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This is a guide about applying acrylic nails. Applying your own acrylic nails can save you money over going to the nail salon. If done correctly, they can be just as durable.
This is a guide about life after acrylic nails. Finger nails can be weak and rough after using fake nails and need some TLC.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I just removed my salon acrylic nails and my nails are thin and weak and rough. Any suggestions to help repair them?
By Rose from Indianapolis, IN
I had acrylic nails about 25 years ago, and left them on until they started popping off, then soaked the rest off in nail polish remover. I didn't really notice any weakness in my nails, but they didn't look nice until after they had grown out.
Get some wraps. Wraps will grow out nicely and allow your natural nails to look nice while growing them out. Wraps do not need to be maintained. Once they grow all the way out and your natural nails are now strong, you're done. Wraps will help brittle thin nails to not break off while you are growing new nails, btw.
Rub warm olive oil into your nails and the nail bed at least once a day. You will be pleasantly surprised at how fast they grow out and how healthy!
Nailtiques. It's a nail strengthener like no other! I have gone back and forth putting acrylics on and taking them off for years and have used nailtiques formula 2 nail strengthener every time. Your nails will be perfect in a week. :)
I was a nurse so I had to keep my nails short. My exhusband was a complete fingernail fiend. That pig would stare at any women even if she was fat, old or ugly. If she had beautiful long nails he would go gaga. I divorced him and my nails have ridges. I thought acrylic nails would help our marriage. I do not have a marriage or pretty nails anymore.
For 1 year, my fake nail has been over my own nail. The doctor said it will grow out, but it has been a year. It is nasty looking. My friend said go to another doctor and see about having my finger numbed around the area and cut cuticle and separate the fake nail and my own nail. The fake nail seems to be under cuticle. Help.
By Pam from Hamilton, OH
Pam, I had acrylic nails for a few years and was fortunate that no damage was done to my real nails. It takes awhile and patience but you soak and soak and soak some more in acetone. Good luck.
You better go to a different doctor!
Go to the nail place and let them soak your nail in acetone. The nail will come off. They do it every day.
Is it acrylic? If so, you just soak it in acetone nail polish remover and it will disolve. If it's not acrylic, please post more detail. Also, I can't understand how an artificail nail could still be under the cuticle after a year. When I had acrylic nails, I had to go get them filled in every 2 weeks because they would grow out.
What is an easy and safe way to remove an acrylic overlay over natural nails?
By Lisa from Fort Wayne, IN
When I used to have them the manicurist told me to soak the nails in regular nail polish remover. With the acrylic nails if you want to change the color of polish yourself you are supposed to use a special polish remover. It has been so many years since I have had them, that I can't remember what the different removers are called. The regular polish remover does work good, but it is time consuming. My nails now grow so fast, I have a hard time keeping them at a usable length. I figure it must be because of all the OTC supplements that my doctor has me on.
I removed mine with hot water. I just soaked my nails and pulled them gently off.I used tweezers to help. At the nail salon, they do same thing.My nails took about 2-1/2 years to return to a semi-normal state. They have been a mess - peeling, breaking, soft, soft, soft!
Not sure if you mean the new ones that look like what we use to call "fake" nails or not that you used a glue to put the complete nail right over your own, if it is that glue is like super glue. I tried them and had a terrible time getting them off, after all it is super glue. No way would have hot water taken mine off. I had to remove them the same way as the liquid acrylics that are built up.
You use acetone nail polish remover to soak them in, be very gentle removing the acrylic so as not to do any more damage to your own nail. The acetone is what melts the acrylic. Don't gouge or scrape your nail, use a wooden stick such as an orange cuticle stick from a manicure kit or popcycle stick would work. Just be patient and let the nail polish do it's work, it will take quite a while but it will be the best method for your real nails.
Do not peel the acrylic off when it feels like it will come just keep pushing the melted goo off until you are down to your own nails. I can't stress this enough especially if you have worn the acrylics for several years. Your own nails are most likely going to be soft and easily damaged, good luck from the voice of a slow learner, took me three times until I learned my lesson. Still paying the price with ruined nails 15 years later.
I have to agree with everyone who said it ruined their nails. Mine were thin and weak to begin with but now they split vertically so much that I can not even begin to grow them out. I wish I never would have started with them. It has been about 15 years since I used them and if I had it to do over, I wouldn't do it. When they were removed, there was bleeding under my own nail!
