How To Rehab Your Nails After Acrylics

Perfectly sculpted Instagram-worthy Kardashian-length claws are a major obsession. Acrylics are the perfect solution to stubbornly short or slow-growing nails, they provide a little elegance to an everyday look, and the ritual of getting them put on feels meditative – they’re the ultimate self care accessory! But what happens when you’ve had enough of your talons?
milk running down hand
We’ve all heard horror stories about nails permanently ruined by a poorly-applied or poorly-removed set of acrylics. But the truth is, acrylics, just like hair and lash extensions, are perfectly safe for your bod if cared for and removed properly.

Here is a six-step Saz-approved method to rehabilitate nails after acrylics:

Step One: Take The Plunge!

When it’s time to remove your acrylics, get them taken off by a professional at the salon. This procedure should take about 20 minutes. The technician will soak your nails in 100% acetone and buff them clean. If your acrylics are stubborn, they might wrap your fingertips in aluminum foil to hold an acetone-soaked cotton ball on each nail. Whatever you do, don’t rip off the acrylics or you’ll lose layers of your natural nail!

Step Two: Make the chop!

Cut your natural nails as short as you can bear. Nails thinned by acrylics will be weaker and more prone to splitting and breaking. Keeping them short will reduce the risk of breakage!

Step Three: Chill out

Let them breathe! They deserve a break after acrylics. If you can’t stand to look at your naked nails, get a gel manicure. This may seem counterintuitive, but a gel manicure can add a layer of thickness and prevent them from breaking as they grow out. (Just remember to remove the gel properly!) If you’re doing an at-home manicure, be sure to use a hardening polish like the classic Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails.

Step Four: Be Gentle

Arm yourself with cuticle oil and a good hand lotion to combat the drying effects of acetone and to repair your skin. I love the Deep Sea Cosmetics Cuticle Oil (featured in the Spring Bonus Box). And don’t even think about doing a sink full of dishes without gloves! Chemicals and water can make your nails soft, and gloves will keep them protected.

Step Five: Eat Up!

Make sure you’re fueling up on the right nutrients. Biotin, omega-3 and fatty-acid rich foods help strengthen nails, hair and skin! You can find biotin in foods like eggs, peanuts, almonds, avocados, and sweet potatoes. Walnuts are another great snack – they’re full of omega-3s and vitamin E.

Step Six: Be patient

Even the most damaged nails can be brought back to life, but it will take time. Unfortunately, there isn’t one quick fix. While you’re waiting for your healthy nails to grow out, stick to regular, 5-Free Polishes like NCLA’s We’re Off To Never Never Land (featured in the May Bless box!), get serious about moisturizing, and wait it out. After all, time heals everything!

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