Guide to acrylic nails

If you’re considering taking the plunge and getting acrylic nails, here is absolutely everything you need to know before, during and after getting acrylics. Follow the steps below to avoid any mishaps.

Prep work is everything: It’s all well and good wanting acrylic nails but first, you need to make sure your actual nails can handle them. If your nails are brittle or weak then you need to get them back to optimal health before going near acrylics. You can do that with a nail strengthener; however, a lot of products have formaldehyde in them. A completely natural nail strengthener is jojoba oil – it’s one of the only oils that the nail fully absorbs.

Do your research: There are many different options for false nails, and you need to pick the best type for yourself. Do you want powder dip, gel acrylics or sculptured nails? Salons usually offer one of these types of false nails, so if you’re set on a specific formula/application, be sure to check the salon menu prior to booking.

Check the instruments: Sounds obvious, but it’s so important to make sure that the tools that your nail tech is using are sterilised before you start your appointment. Unsterilised tools can lead to nasty infections – which is not only a bit grim, but will also ruin the overall look of your manicure.

Don’t skip the manicure side: The significance of the manicure side of your appointment is twofold. Firstly, acrylics can’t stick to the cuticle, so if you don’t get them taken care of your brand new nails won’t last as long before they need redoing. Secondly, it looks so much neater. That’s all.

Decide on your shape and length: This is the most fun part of the appointment, along with choosing the color. If you’re a complete newbie to nail shapes opt for oval, because it’s the most classic shape. Then you need to decide on the length. Now, you might be tempted to go long but it’s much smarter to start short as you get used to having fancy nails, then get them filled in as they grow longer.

Take care: So now you have your shiny new nails, it’s time to protect them from getting completely wrecked by day-to-day life. So whenever you’re using any cleaning products to wash the dishes or clean the floor, especially ones that contain bleach, make sure to wear gloves as they’ll prevent the chemicals from messing with your mani.

Moisturise: Use cuticle oil religiously. Have a mini bottle in your handbag and apply as and when you have a spare moment, or if your nails look particularly dry. This will keep your nails strong and the skin around them healthy.

Remove and rebalance with care: A lot of the damage associated with acrylics happens because of improper removal. Many salons have been known to use drills to file the acrylic off, but this will also remove layers of your own nail. Instead, it’s best to soak each nail in acetone for 30 minutes, this breaks down the acrylic so that it can be removed without causing long-term damage to your nails.