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5 Things You Need to...

5 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Acrylic Nails

If you've always dreamed of long nails you can deck out in colorful designs but your natural ones just won't grow, acrylic nails may be your answer. But before you head to the nail salon, there are a few things you should know.

If you've spent any time on Pinterest or flipping through fashion magazines, you know nail art is a thing and it's here to stay. Magazines, social media platforms and beauty sites are filled with incredible, inspiring, colorful nail looks for every occasion. And as nail art has become increasingly popular, the demand for long, perfectly sculpted nails has risen as well. Not everyone is able to grow long nails, so many are taking the leap and getting acrylic nails. But before you book an appointment, there are five things about acrylic nails that you should know.

You shouldn't do them yourself
Attempting to apply acrylics without professional training isn't a great idea. The process is a somewhat tedious one that takes a certain level of skill and safety training. You need a properly ventilated area to apply acrylics because there's such a strong odor created during the application process. You also need a wide assortment of products, which can add up, making your first full set very expensive. The application process is also very detailed, with steps put in place to avoid lifting, fungal infections, and bacterial infections. If you are contemplating skipping the salon and doing them yourself, don't. Get recommendations from friends and family to help you pick the best nail technician for you. (See: Acrylic Nails or Gel Nails? How to Know Which is Right for You

Maintenance is key
Acrylics aren't the kind of manicure that you can have done and forget about it. Nails grow, so they need some regular maintenance to not only keep the nail healthy but looking nice. Tansy Breshears, licensed cosmetologist and nail artist, weighed in on the importance of maintenance. "I always tell people maintenance is about home care and regular appointments with your nail tech." She goes on to say "At home, stay away from picking or filing nails by yourself, and make sure to ask your nail tech how often they recommend you return." To maintain your acrylics, be sure to keep regular refill appointments, and if you notice any cracks or breaks, see your technician immediately.

Neglecting acrylics can lead to damage
It's imperative that nails be refilled on a regular basis to avoid fungus. If you break or crack a nail, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately. If you cannot afford to pay for refills, you've got to remove the acrylic nails. Tansy recommends never removing acrylics at home; in face, she says it's more affordable to have a pro do it than to do it yourself. "To properly remove it, you'll pay more for removal products that you won't completely use than the $5 or $10 most techs charge to remove it—and it's time-consuming and messy."

The cost of acrylics can add up over time
With a price tag of around $45 for a full set, acrylics can seem like a reasonably low-cost personal care item, but the costs add up over time. Refills average $25 and must be done every 2 to 3 weeks. A new set is required every three months at an average cost of $45. Repairing a broken nail costs around $2 to $7 per nail.

Acrylic nails may make daily tasks difficult, but you can adjust
Depending on the length, everyday tasks like typing, texting, and fastening buttons may become frustrating once you have a set of acrylic nails applied. If your nails have been short all of your life, long claws can be somewhat of a challenge. Acrylic nails are also very stiff, so if the nail hits a hard object, the nail can break and separate from the nail bed. Ouch! However, after having them for a while, you'll adjust.

Acrylics, when applied correctly are relatively safe. It is also important to know the risks and commitments associated with acrylics so you can make the right decision.

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Aprill Coleman

Aprill is a fashion blogger and freelance writer that dabbles in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. When she's not on the hunt for the next best lipstick, she's grilling or fishing.

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