Acrylic nails are still one of the most preferred nail enhancement products because it is durable and easy to maintain. However, nail lifting from the nail bed after acrylics is a very common issue that many acrylic nail users have.

Acrylic nails lift when they separate from the natural nails in less than two weeks. Three reasons that cause acrylic nails to lift are the low-quality acrylics, improper acrylic nail application, and failure to know their limitation and to follow regular maintenance by a user. Any one of these three reasons can cause acrylic nails to lift prematurely.

Low-quality acrylic nail products can cause lifting

Acrylic nails lift if they are of low-quality and will not have the optimal chemicals that are used to make the product. Therefore, their durability will suffer.

Make sure that you use a name-brand product so you can eliminate this issue out of your search for why your acrylic nails lift.

The products that you must use to have lasting acrylic nail application are:

  • Dehydrator / pH balance
  • Primer
  • Liquid monomer
  • Powder polymer
  • High-quality acrylic nail brush

Besides having low-quality products, contaminated acrylics do not have the optimal chemical ratios and they will no longer have the intended adhesive strength to stick to the natural nails.

Untrained nail tech will not create lasting acrylic nails

To do a set of acrylic nails that not only pretty but will not lift for two weeks or more takes a lot of practice and experience because no two people’s nails are the same. Some might have oily skin and nails while others have thin, dry, or brittle nails.

Without sufficient training, practice, and length of time in working with acrylic nails, a nail technician will not be able to adjust or apply the right course of procedure for acrylic nail application to provide the best quality service.

All my years of working in nail salons, I have never seen any new nail technicians whose acrylic nails lasted as long as those done by experienced ones.

Acrylic nails lift if they are not taken care of properly

Even the best set of acrylic nails will lift if a person does not know how to work with them and know their limitations. The followings are the most common signs that tell a person does not know how to take care of her acrylic nails:

  1. Wear them too long for the work that they do.
  2. Use them as the extension of their fingers, not as the showcase of their hands.
  3. If natural nails are oily, long acrylic nails will not stay on.
  4. Nail beds are too short for long acrylic nails.
  5. Nails are too thin to have long acrylic nails.
  6. Do not have a regular acrylic fill-in schedule.

Why do acrylic nails lift?

Even though that the adhesion from the acrylic nails to the nail beds are ones of the strongest compared to other nail enhancement products, they are still artificially attached to the natural nails and will lift from the nail bed if they are repeatedly under stresses or forces that can weaken these strong bonds

Why are my acrylic nails lifting?

It is normal for acrylic nails to lift after two week period because the adhesion that holds acrylic nails to the nail beds will lose its strength after they are subject to up and down bending or stresses from daily use of the fingers and nails. If they lift before this time, you should examine which one of the three causes might be the answer.

In some cases, if two or all three causes act together and you will see acrylic nails start to lift in just a few days.

If one or two of your acrylic nails lift on your dominant hand after two weeks, then this is normal wear and tear because these fingers are most used and some lifting is expected.

The cause for this kind of lifting comes from normal wear and tear and the acrylic products or nail technician’s work is fine.

If all five acrylic nails on the same hand, lift before two weeks, then it is either a bad acrylic product or a bad acrylic application that causes lifting. These two causes are the salon’s responsibility and it should fix these lifted nails free of charge.

Why do my acrylic nails keep lifting?

If you tried different acrylic nail products and having different nail technicians but your acrylic nails keep lifting before two weeks, then the problem is you. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Your acrylic nails are too long for your work or daily use of hands and fingers.
  2. Your natural nails are too oily for good adhesion between acrylic nails and your nails.
  3. Your nail beds are too short to support long extended acrylic nails.
  4. Your natural nails are too thin to provide a firm base for acrylic nails to stick and last.

How to make acrylic nails not lift?

How do you keep your acrylic nail from lifting? Aside from poor acrylic product and inexperienced nail technician, you can do your part in keeping your acrylic nails from lifting prematurely by keeping these in mind:

  • Do not use them as tools
  • do not wear them too long
  • Do not put them through too much bending

Remember, you wear extended acrylic nails as one way to beautify your hands and fingers, not for you to use them any way you want.

So learn how to work with them and they will last longer.

One way I can minimize lifting of my customers’ acrylic nails is trying to make a set of nails that they like so much so they do not want to do anything to ruin them. It is a win-win scenario. My customers have pretty nails for a long time and I do not have to spend more time do unnecessary repairs which translates quick fill-ins and less fill-in cost for them.

What do you do with lifted acrylic nails?

If the gaps between your nails and acrylics are not so large that your clothes or hair do not get caught in them, do not do anything as you will make these gaps larger and they will snag and make the lifting worse.

If these gaps are large enough to snag, you should have them fix as soon as possible. The nail technician will remove the lifted parts and fill them with new acrylics.

If one or more of your acrylic nails lift so badly and you could not come in to your nail salon to have them fixed or filled, you should wrap a bandage around these nails to prevent them from snagging and break off.

Can you still get a fill if your acrylic nails lift?

Yes. You can still get a fill even if your acrylic nails lift.

It is normal for the acrylics to lift a little after two weeks which is the time you should have a fill-in.

  • If the lifted parts are small, the nail technician will remove them and do a normal fill-in.
  • If the lifted parts are as big as a quarter of your nail bed or larger, the acrylics should be removed and the nail technician should apply new acrylics on the whole nail.


Now you know all the different reasons that cause your acrylic nails to lift, I hope you will take better care of your beautiful acrylic nails. They should lift up your confidence.

Enjoy your pretty acrylic nails.

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