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Why are my acrylic nails lifting?

Why are my acrylic nails lifting?

Acrylic nails are a popular choice for those seeking a durable, long-lasting manicure that stands out for their beauty and strength. However, even with the best application techniques, some may find their acrylic nails lifting before it's time for the next salon visit. We wanted to dive into the reasons behind this common issue and offer some expert advice to help prevent lifting and extend the life of your clients’ acrylic nails.


First up - the cornerstone of preventing acrylic nail lifting begins with meticulous nail preparation, a process every nail technician knows is vital. This entails several key steps: first, the gentle retraction of the cuticle to ensure the nail bed is clear; followed by thorough buffing of the nail to create an ideal surface for adhesion; and meticulous cleaning to remove any residual dust, employing both a manicure brush and acetone with a lint-free pad. The final step involves dust removal post-filing and the application of a nail prep/dehydrator across the nail bed. For a comprehensive guide on the application of acrylic nails, including detailed preparation techniques, the training section offers valuable resources, introductory and refresher courses.


Moisture is another adversary of long-lasting acrylic nails. Exposure to water, especially prolonged or frequent, can seep between the acrylic and the natural nail, weakening the adhesive bond. It's essential to minimise the time your hands spend in the water and to wear gloves when performing tasks like washing dishes. Furthermore, investing in high-quality cuticle oil like these can create a barrier that helps protect the nail and cuticle area from excess moisture while keeping your nails hydrated and nourished.

Big Miracle, small bottle

The application of cuticle oil isn't just a remedy for moisture-related issues; it's a cornerstone of nail care. Regular use helps maintain the flexibility and strength of the nail and cuticle, preventing lifting by ensuring the acrylic remains firmly attached to a healthy, well-moisturised base. Glitterbels offers a selection of cuticle oils that can be a delightful addition to a nail care routine. 

Look after your nails

Improper aftercare can also lead to lifting. Acrylic nails are robust, but they're not indestructible. Using your nails as tools, or engaging in activities that put excessive strain on them, can cause damage and lifting. And as as our head of education, Charli Jepson says ‘Nails are jewels and not tools!’.We recommend treating your nails with care, avoiding using them to pry things open or exposing them to any harsh chemicals and detergents - if it’s bad for your skin it will be bad for your nails!

Maintenance is key 

Additionally, not maintaining your acrylic nails can lead to problems. Regular infills, typically every two to three weeks, are necessary to adjust the growth of the natural nail and ensure the acrylic material remains secure and looks its best. Ignoring this aspect of nail care can result in lifting and other issues that compromise the longevity and integrity of your acrylic manicure.

At Glitterbels, our mission extends beyond providing premium nail care solutions; we're dedicated to equipping nail technicians with expert knowledge and insights. Understanding why acrylic nails lift and implementing preventative strategies can drastically improve the durability and aesthetics of the nails you craft for your clients.