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Acrylic Overlay and Natural Nails

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Will getting an acrylic overlay mess up my beautiful natural nails?

Lisa from Nesbit, MS


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By backfromthethirties08/22/2012

I unfortunately have acrylic nails put on to stop me from an incredibly bad habit of picking my cuticles. The thickness of the acrylic prevents from doing so, yet yes, acrylic nails do result in damage to your natural nails. It's not rocket science. Your nails need oxygen (yes, even that hard keratin that creates the foundation of the fingernail needs that sweet co2 to breath!)

Sadly, I have to choose between mangled looking chewed up fingers, or grooved nail beds. Maybe when my teenagers are grown ill finally be able to kick this nasty habit (not holding my breath on that one given you know our parents never stop worrying about us;)

By shamala florant09/09/2010

After having read all these comments about acrylic nails and having done them myself, off and on, I have a few comments of my own.

Pros of acrylic nails:
- nicer looking
- polish lasts longer

- need as much care as natural nails (fill in every couple weeks)
-possibility of fungus if gap exists between fake nails and natural nail bed
- could be expensive

P.S. for those who keep saying that it is the nail tech that can cause damage to the nails; while this is true in some cases, also bear in mind that there are harsh chemicals that are used during the process and these lead to weaking of the nail bed, along with the excessive filing from the electronic file. Also, the combination of chemicals used during the nail application process can also potentially lead to cancer.

By kiiwii86 guest post (Guest Post)02/28/2009

I wore acrylic nails for 4yrs off & and on. I took them off thinking they would grow out and put them back on when I got tired of my nails looking like crap. To make a long story short it took me getting pregos just to grow out all the damage bcuz I was scared the acrylic would harm my my unborn child. And now I'm proud of my healthy strong acrylic free nails and my healthy baby boy of

By VictoriA (Guest Post)02/16/2009

I have to say I am thinking of getting acrylics and none of you are helping. I am not for or against them. I am trying them today with a friend who has gotten them before and her nails are beautiful and I am jealous. So why she wants to get acrylics I don't know. But I do have to say one thing, I just learned about what cells are important and dead and what not. And your nails are dead, but I have no clue if acrylics can hurt them or not! THANKS!

By Sharon11/01/2008

I heard bio gel is natural and the healthiest for your nails. I've taken off my acrylics and my own nails are a mess. Not only weak and cracked but big indents in the nail bed itself. I'm embarrassed to show them....would the bio gel be ok long term?

By Danette (Guest Post)10/17/2008

The people who say that acrylics don't ruin your nails because your nail grows out and when it does it's just as healthy as before are right.
But how long do you wait until the entire nail has grown out? From cuticle to tip is minimum 3-6 months of ugly nails and then you wait to go a tip out.

My advise is just don't go the route of acrylics I did them for a month and had them removed in July and still haven't even had them fully grow out. Trust me you will be dealing for the consequences for a very long time. Beautiful natural nails are not for lazy impatient people. They require constant care and attention but if you make the effort the benefits will be rewarding.

By starchild71 (Guest Post)09/30/2008

There is alot of misinformation out there. Acrylics do not damage your nails, nail technicians do. What type of salon are you frequenting to have your nails applied and filled? Natural nails should only be lightly buffed to remove the shine and oils before acrylic application. More than likely, nails are being damaged due to improper use of an electric file or "drill". Also, it is important when removing acrylic to soak them off. Do not let technicians pry the acrylic off of your nails. This will take unnecessary layers of your natural nail off, causing injury to the nailbed, which could result in paper thin nails and damage to your nails. Make sure you ask questions when visiting your nail salon. Also ask your technician if the implements they are using are clean and sterile!

By Belinda (Guest Post)06/06/2008

Years ago my natural nails were long and beautiful, but I made the mistake of getting acrylics. I wore them for several years, and to my horror my nails were extremely damaged! I had indentions in my nail beds, and they were very weak. It took almost a year before my nails were strong again, and guess what? I did it again! Nuts huh? I am now recovering from that mistake and wondered if overlays would help protect my nails, but from reading the above comments that will be a mistake as well. I guess I will just keep my natural nails, and hope they will get stronger. The one thing that is frustrating for me is not being able to keep polish on for a long time. With acrylic nails, the polish stays on long and they look so pretty, but with natural nails after a day or two the polish is fading, and chipping so I typically go bare, or put on clear polish. I miss the colors, but at least I have my natural nails and they are getting healthier each day with Sally Hansen's hard as nails.

By nicola (Guest Post)05/28/2008

Coming from a professional beauty therapist, I should known whether or not acrylic and gel overlays are damaging. In my personal opinion, acrylic is more damaging then gel. Gel is one of these things that needs to be maintained in order for them to be a success. However I do feel that gel or acrylic is never the best way to go. It will also change the way your nails grow, and, once removed, it will take manicures and constant TLC to get them back to normal. The nails can become brittle and weak, this is simply caused by lack of oxygen to the nail, as well as water damage through the gel, and acrylic.

