The biggest draw to acrylics? They’re a long-lasting, durable alternative to that traditional polish manicure that chips immediately after you leave the salon. A full set of acrylics—which are created by brushing a combo of liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer) onto your nails before shaping and air-drying them—should last six to eight weeks, but you’ll have to head to the salon every two to three weeks to fill in the growth.
Even though your acrylics may not chip or break for weeks, you should still expect to schedule a fill-in appointment every two weeks to account for your nail growth. Your natural nails grow out regardless of how long your acrylics last, and you’ll start to see growth at your cuticle beds after two weeks.
And because you can’t stop your body from doin’ its thing, you can only try to preserve your acrylics and keep them looking fresh and feeling healthy while you have them. An easy trick? Get a gel manicure on top of your acrylics to keep your polish new and vibrant. A polish manicure will inevitably have more wear and tear—even on top of an acrylic base—so I suggest getting a gel manicure if you want your acrylics to last longer.
If you’d rather go the regular polish route, make sure you use a high-quality nail polish that’s not going to chip and flake within a day and lock it in with a clear top coat, which you can also use for touch-ups between fill-in appointments. You’ll also need to keep your nails and hands super moisturized to prevent breaks or cracks, so load up on cuticle oil throughout the day.
As long as you take care of your acrylics—and head to your manicurist every two to three weeks for fill-ins—your set should last between six and eight weeks. Considering a full set of acrylics can get pretty pricey (acrylics can range from $35 to $85 depending on where you go), you want to get a decent amount of wear for your $$, which is why taking care of them is so important.
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