I had acrylic nails put on and they were pretty grown out. I hit my pinky nail and ripped a small bit of my real nail off. As you can imagine it's very painful. I took all my other nails off and had no problem, but I'm trying to find a way to get my pinky nail off with there being already a ton of pain and swelling in my finger. I'm afraid to do the soak or use a cotton ball with the thought of it burning and the nail is not lifting to put a piece of floss under to try to get it that way. Please help I just want the nail off maybe it'll help the pain and healing process if the acrylic nail is off.
In this case, you will want to treat the nail like it is your natural nail. It has already been traumatized, and may have small open wounds which would make using acrylic nail remover torturous and dangerous. Trim the nail as close to your fingertip as possible. Wear a band-aid on the finger, to minimize contamination and re-injury. As it grows, trim it, until either the ripped part has been trimmed off, or it is healed enough to use nail remover. After you remove the acrylic nail, give it plenty of time to heal and become strong on its own, before using any false nails. Keep it trimmed close, and just let it grow for a while, until it feels stronger. Good luck!
(source-I was a licensed cosmetologist-we had to learn all about nails, too)
I've knocked of most of my nails and I have 3 left and they are all hurting and I don't know weather I should put them in nail polish but when I try cut them it hurts even more and I don't want to get them taken of by where I got them done because I know it will hurt. What should I do?!
How do I remove my acrylic nails after wearing for one week?
By Paige M.
Soak your entire nail bed is pure acetone. I am not sure if I spelled it right, but that is what you need.
Sharon is right...you can find nail polish remover that has a high acetone content. Fill a small glass container with the liquid and soak your nails in it until they fall off. Be sure to moisturize your nails well afterwards, as the acetone dries them out.
I have tried more than once to soak, but it doesn't seem to remove the product, it just spreads and hardens again. In good lighting and magnified, you can see what appears to be a yellow, shiny product. It appears that the product is still covering the entire nail, leaving this shiny yellow coloring. I have attached a picture. Can someone please help me?
By Renee from Provo, UT
If any of the nail glue remains on your nails, simply buff this off with a nail buffer. Be gentle and use a light touch to avoid damaging your natural nails.
Step 11 Apply a moisturizing hand cream to your hands and massage in well. This will help replace any lost moisture from the acetone polish remover. I use Vaseline, good luck.
I currently have these bio gel nails which are the best quality nails on the market as they let your nail breathe and do not damage them, but they are expensive. I need to look professional for work and since my own nails aren't very strong and I am not good at doing my nails these are perfect and look incredible. I must say I am very happy with them.
The problem is, I will be done on my work contract in a couple of months which means I will not have money for the upkeep, but I do admit I love this new french manicure look. I would like to know if anyone knows how to remove these bio gel nails (I saw information on acrylic nails on here, but I don't have those and I imagine the process is different).
Also, what can I do to have an inexpensive french manicure look? I have seen fake nails at the drugstore and wondered if those would look as good.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
By Lisa from Halifax, NS
I would strongly suggest you have them professionally removed. I had nails professionally done for a wedding but afterward had too much trouble working with them on. I decided to take them off myself and nearly destroyed my natural nails. Over a year later my own nails are still weak.
My acrylic nail has snapped and so has my nail halfway down! It is very painful and I don't know how to get it off as soaking it in nail varnish remover is obviously very painful too. Can anyone give me advice at all?
By Katherine B
I have done the exact same thing once last week and I put a plaster over it and let my nail grow until the end fell off. I've now done it again more than halfway down my nail and can't possibly live for two weeks with this awful pain or longer even. So I need help too. But maybe the plaster thing will work for you!!
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It's easy to soak finger tips in a bowl of acetone to remove artificial nails, but how do you do toenails? I don't want to soak my whole foot in the stuff.
