How to care for your acrylic manicure
Getting an acrylic nail set can help to elevate your style and show off your personality. They can be a costly financial investment, but their sleek, elegant look is well worth it. It is important to look after your natural nails as well as your acrylics. Here are some tips to help keep your manicure healthy and long-lasting.
The difference between gels and acrylics
If you’re new to the nail game, the first decision that many of us face is choosing between opting for the gel or the acrylic treatment. If you are looking for something more traditional polish that can withstand daily activities then gel nails are a great option. Gel-based nail polish is applied directly to the nail and creates a durable coating that can last for around 2-3 weeks.
On the other hand, a set of acrylic nails are done by applying a mixture of powder and liquid monomer to the nail leaving a strong foundation that can be lengthened, shaped, and then painted. Generally, acrylics can be a more expensive option depending on the style of treatment the client opts for but can last up to approximately 6 weeks. Although a popular option, without the proper application, maintenance, or removal, they can be harsh on your natural nails, so proper care is essential.
Keep your nails dry
Keeping your acrylic nails dry is important for a number of reasons. This isn’t to say that you should never get them wet but be vigilant when drying so as to not allow moisture to seep between the acrylic and the nail itself. Excess exposure to moisture can eventually weaken the glue and cause your acrylics to lift as well as let in bacteria increasing the risk of fungal or bacterial infection.
Moisture can also cause an effect called yellowing due to water compromising the integrity of the acrylic and polish, resulting in a discolored appearance and even causing them to become misshapen.
If you are doing household tasks such as washing up, you may want to make using waterproof gloves part of your routine to help keep excess water away from your nails.
Be gentle with your nails
Although it is really tempting, using your newly lengthened nails as a tool to scrape or open something is a big no. Treating your acrylic nails gently, as you would your natural nails, is a good way to help them stay chip-free and clean.
Be mindful when performing everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or working. Even constant tapping on a keyboard or phone can put excess strain on the nails and cause them the lift or chip. Where possible, try and use the pads of your fingers when typing and where gloves if performing tasks that could put your nails at risk of damage.
If you do manage to damage your nails, an acrylic that has started to separate from your nail can be quite painful and can begin to damage your natural nail. In such a scenario, it is important that you seek the advice of your nail technician, many of which will offer complimentary repair services.
Use cuticle oil
In the same way that conditioner protects your hair, cuticle oil can be of great benefit to your nails with or without a manicure.
Thy acrylics and the products used for the treatment can be quite drying for the natural nail and nailbeds so regular application of cuticle oil can help to prevent both the nails and cuticles from becoming dry, sore and cracked, or damaged.
Regular use of cuticle oil can also help to hydrate and strengthen your nail beds and prevent breakage of your natural nail, thus providing your acrylic with a sturdier foundation. Applying cuticle oil a couple of times a day is a great habit to get into to maintain the health and integrity of your natural nails. Regular use of cuticle oil can also minimize the chance of breakage and reduce the need for frequent salon trips for nail repairs and/or replacements.
Regular treatment appointments
Keeping on top of your acrylic nail appointments is a good way to keep your natural nails healthy and your acrylics looking their best.
Primarily, as your natural nail grows in between treatments the gap between the acrylic and the cuticle becomes more prominent. After around 2 weeks you may also start to notice chipping or lifting of the acrylic material. It is recommended that you visit your nail technician approximately every two to three weeks to have your gaps infilled or any repairs done for issues that occur.
Secondly, not only do regular salon trips keep your manicure looking fresh but can also benefit the overall health of your natural nails and this is true for both maintenance and removal procedures. Improper removal of nail acrylics can cause damage to your natural nail plate, such as weakening, thinning, or peeling. A technician will remove your acrylics by first trimming and soaking the acrylics in acetone before gently using a buffer to remove the remnants.
Finally, frequent appointments can aid in maintaining the health of your nails and cuticles. Professional nail technicians will be able to give you advice on how to best care for your nails and even recommend products or treatments that promote growth whilst also being able to assess for any signs of damage.
Whatever manicure you decide to treat yourself with, proper maintenance and care will help you to get the most out of treatment. With just a few adjustments to your daily routine, you can help to keep your nails as healthy as possible, keeping your polish looking fresh and elegant for weeks on end.