By Jackie05/06/2008

I found a solution that will allow me to have life after acrylics and gel nails. Look I have been wearing acrylic/gel nails for 14+ years, but I finally got introduce to two products on the websites that follow. Go to this website: The group of women here are former manicurist/nail professional and they offer solutions and tips to avoid and undo the damage from those acrylic nails. The offer Artificial Nail Maintenance and Removal System. Nail Repair. Natural Nail System, and etc. I also use a product called perfect nails:

By Melissa (Guest Post)04/09/2008

Do not believe anyone who says acrylics will not ruin your nails- THEY WILL! I had acrylics put on for two months. I got them filled every two weeks. I decided to take them off on Monday and my nails are soft, weak and brittle. From just eight weeks! I went and bought some cuticle oil and sally hansen Hard As Nails product. I am hoping that my nails go back to normal-strong and healthy. I am regretting the day I ever got the acrylics no matter how pretty they were.-You will too.

By Melissa (Guest Post)04/09/2008

Do not believe anyone who says acrylics will not ruin your nails- THEY WILL! I had acrylics put on for two months. I got them filled every two weeks. I decided to take them off on Monday and my nails are soft, weak and brittle. From just eight weeks! I went and bought some cuticle oil and sally hansen Hard As Nails product. I am hoping that my nails go back to normal-strong and healthy. I am regretting the day I ever got the acrylics no matter how pretty they were.-You will too...

By Jess [121]02/28/2008

(submitted via email)
When I had nails on, they took my whole real nail off and it hurt really bad and now I can't get nails no more.


By Curious, Dublin (Guest Post)02/19/2008

Hi can anyone tell me if gel overlays would be a better option to my short, not so healthy nails? I would like them to grow ( & not have to glue the extensions on ). I'm hoping maybe if I get the overlays on my short nails they will eventually grow up & I will have naturally long looking nails, with the gel overlay of course! ANY INFO PLEASE? :D

By Nette (Guest Post)02/13/2008

I'm sitting here soaking my acrylic-coverd nails as I type, regretting the day I got them in the first place. On the other hand, this is (about) the 6th or 7th time I've had acrylic on my nails so -shrugs-. I'm learning that this feeling is part of a pattern with me and "fake" (or chemically covered REAL) nails: ecstatic the day for a while--that is if they're done right--and angry just as soon I'm bored with them.

Why do we women go through so many lengths to be "beautiful" (as if to imply only long fake nails are beautiful)? In any case I'm not to sure if there was an initial question to answer, or statement to address, as I cannot locate the origin of this post. But I will say that I'm a believer in the "to each his own" philosophy (or is it a philosophy?) so I refuse to speak for or against any1 getting acrylic overlays but I will say that you'd better be sure about wanting them otherwise you deal with the painful task of removing them.

By Lisa (Guest Post)12/09/2007

If your unsure about acrylic or gels just start using sally hansen nail polishes my nails have grown heaps just by applying either sally hansen maximum growth (gold bottle) or sally hansen diamond strength (silver bottle) as a base coat. I think its better with you own nail nails

By helen (New Zealand) (Guest Post)07/19/2007

For Debra in Colorado... Why would your natural nails need air?? Nails are dead, waste products of the body and do not require air. Covering does not weaken them either. What weakens nails is ill health, certain drugs and damage to matrix. Weak nails can also be inherited. As for acrylics or gels ruining the nails, it is the bad NAIL TECHNICIAN who put them on that ruins the natural nail, not the product itself!

By linda07/02/2007

in a word Yes--if you have beautiful natural nails--it would be best to keep them natural. Not only do acrylics weaken natural nails--if you do not keep up with having them filled-they can lift and you can get a really nasty infection under the artificial nail

By laura (Guest Post)05/27/2007

the acrylic nails ruined my natural nail, the acrylic nails have been off 3 years and my nail are soft and very sensitive.

By Kim McGrantham [16]01/06/2007

It's really just common sense :) (no offense) but yes your nail will be damaged when the acrylics are removed, but the damaged part will grow out and the new natural nail grows in..just like hair. It doesnt last forever.

By Lynda01/02/2007

I wouldn't do it. You would have to maintain them which means getting them filled or they will look tacky as they grow out.

By (Guest Post)01/02/2007

I had wonderful, strong, healthy nails until I put acrylic nails on one summer for some weddings I had going on. My nails have never recovered. They break and splt at the slightest provocation. I fear my nails will never be the same, despite taking vitamins and supplements specifically for them. I would never recommend acrylic nails.

By becca (Guest Post)01/02/2007

absolutely not! they will not "ruin" your nails!!! If you have the proper nail tech working on you. I am a nail technition...for over 6 years now and i have removed many of my clients acrylics that they had on for many years, and as soon as the nail grows out you have the same nails you had before you put acrylics! if you have nice nails, just take care of them. if you want other option because you are not happy with your natural nails go for acrylic.

By Doggy (Guest Post)01/02/2007

PLEASE don't do it : ((

By Debra in Colorado (Guest Post)01/02/2007

Your nails need air. Covering them weakens them, if you have beautiful natural nails rejoice! Keep them strong by eating lots of vegtables and jello your required water does'nt hurt either.

By denise w (Guest Post)12/31/2006

im a retired manicurist and the answer is yes. when ever you file the top of nail it will cause damage and if you wear them too long for years you will be left with indentations in the nail bed so glue ons are great for a party but not acrylics or wraps!

By samaree [5]12/30/2006

I used silk wraps and acrylic liquid on my nails for a year and a half, because I didn't think my own long nails would survive my new job. I was a slave to repairing them. I quit doing that in October. After several weeks of breakage, my new nails are growing out fine. I don't think the time and money you spend protecting real nails is worth it. My new philosophy is "they'll grow back".

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