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Acrylic 411

Published:Monday | July 29, 2019 | 12:24 AM

If you are a newby to the nail game, you probably have several burning questions that need to be answered. You’ve probably started doing research on the effects of acrylic and how it could impact the health of your natural nails. Flair magazine has decided to make things easier by giving you the top 5 things you need to know about acrylic nails.

1. What are acrylic nails?

Acrylic nails are nail enhancements made by combining a liquid acrylic product with a powdered acrylic product. The two products (known as a monomer and a polymer, respectively) together form a soft ball that can be fashioned into a nail shape. Once a nail technician applies this acrylic to a client’s nails, the material hardens and becomes much stronger. And then it can be buffed and filed to the customer’s liking.

2. Acrylics vs Gel

Acrylics are much stronger than gel (they’re harder to the touch) so they’re much more durable. Generally, people who want to extend their nails to be really long, really pointy, or want 3D nail art, then acrylic is for them. If you want a more natural-looking extension, then go with gel, which is more flexible. If you use gel for very long extensions, it might break.

3. Are acrylics bad for your nails?

When done properly, acrylics aren’t any worse for your nails than any other artificial extensions. Your nail health, obviously, isn’t going to be the same as it was prior to application (the removal process can weaken the nail’s natural state), but it won’t cause permanent damage. Gel extensions are newer and more natural-looking, so many people assume acrylics, which have an intense look, are bad for your nails. Gels aren’t better for your nails and acrylics aren’t worse for your nails.

4. How long do they last?

They should last for around two to three weeks. Return to the salon for fills to take care of new nail growth and to keep the edges sealed, which will prevent water from leaking in and harbouring bacteria. Do a fill once before removing the whole set. Acrylics have a reputation for breaking off, which can happen when you hit them against a hard surface, if you use your hands constantly (typing counts), if you have short nail beds, or if your nail was not prepped correctly.

5. Do Not Remove Your Own Nails

Don’t even think about removing your acrylics by yourself. It can rip your nail out or cause damage. Acrylics have to be cut short, thinned using a file, and then soaked in acetone. The whole process takes about half an hour.