Acrylic nails are all the rage with women from all walks of life. Whether you’re a goth, punk, or someone who loves 50s glam, acrylic nails are the perfect accessory for any outfit. If you’re new to the wonderful world of acrylics, you’re in the right place.
So, sit back and enjoy as we explore the wonderful history of acrylics and how to maintain those beautiful nails.
Acrylic nails have become a staple in modern fashion, but, did you know that acrylic nails have been around for hundreds of years? In fact, Egyptian women would wear long fake nails made of bone, ivory, and gold as a status symbol.
While our nail technicians aren’t using bone or ivory to lengthen our nails, they do use acrylic which was discovered by accident during the 1950s by a dentist named Frederick Slack who had broken a nail and had the idea to experiment with chemicals and dental acrylics to create an artificial nail to go over his broken one.
However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Dr. Stuart Nordstrom created the liquid and powder system that is still in use today in nail salons and at home.
Things To Do Before Getting Acrylic Nails
Before you head straight to the nail salon, there are some things that you should do to ensure you get the best out of your manicure. Preparation is important, so make sure you follow these steps:
Make Sure your Nails are Healthy
First and foremost you want to make sure your nails are going to be able to handle acrylic nails. If you have dry, brittle nails, you run the risk of damaging your natural nail, but, don’t fret, you can turn this around.
You can use pre-bottled nail strengtheners or all-natural jojoba oil to prepare your nails for their first manicure.
Do Some Research
Before your big day, you should do some research on your local salons to make sure they are highly rated. Just like anything else, finding a reputable salon is key in ensuring your safety when getting acrylics done. Online reviews can be extremely helpful in finding your perfect salon.
Finding a good nail salon can be challenging when you’re on a budget, but, many reputable salons care still quite affordable. When you find a salon you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to give them a call to get pricing before you head in. When getting pricing you should ask for quotes for a manicure, full set, and a fill.
Check the Instruments:
When you first arrive at your appointment, quickly look over the instruments being used for your manicure.
These instruments should be clean and sterilized between each appointment to ensure your safety during your visit.
Go All In With A Manicure:
While you can definitely get acrylics without the manicure, getting a manicure during your appointment ensures that your nails and fingers will look clean and tidy for the life of your acrylics.
Pick Your Shape:
Acrylics come in different shapes and lengths. Before your appointment gets started, it is important to let your technician know what shape and length you want to ensure that you’re happy with the end product.
Some of the most popular styles are oval, round, square, stiletto and coffin. Each of these styles come in short, regular, or long lengths that are perfect for any lifestyle.
Let’s take a quick look at the process you are likely to follow when you decide to go ahead and get yourself a set of acrylic nails. This, of course, will vary from person to person - but the process is likely to look something like this:
Whether you’ve pre-scheduled your appointment or are a walk-in, you’ll want to check-in at the front desk of your nail salon. This is, of course, until you create a relationship with your nail tech and they opt to have you fast-track to their nail station.
During check-in, if you haven’t already gotten pricing, this is the perfect time to do so. Most nail salons will take payment after your appointment is done, but, some may require up-front payment or deposit before they start.
Some nail techs will ask you to pick a polish before your appointment starts to get the ball rolling. If you are getting french tips or dipped polish, you can skip this step.
Once you’ve checked in, your nail check will take you to their nail station. This is the perfect time to discuss the length, shape, and any polish preferences you might have.
If you’ve paid to have a manicure with your acrylics, your nail tech will take this time to push back and trim your cuticles, oil your nail beds, and may even offer a hand massage that is perfect for tired hands.
After your manicure, your nail tech will begin to apply your brand new acrylic nails. To start, they’ll test different sizes of pre-made nail tips to your nails to find the correct size for your nails. Once they find the perfect fit, these tips are then glued on and left to dry for a few seconds. The other option is using a nail form for a more natural look.
This is where the fun begins, the tech will start to build up and shape a mix of powder and liquid monomer to your desired length and shape with a brush and a Dremel tool with different tips.
Polish or Finish:
After your nails are shaped and ready to go, your nails will be painted your desired color or design. Many nail techs are extremely talented artists so the sky is the limit on the design that you can have applied to your nails.
Due to the versatility, it isn’t uncommon for people to have acrylics themed for every season, holiday, or special occasion.
Now that you have your new set of nails, you’ll need to make sure you take good care of them. Proper care and maintenance will prolong the lifespan of your manicure, and ensure your nails are kept healthy and looking good.
Be gentle with your new acrylic nails. While they are definitely sturdy, if you catch them wrong they will break and can damage your natural nail bed. Avoid using your nails to open packaging or cans, instead, using the side of your fingers to accomplish this task.
Dry Them Well:
Acrylic nails that aren’t cared for can be a farm for bacteria, when washing your hands, make sure you dry your acrylics well.
Acetone is the key element in removing acrylic nails, that’s why it is important to avoid acetone-based nail polish removers when changing nail colors.
Pamper Your Nails and Hands:
Use natural oils such as rapeseed oil or jojoba oil to keep your acrylics from becoming brittle. You should also use lotion to keep your fingers from drying out which can cause problems with acrylic nails.
Clear Nail Polish:
Whether you want to keep your nail color for a while or want to change things up, always follow up with a weekly top-coat of clear nail polish to keep your manicure in tip-top shape.
Get Them Filled Professionally:
While it is tempting to get a DIY kit to fill your acrylics, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Typically, acrylics can be filled several times before they have to be removed, depending on the overall health of your nails.
Fortunately, getting acrylics filled isn’t nearly as costly as getting the initial acrylics and takes less time.
Once you start seeing significant grow-out, it’s time for a fill.
While it is best to have a professional remove acrylics to prevent damage to your natural nails, this step can still be done at home with caution. The acrylic nails will need to be soaked in acetone until they are soft enough to be removed without pulling.
This is the perfect time to give your natural nails a breather before your next set. Pamper your nails with a little extra oil and lotion.
While getting acrylic nails can be a little bit of work, the process is extremely enjoyable and gives you the gift of amazing nails to enjoy for weeks or months.
What is your favorite shape of acrylic nails? Comment below and share with your friends.