You may have had appointments cancelled last minute leaving you with hideous half grown out claws, or you may have been lucky enough to be squeezed in but are now sporting some dull, chipped and overgrown talons. Either way, you’re probably wondering how to improve the situation on the ends of your fingers and how to remove your acrylic nails.
The first stage is to remove the debris. I will explain how to do this in below, it is important you take time to remove your nail treatment properly, to avoid damage and promote natural nail growth… which lets face it you may need to rely on for a few more weeks!
What you’ll need;
As listed above, you will need a couple of things to get rid of your nails. Get all of this prepped before you begin.
The first thing to do is to break the seal of your acrylic with a nail file. To do this, file the top of your nail until you have broken the curve and shine of the acrylic. Giving the whole nail a good file like this will speed up the process as it gives the acetone more areas to sink into, quicker.
If you have a nail polish on top, remove this first. If you have a gel on top, make sure to break through the gel AND the acrylic with your file.
This bit is slightly tricky, so my advice would be to do one hand at a time. I have, somehow, managed to do both at the same time in the past, but honestly, it was longer than necessary and infuriating!
Begin with your non-dominant hand (then it’ll only get easier!), dip a small piece of the cotton pad into the acetone so it is saturated fully. Place it on your finger, covering the whole area of your nail. Hover your finger over the acetone bowl – to catch any drips! – place a piece of tin foil under your finger and wrap it round the to top, then fold the top edge down, to create a tight and secure covering of the cotton pad. If there are any gaps or leakages, get a bigger piece of tin foil and place on the top.
NOTE – this bit can be done in a very neat and pretty way, but don’t worry if yours is messy, the main aim is just to ensure the tin foil is stopping the air from getting to the cotton pad, as it will dry the acetone and stop working.
This bit is the boring bit. The process works quicker if your hands are kept covered and warm, so I tend to wrap the hand up in a towel while I wait.
After 20 minutes, pull the foil off and see what progress has been made. The acrylic should have begun to melt off, use your cuticle stick or nail scraper (if you have one) to push off the excess which will be wet and mushy, then file the nail all over again. If you’re lucky the whole nail may have soaked off! In which case go to step 5… if not, go back to step 3 and re-wrap then cover with a towel and wait another 20 minutes. By this point the majority should be off and in many cases it will all be off, leaving just a small amount of residue on your natural nail. If after another 20 minutes there is still more to come off, just repeat this step and step 3, once again.
NOTE – this process of how to remove acrylic nails can take different amounts of time depending upon; what brand of acrylic was used, how much acrylic is on the nail and if there are other elements such as gel.
If you’ve been to a well trained nail technician and followed all my steps to this point, you should not have damage to your nail. This does, however, still depend on the state of your natural nail prior to the nail application. If you generally have weak or brittle nails, you may have some peeling or ragged edges following the removal of your acrylics, but do not worry. This is all superficial damage and nothing permanent will have occurred.
I generally clean the surface of the nail once all the acrylic has been removed, if there are small amounts of flaking or peeling, then go over the surface of your nail VERY gently with the nail file, to smooth, or use a buffer if you have one. Your nails may feel weak and bendy at this stage, again don’t worry, this is mainly because they have been soaked in liquid for the best part of 1 hour. They will harden up again within 1-2 hours.
You may want to quickly rush and pop a nice new colour on there and I hear you! But I would recommend you give your nails 24 hours to settle, rub some moisturiser in your hands, use some oil on your cuticles… hey! a nice hand massage wouldn’t go a miss!
By tomorrow I give you my full blessing to do whatever you like to your nails. I again, recommend using a base coat and a top coat for the best application and longest lasting results.
This is the step which is most critical really, although I realise it’s pretty boring! But listen to me when I say, if you want nice long, naturally strong nails you need to look after them and the ways you can do this are not difficult, expensive or time consuming.