How to make your acrylic nails last longer while keeping your natural nails healthy

Let’s not sugar coat it, acrylic nails are extremely difficult to maintain. However, if you’re like me you are willing to suffer for your fashion, and those nails are a total necessity. Acrylic nails can take a while to apply, can be hard to upkeep, and they can even make everyday tasks slightly more difficult due to their length, and more dangerous due to the danger they might break off. But once you get that color pattern and design perfect to match those new heels or a gorgeous holiday layout to wear home to the family, you really know why they are worth the extra effort.

Looking good isn’t just important for your outward appearance, studies show that when you look good you feel good. So, there are legitimate mental and physical health benefits for hitting the nail salon and making those fingernails shine. They become even more necessary during the holidays because not only are you trying to create the perfect aesthetic, but you are also trying to keep yourself sane, with all the shopping, cooking, family, and other stressors that the season brings.

How to make your acrylic nails last longer while keeping your natural nails healthy

As important as it is to look good to make you feel good, it’s still important to take care of your body, especially if you intend to suffer for your fashion. So, while keeping those acrylics in season and fashionable, you still need to make sure your natural nails are clean and healthy underneath the enhancement. To keep your nails healthy when wearing faux nails there are a few things you have to do that you might not think of. There’s just a bit more to it than regular upkeep and keeping the natural nails underneath healthy will help the acrylics on top last longer.

Get The Right Nail Technician

At the end of the day, if you aren’t a nail expert yourself, the most important part of keeping those nails healthy is working with good people. You should put some time and effort into figuring out who the artist you want is and whether or not their style matches yours. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for a bit and waiting for the right fit. Once you find someone you think is good for you, ask them some questions. Don’t just accept everything they tell you, figure out the right style for you and make sure you come out of the appointment happy. If the nail technician isn’t amenable to answering your questions or they aren’t trying to work with you, maybe it’s not the right fit and it’s time to move on. If the look and health of your nails are important to you than finding the right relationship with your nail technician should be a really big deal. Not the kind of thing you decide by who has the best coupon in the Supersaver that week. This is a person who is going to be working closely with you so you ought to put a good amount of time into vetting them.

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Get Fills Regularly

Picking the right technician is so important because you are going to be spending a ton of time with that person. Or at least you will be if you are getting fills done as often as you should. Experts in the field say it’s good to get fills done every 2-3 weeks, and while that time can vary based on your personal biology (how fast your nails grow), most people fall into the category of once or twice a month. If you don’t make it in for regular fills the acrylics become much more susceptible to damage, and could potentially lead to your technician having to start again from the beginning. It’s also important to visit your technician when one of your acrylics breaks off. Taking the glue job on yourself can lead to bacteria being caught underneath the enhancement which will ultimately lead to unhealthy fingernails underneath your acrylic.

Don’t Skimp On The Polishes And Topcoats

There is no sense in spending a ton of time vetting a good technician if you aren’t going to have them use their best products on you. Upgrading to higher quality nail polishes and topcoats may seem like they are costing you more when they are applied, but once you feel the savings of not having to constantly touch up your manicure you will totally understand why it was worth it. Now, no one is suggesting sacrificing that all-important perfect color if you can’t get it in a top brand. But if there is something similar in a more long-lasting or gel-based polish it might be worth it, to get the best all-around treatment for your nails.

How to make your acrylic nails last longer while keeping your natural nails healthy


As important as picking the right technician is, being able to step in when needed and do some things yourself is also critical to maintaining nail health. The best nail technicians in the business will tell you, to maintain that freshly manicured veneer you need to apply touchups to the topcoat yourself. The best times to apply the touchups are 3-days after the initial application, and then about 6-days after the re-application. However, it is important to not do more than 2 topcoat touchups or you will leave your fingernails looking bulbous and thick. So, just like anything else moderation is key.

It is also wildly important not to pick at the polish or glue on your acrylics. Picking at the enhancements will make them degrade faster, which is definitely not a good look. But also, the fragments left from the chipped paint and glue are unhealthy for the cuticles and underneath your fingernails.

How to make your acrylic nails last longer while keeping your natural nails healthy

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Last, but by no means least, moisturizing regularly is as crucial to your nail and finger health as working with the right technician. No matter how gorgeous a job your nail technician might do, if you aren’t following through with the upkeep your nails are going to come out looking ragged. Keeping your hands and fingers sufficiently moisturized is key to keeping your manicure looking its best.

More about Sarah Lee

“A former reporter who went from telling the news to telling stories. Introverted, but willing to discuss food. I work hard so my cat can have a better life.”