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Removing an Acrylic Overlay

What is an easy and safe way to remove an acrylic overlay over natural nails?

By Lisa from Fort Wayne, IN


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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

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!

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March 4, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful

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!

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