So you’re considering getting acrylic nails! Congratulations! Acrylic nails are one of the most fashionable, easy, and unique ways to get the nails that you want quickly and fairly inexpensively. But there is a lot of confusion about what exactly they are, so let’s learn more about them.
What Are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails, also known as temporary or “fake” nails, continue to gain popularity because of their ease of use and ability to be customized to each individual’s taste and style. They can often be purchased in packs, which come with multiple sizes meant for specific fingers – thumb, index, pinky, etc.
Essentially, acrylic nails are actually a combination of a liquid monomer (basically, a liquid material that can bond with other, similar liquid materials) and an acrylic powder. When the powder and the liquid monomer are mixed together, they form a polymer that dries incredibly hard and fast, creating a strong, beautiful nail.
What Options Are Out There For Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails come in a variety of different shapes, styles, colors, etc.
Customers always have the option of selecting an acrylic nail set that is in a more traditional shape, like round, square and oval. For the more adventurous out there, acrylic nails also come in the newer, trendier stiletto and coffin shapes.
From there, the customization is nearly endless. Choose from glossy, chrome, glitter, or matte finishes, and short, medium, long, or extra long acrylic nail lengths. They also come in plenty of different patterns, including leopard print, stripes, and checkered. Mix and match patterns and colors, or simply choose a fun accent nail.
How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?
One of the top questions most people ask about acrylic nails is how long they last. It’s no fun spending money on something that is going to fall off right away! However, the answer to that question isn’t as simple as “one month” or a one size fits all answer.
The reason that there is such a range in time frame with acrylic nails is mainly due to two factors – durability and care. Choosing a quality nail to start with will increase the length of time that they last. Cheap nails last much shorter, often due to the quality of the glue and the materials.
In most normal circumstances, acrylic nails can usually last anywhere between six and eight weeks before needing to be removed and/or replaced. However, it’s a good idea to have them professionally “filled in” every few weeks to keep them looking as fresh as possible. It also reduces the risk of getting a fungal infection, and takes the pressure of the tip of your nail so that you can maintain a healthy natural nail under the acrylic.
Durability is also related to how much you use your hands. This is an important consideration for the size and shape of the nail you choose, as well. People who use the computer or do manual labor should choose a shorter nail if they’re looking to extend the amount of time that you can wear them before needing to replace them.
Can Acrylics Be Left On Too Long?
Unfortunately, yes. Acrylic nails do have a limited lifespan for a reason, and they can definitely be left on “too” long. In addition to growing out and just not looking good, they can also harbor fungal infections. Generally, this is far more likely to occur after about 3 months of having the same acrylic set on.
Acrylic nails that are left on for too long can also cause major issues with your natural nails, including cracking, breaking off, or weakening. You need a healthy base for your acrylic nails, so it’s important to remember to take care of them even with “fake” nails on, too.
Do Acrylic Nails Have to Be Expensive?
Absolutely not! This is a very common misconception many people have, but spending more money on your acrylics doesn’t mean that they are good quality. More important is looking for a reputable company with plenty of strong reviews.
Do I Have To Visit a Salon?
The great news for people not looking to spend a bundle on their acrylic nails is that no, you don’t actually need to visit a salon to get salon quality acrylic nails! However, some people do elect to take their own acrylic nails to a professional salon to have them applied and filled. Most of the cost difference between doing them at home and having them done at a salon is fees and the cost of paying a nail technician, which is why more and more people are choosing to apply their own acrylic nails at home.
Acrylic nails, especially when you do them yourself at home, are a great way to showcase your style without breaking the bank. Look for a reputable company and do your research before applying them, and you’ll be rocking some sweet acrylics in no time flat.