How Long Do Acrylic Nails Stay On?

Acrylic nails require frequent fill-ins to maximize their staying power.

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If you want the glamorous look of long nails but just can't seem to grown your own, you may want to consider acrylic nails. Having acrylic painted on top of your natural nail will make it stronger and resist breaking -- as long as you keep the acrylic on your nail. An original acrylic set will last between 10 and 14 days, but with regular with regular maintenance, they can last as long as you want them to!

Original Application

The first application of acrylic nails stays on for an average of two weeks, give or take a few days. Of course, this depends entirely on the quality of the acrylic set and your day-to-day activities. If you build houses for a living, your acrylic nails probably won't last more than a few days! Your natural nails grow continuously, which results in your acrylic nails growing right along with them. The farther the acrylic nail moves up your natural nail, the weaker its adherence becomes, and the more likely it will become damaged.


To maintain your acrylic nail's strength and staying power, fill-ins are required roughly every two weeks. As the natural nail grows, a gap forms between your cuticle and the acrylic nail. The fill-in process adds additional acrylic to this gap, reinforcing the acrylic nail and its adherence to your natural nail. Regular fill-ins give acrylic nails an undefinable stay time because the acrylic is constantly being replaced, resulting in a strong and sturdy nail.


Of course, with regular nail growth and fill-ins, your acrylic nail moves out and continues to extend further and further out. The claw look is so 10 years ago! Filing is required to keep your acrylic nail set in check at a manageable length. Not to mention, the longer the nail, then the more likely it will be damaged as it snags frequently on outside objects. A high-grit nail file works great at removing any excess length without cracking or breaking the acrylic nail.


Although your natural nails are constantly growing, the acrylic overlay prevents them from growing healthily and results in a weak nail, usually with various ridges from the frequent fill-ins. Regular maintenance may give you a long-lasting acrylic nail set but at the risk of ruining your natural nails. Give your natural nails a breather from the acrylic every so often!

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