By Sharon from St. Louis, MO
FYI: you want to avoid acrylic nails on toes, you will run a very high risk of nail fungus and it is very difficult to cure, the meds for it can cause liver damage and don't always take care of it. (05/24/2010)
I just had an idea do not know if it will work or not. Seems like it will. I would soak some cotton balls in nail polish remover until nice and wet. Then I would put one on each toe and wrap aound with medical tape. I am not sure, but seems like that would work with out having to soak in a tub of it. I would wear sandals or something like that to catch any run off of the polish remover. Let me know if this works. (05/25/2010)
Apply petroleum jelly or Alba brand Un-Petroleum Jelly (if you're sensitive to petroleum based products like I am) to the skin on your toes and around the nail bed to prevent your skin from absorbing the acetone. Try soaking a cotton ball in acetone and using a strip of aluminum foil to hold it in place for 15-20 minutes. Once you take the cotton ball off, the acrylic will immediately start to harden, so gently remove the acrylic from one nail at a time, starting with one of your pinky toes. This gives the acetone a bit more time to work on your bigger toes.
If you do have issues with fungus on your toenails, rub a drop of pure sandalwood oil (it can be a bit spendy for the unadulterated stuff) to each affected nail twice a day until the nail color is normal. This can take a few months to work. This is a safe anti-fungal that does not have the negative effects on your liver that the drugs your doctor can prescribe do. (07/06/2010)
How do you remove acrylic nails?
By Ruthcarelli from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Professionally done takes longer, but you soak them in acetone. Be patient and I hope your real nails are not ruined. I got lucky and mine weren't damaged. (06/18/2009)
Soak them in acetone. When I have removed mine in the past, I have rubbed them while in the acetone. I am not sure if it sped up the process, but it kept me from going crazy! (06/22/2009)
I am a former Nail Tech and a District Manager for Sally Beauty Co. I can say without hesitation that the Nail Tek equivalent at Sally Beauty is virtually identical. I also recommend a product called "Gelous" for maintenance and strength once your nails are on the mend. And always moisturize with oils and creams. Good luck. (12/02/2009)
How do I remove acrylic nails from my big toes? They were attached to my skin (because I previously lost the toenails).
You need to soak your toe(s) in nail polish remover. You need to warm it up to activate it, please be careful when doing this, especially in the microwave. It is very flammable! Let it soak, it should start to become gel like, and work it off with a file and clippers. Best of luck! Crystal NC (04/16/2009)
Yikes! If you've glued it to your skin, try soaking your toe in nail polish remover. It may take a long time soaking, don't pull it off! And don't soak if your toe is not completely healed. (04/16/2009)
How do I remove acrylic nails so I can have gel nails done? I'm getting ready to do a Brisa nail tech course and would like to redo my own nails with the gel. I've been wearing professionally done acrylic nails for the last year or so. I've tried the acetone but it doesn't work very well with professional acrylic nails. I know the best thing to do is to go to a professional to have them removed but with Christmas around the corner, funds are tight. Much thanks for any help.
I've tried a million different at home remedies and only two of them have really worked so there's no pain involved. The best of the two have been acetone (nail polish remover, and even hand sanitizer).
1.Get a bottle of acetone (nail polish remover, hand sanitizer) or pure acetone and soak your fingers in it, it can take about 10-20 minutes. Just give the nails a little wiggle to see if they feel even the least bit loose or anything to that nature. Then when you feel that you can, ever so gently peel them off from the cuticle up, it may seem easier to pull from the top but then some pieces of the acrylic nail can be left and that can be complicated to remove. A little to no damage will be done in the process.
If you have a little more time than that then you can soak for about 20-30 minutes and the acrylic should turn into gel and you will have no problem or pain getting them off and there will only be the damage to the nail that was done when getting the nails put on.
The other method I found to be helpful is rubbing alcohol.
2. The only other things that you will need are cotton balls and tape. Put enough rubbing alcohol in a bowl so that you can put your fingers in it and put a cotton ball over the nail, tape it down and soak for 15-20 minutes. Then just give it a little tug, pull, and wiggle and you should have little to no pain doing this. This has seemed to also work like a charm.
NOTE: You should definitely file the top of the nail "lightly" and then lotion up, preferably coco butter but if not, anything else will do. Then apply a coat of a strengthening nail polish. This should fix up a big majority of the damage done when you got them done.
I promise this works, and I hope that I've helped! (12/04/2008)
When I had mine removed they had me soaking in acetone for quite a while. This is the only way to get them off. They use 100% acetone. Hope this helps. Janette (12/19/2008)
I took the advise about the hand sanitizer, it worked wonders. I had my nails put on last week and I really found them to get in the way. So they weren't loose when I was taking them off. I put hand sanitizer on the nail and took a flat flexible piece of plastic and went under and got them off. I put pressure and eventually each one popped off.
