Everyone wants to have nice, manicured looking nails. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to types of manicures you can get! You can choose from normal polish, gel polish, powder dip, shellac, press ons, and acrylics. Keep reading to become an expert on all things acrylic nails and decide if they’re right for you!
Acrylic nails have been around for decades, and they are probably the most consistent style of nails that will never go out of style. Acrylic is a type of powder that becomes very malleable when wet and rock hard once it’s dry. This makes for very durable, strong, long-lasting nails. The nail technician uses a wet brush to dip into the powder and apply it onto your nails.
There are two main types of acrylic nails; forms and tips. Forms are when the acrylic is applied straight to your nail. After that, a sticker is placed right underneath the white part of your nail to act as a guide for the length of your acrylics. Tips, on the other hand, are when an artificial nail is glued onto your nail, and the acrylic is placed over the artificial one. There are definitely pros and cons to both styles. With forms, the acrylic is a lot more sturdy and more likely to stay on your nail longer. But if you happen to break a nail, it hurts a lot more because there is no barrier between the acrylic and your nail. With tips, since the nail glue isn’t quite as strong as the acrylic, it doesn’t hurt as much if broken. But to go along with that, there is more of a chance a nail could pop off if waiting too long before getting a fill.
Another great thing about acrylic nails is the versatility of the shape. Because you are adding length to your nails, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can ask for shapes such as almond, oval, ballerina, square, squoval, coffin, or stiletto. As you can see, there are a variety of different nail shapes to choose from, and no doubt there is one that will complement your nails and hands perfectly.
Many factors come into play when determining the cost of acrylic nails, like shape, length, type, polish type, design, and whether you are going to a salon or an individual nail tech. In most cases, at a salon, the price for a full set of acrylics can vary from $40 to $50, and a fill for $20 to $30. Again, this price can be higher if you choose to get gel polish on your acrylics or if you want an intricate design. The nice thing about going to a salon is that they typically have room for walk-in appointments, which is convenient for anyone with a busy schedule. However, because they have such a high volume of customers, sometimes they aren’t as detailed as individual nail techs because they are focused on getting you in and out in a timely manner. They also may not be up to date on the latest nail trends you see on Instagram.
If you are considering going to an individual nail tech, chances are the price is going to be a bit higher. A full set can range anywhere from $60-$100 and fills $30-$45, based on their level of experience. The reason nail techs are a little more pricey is that they truly do take their time and ensure you get exactly what you want. The usual time frame for a full set is around 1 ½ hours. They make it a point to keep up on nail trends so that their customers are satisfied. However, nail techs are typically very busy and require an appointment 1-3 weeks in advance.
Once you get your full set, you usually have to go back 2-3 weeks later to get a fill. This is when your nail grows out to the point where there is an obvious amount of space between the acrylic nail and the cuticle. Once you start noticing this, you know it’s time for a fill!
You’re probably wondering what makes acrylic nails different from other types of manicures out there. First of all, acrylics are typically the longest-lasting when it comes to polish. Although you have to get a fill every 2-3 weeks, the polish on acrylic nails hardly ever chips. You can also repaint them at home if you feel like switching up the color! Another characteristic of acrylic nails is that because you’re adding length, there is much more room to let your personality shine with fun designs and patterns. It definitely has the longest process out of any other style of manicure, but if you’re looking for personalized and unique nails, acrylics are the best option.
As with most nail products, acrylics are not considered “healthy” for your nails. However, getting them done by a professional reduces the chances of unnecessary damage being done to your nails. It is also important to take a break to let your nails breathe every 3 to 6 months after your first full set. Also, never try and remove your nails at home. Acrylic nail removal can be a very damaging process if not done correctly, so leave it to the professionals!
Considering how expensive acrylic nails can be, there is you no doubt want to make sure they last as long as possible. We recommend getting a fill no less than every 3 weeks (even that’s pushing it!) because if you go longer than that, there is a greater chance your nails can break off because of the excess leverage, hurting both your hands and your pockets! If you have too many missing nails by the time your next fill comes around, you may be required to pay for a whole full set. Another tip is to not expose your acrylics to harsh chemicals, including those in cleaning products. These chemicals can erode your nails, and if that happens you will need a fill much quicker than normal just to repair the acrylic.
As mentioned earlier, always go to a professional if you would like to remove your acrylics. The process for removing them is usually universally the same; the nail tech files down the acrylic with an electric file, and then they wrap your nails in foil, cotton, and acetone for about 20 minutes, or until the acrylic is broken down enough to be scraped off with a cuticle pusher.