terms of durability. Acrylics create a stronger bond with your natural nail, providing a longer-lasting result. While there are at-home acrylic nail kits available, it's generally recommended to seek the expertise of a professional manicurist for the best results.
Are Acrylic Nails Bad for Your Nails?
The impact of acrylic nails on your natural nails depends on the application and removal process. When applied and removed properly, acrylic nails are not inherently harmful to your nail health. However, if your nails are drilled down excessively before applying the acrylic or if the removal process involves forcefully ripping off the product, it can cause damage to your natural nails.
Proper application of acrylic nails doesn't involve aggressive filing or sanding of the natural nail. Instead, it begins with buffing off surface oils using a light buffer, followed by dehydrating the nail's surface and applying a suitable primer. Working with a nail technician who cares about your nail health ensures that your natural nails remain intact even after wearing acrylics.
It's crucial to note that there are two types of acrylics used in nail salons: ethyl methacrylate (EMA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA). EMA is the safer option, while MMA can be more damaging to the natural nail. MMA is extremely hard and requires filing off, potentially causing harm to the nail plate. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that your nail artist uses EMA to protect the health of your natural nails.
How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?
The longevity of acrylic nails varies depending on the application process and how well you take care of them. A well-applied set of acrylic nails can last anywhere from a week to two months. However, certain factors can influence their lifespan.
The duration of your acrylic nails is influenced by how the product was applied. Was the enhancement properly positioned? Did your nail technician rush through the process? These factors can affect how long the nails will last.
Additionally, your care routine plays a significant role in maintaining the longevity of your manicure. Being mindful of your nails and treating them with care can extend their lifespan. For example, wearing gloves while doing household chores, avoiding excessive force that may strain the nails, and protecting them from blunt impacts can help preserve your manicure for a longer period.
Acrylic Nails vs. Gel Nails: What's the Difference?
Acrylic nails and gel nails are both popular options in the world of artificial nails, but they differ in their composition and application process.
Acrylic nails are created by combining polymer powder and liquid monomers, resulting in a putty-like substance that is moulded onto your natural nail. On the other hand, gel nails are more like traditional nail polish, but with a thicker and gel-like consistency. Unlike acrylics, gel polish doesn't require any pre-mixing of ingredients.
The hardening or "curing" process of acrylic nails occurs as the mixed product air dries. In contrast, gel nails are cured using a UV or LED light, which stimulates a photoinitiator in the gel polish.
Sometimes, a manicure may combine both techniques, where gel nail polish is applied over acrylic nails. However, in recent years, gel nail extensions have gained popularity. These extensions are made entirely of gel and are pre-shaped nail tips. They offer a similar appearance to acrylics but with less damage and a simplified application process.
How to Remove Acrylic Nails?
Removing acrylic nails should be handled with care to avoid damaging your natural nails. While it is possible to remove gel nails or dip nails at home, it is generally recommended to leave the removal of acrylic nails to the professionals. The removal process is similar to gel nails, but most nail technicians prefer using a nail drill to file down the acrylic coating before soaking the nails in pure acetone.
To remove acrylic nails, the top layers of the product are filed off, and then the nails are soaked in pure acetone for approximately 10 minutes. Applying heat, such as using a heating pad or warm water, can accelerate the breakdown of the product in the acetone. It's essential to be patient during the removal process and avoid forcing the product off the nail surface. The acrylic should slide off effortlessly to ensure the health of your natural nails.
After removing acrylic nails, it's crucial to hydrate your natural nails. Acetone can dry out the nails and make them brittle, so moisturizing them after removal is essential. This helps to rehydrate the nail plate and maintain flexibility.
Acrylic nails offer a versatile and customizable option for those seeking beautiful and durable manicures. When applied and removed correctly, acrylic nails do not harm your natural nails. It's crucial to work with a skilled nail technician who prioritizes your nail health and uses ethyl methacrylate (EMA) products.
Remember, proper care and maintenance play a significant role in the lifespan of your acrylic nails. By incorporating simple practices like wearing gloves and avoiding excessive force, you can enjoy your manicure for an extended period.
In comparison to gel nails, acrylic nails have their unique characteristics and application process. Gel nail extensions have gained popularity due to their reduced damage potential and simplified application.
When it's time to remove your acrylic nails, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. However, if you choose to remove them at home, gentle filing and soaking in pure acetone are key steps to follow.
Now that you have a better understanding of acrylic nails, you can confidently explore this exciting world of nail art and self-expression. Embrace your creativity and enjoy the endless possibilities that acrylic nails offer!
Remember, if you want to learn more about beauty and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, don't forget to check out The Nail Bar Beauty & CO. on Instagram and Facebook @thenailbar.com.au