It was extremely easy, a little painful but truly not so bad and it was very fast like around 15 minutes to get all 10 off. But for the flexible surface I suggest an old beaten up metro card it works very well. (12/22/2008)
I have a method I haven't seen mentioned here, but for me it works wonders. I simply get a pair of latex gloves and pour just a little acetone in them. Just enough so my fingers are immersed. I put on the gloves and put an elastic band at the rim to keep them in place.
In 20 minutes or so, the acrylic is soft enough to scrape off, and I use a cotton ball soaked in acetone to remove the stubborn bits. Then I soak my hand in mineral oil in another pair of gloves. When I do this I save time, because I can get stuff done, while I remove my nails, and treat them. Hope this helps.
I have found the best way in removing Acrylic Nails is to get a big bowl, fill it with warm water, and then get another bowl (a bit smaller than the larger bowl, but make sure your whole hand can fit in the smaller bowl). Then place the smaller bowl in the larger bowl and pour in your 100% pure acetone in the smaller bowl and add a couple drops of cuticle oil in with your acetone.
Then place your hands in the small bowl, get a warm towel and tightly wrap it over the bowl and your hands so that you are keeping the heat in at all times. Take out after 10-15 minutes. Then buff and replace back in. After about an hour all your nails should be free of acrylic.
I know this works because I have been a nail technician for the past 5 years now. (01/08/2009)
I used the Kiss Remover. I started at 11pm and ended at 2:30am. It contains brush pad inside to soak and brush. I just soaked, but I was able to sit on bed and watch TV. Finally done and they look good! A thick layer - I will apply Strong Nails Now by Sally Hansen.(01/30/2009)
By Octavia in St. Louis
I know you just asked how to remove the acrylic nails but I wanted to give you a little advice anyway. You can soak them in acetone based nail polish remover and gently remove them with an orangewood stick. As far as getting gel nails, they aren't as durable. Quite frankly, I strongly suggest getting your own nails in good shape and going for weekly manicures at the salon. Not only will it save you a ton of $$$ but it is far classier, cleaner, and won't destroy your nails. I am a licensed Cosmetologist and artificial nails can seriously destroy your nails and harbor tons of nasty bacteria. Just a thought! (02/10/2009)
Start at the base where the fake nail starts to lift. Put in dental floss and floss under the nail as high as you can go without pain. Then, gently wedge a toothpick under the nail.
Put a few drops of acetone in the opening with an eyedropper (I rubbed some Vaseline around my nails to keep the acetone off my skin). Keep working the dental floss upward, and the nail will pop off. You might have to do this twice, depending upon how well the fake nail is adhered. I did notice that the more hand sanitizer I used at work, the looser the nails became (alcohol). It's so good to have my real nails back! (02/21/2009)
I am a nail tech for both Gel and Acrylic Nails.
The very easiest way for you to remover acrylic nails is to soak them in acetone. The only way this will work is if you do not have a gel overly. Gel does not soak off. A lot of techs use a gel product as a top coat as it is a stronger option then regular top coat. So, if you want to remove your nails without the help of a technician, you need to know if you have a gel top coat. Once you have removed your nails, they will be dry so you need to use a cuticle oil or a cream designed for nails. Regular cream will not penetrate the nail to moisturize properly enough. Then apply a nail strengthener free from DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde.
One thing to know is your natural nail should not be in bad shape after removal. A good nail tech can apply a set of nails and have them last without severely damaging your natural nail. When they file your natural nail prior to applying your enhancements, they should ONLY be buffing the shine off; not digging in or causing harm to the natural nail. This is one misconception many have about nail enhancements. Be sure to find out who is doing your nails, how long they have been doing them and that they are educated technicians. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. (03/10/2009)
How do I remove acrylic nails?
How do I remove fake nails?
I got nails about two weeks ago. They are not the whole fake nail, they are acrylic pink and whites and were put on with a paint of some sorts?
I am looking for tips for how to remove acrylic nails.
I would like to know what the best form is for taking off acrylic nails without causing any rips to my already grown nails.