Going to the salon for a manicure, pedicure, and even acrylic nails seems to be a rite of passage for modern women. It’s also inevitable that your acrylic nails will break, chip, or get damaged in some way. And, when that happens, you might be wondering what the process is for getting them removed — especially if you don’t want to re-apply them right away.
Salons typically remove acrylic nails by soaking them in acetone or soak them in cotton balls , wrap it in foil, and wait for 10-30 minutes. The acrylic will then become soft and can be easily removed. Nail removal may take several sessions if you have long nails or thick-looking acrylics.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most common methods used by salons to remove acrylic nails.
What Do Nail Salons Use To Remove Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are a popular choice for many women. They’re long-lasting and can be shaped into any desired shape. However, if you decide that you no longer want to wear them, you’ll need to have them removed. Removing acrylic nails is not as simple as it sounds. Nail salons use special tools to remove the acrylic nail polish along with the product itself. The process is not painless, here’s how;
1.Acetone ( Soak in Solution)
Acetone is the most common ingredient used to remove acrylic nails. Here’s how nail technicians do it;
- Preparation: The nail technician will begin by sanitizing their hands.
- Filing: Next, he/she will use a coarse nail file to remove the shiny topcoat from the acrylic nails. This helps the acetone to penetrate the material.
- Soaking: In bowl of soaked acetone solution , nail technician will soak your nails in it. The acetone solution will help to break down the acrylic material and loosen the nails from the natural nails.
- Wait: 20-30 minutes, allowing the acetone solution to soften the acrylic material.
- Scrape off the acrylics: After 20-30 minutes, he/she will use a cuticle pusher or an orange stick to gently scrape off the softened acrylic material. The technician will work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the natural nails.
- Buff and file: After all the acrylic material has been removed, the salon nail technician will then use a nail buffer to smooth out the surface of the natural nails and remove any remaining residue. They may also use a finer nail file to shape and smooth the nails.
- Moisturize: Finally, the technician will apply cuticle oil or moisturizer to rehydrate the nails and surrounding skin.
Note: Acetone may be found in a liquid form or as a powder. It can be purchased on Amazon. It also has the ability to dissolve nail polish and acrylic nail gel. It will also dissolve your natural nails if you use it too often, so it is important that you use caution when using it.
Related Post: How Long Do You Soak Acrylic Nails in Acetone?
2. Cotton balls Soaked in Acetone
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how nail salons can remove acrylic nails using cotton balls:
- Filing: A coarse nail file will be used by a nail technician to remove the shiny topcoat from the acrylic nails. This helps the acetone to penetrate the material.
- Soaking cotton balls in acetone: Cotton balls will then be soaked in acetone and placed on top of the nails.
- Wrapping the nails: Next, the nail technician will place a small piece of aluminum foil around each finger, securing the cotton ball in place over the nail. This helps to keep the acetone-soaked cotton ball in contact with the nail.
- Waiting: You will be asked to wait for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the acetone to penetrate the acrylic material and loosen the nails from the natural nails.
- Removing the cotton balls: After 20-30 minutes, the cotton balls will be removed from your fingers.
- Scrape off the acrylics: Using a cuticle pusher or an orange stick, the softened acrylic material will be gently scraped off.
- Buff and file: After all the acrylic material has been removed, the nail technician will use a buffer to smooth out the surface of the natural nails and remove any remaining residue. A finer nail file may also be used to shape and smooth the nails.
- Moisturize: Finally, cuticle oil or moisturizer will be applied to rehydrate the nails and surrounding skin.
How Long Does It Take To Remove Acrylic Nails in a Salon?
The time it takes to remove acrylic nails in a salon depends on the technique used and the thickness of the acrylic materials, but it typically takes between 10 and 30 minutes. Some nails salons may take longer time, especially if the acrylic nails are very thick or difficult to remove. It’s important to allow enough time for the removal process to be done properly to avoid damaging the natural nails.
How Do Salons Remove Gel Nails?
Gel nails are a popular type of artificial nail that can last for several weeks without chipping or peeling. However, when it’s time to remove them, you should not try to pluck them off as it can damage your natural nails. Instead, it’s best to visit a salon and have them removed professionally. Here are the typical steps a salon will follow to remove gel nails:
- Buff the Top Layer: The technician will first buff the top layer of the gel polish to remove the shine and roughen the surface, allowing the acetone to penetrate the gel layer.
- Soak in Acetone: Next, they will soak a cotton ball in acetone and place it on top of the nail. The salon nail technician will then wrap the nail with a small piece of aluminum foil to keep the cotton ball in place and prevent the acetone from evaporating.
- Wait and Check: The technician will wait for about 10 to 15 minutes for the acetone to soften the gel polish. They will check the progress periodically and may gently scrape the gel off the nail using an orange stick.
- Remove Gel: After the gel has softened, the technician will remove the foil and cotton ball, and use a nail tool to scrape off the gel from the nail. They will repeat the soaking and scraping process until all the gel is removed.
- Moisturize: Finally, she/he will use cuticle oil and lotion to moisturize the nails and surrounding skin, as the acetone can be drying.
It’s important to note that the removal process can weaken your natural nails, so it’s best to wait a few days before applying new gel nails.
Related Post: How Long Do You Soak Acrylic Nails in Acetone?
How Much Do Salons Charge to Remove Acrylic Nails?
Removing acrylic nails can cost anywhere from $30 to $90 or more, depending on where you go and what type of removal product used. If you have short natural nails, removing the acrylics might be as simple as buffing them off with a file. But if your natural nails are long, the salon may need to cut them down so they’re not damaged during removal.
If the salon uses acetone, which is much harsher than polish remover, expect to pay about $40 for removal plus another $10 for a new set of acrylics after that. This price also includes any filing or buffing required before application of new nail extensions.
Also, if your nails are too long , expect to pay even more: around $75 at most salons I’ve visited in New York City and Los Angeles (including tip). That’s because it takes longer for technicians to file and shape them before applying a new set of acrylics than it does when they’re shorter.
Related Post: How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?
Do Nail Salons Take off Acrylics for Free?
The truth is, not all salons take off acrylic nails for free. If you are looking for a salon that offers this service without charging extra, you should call ahead and ask whether or not they offer it as part of their service.
If they don’t, then find out what they would charge and give yourself some time to decide if it’s worth it or not.
Do Acrylic Nails Hurt to Take Off?
The good news is that removing acrylics isn’t as painful as it used to be — at least not all the time. The more natural your nail beds are before you get them done, the better your experience will be when you take them off.
The first step toward painless removal is choosing a salon with experienced technicians who know how to perform the procedure correctly. If they rush through it or don’t use proper technique, they can damage your natural nails and make subsequent manicures difficult or impossible.
However, even if everything goes smoothly during application, taking off acrylics can still hurt if your natural nails aren’t in good shape beforehand. If there’s any sort of damage like cracking or ridging — whether from biting them or from other causes — then it’s likely that removing acrylics will cause some pain.
Related Post: Do Acrylics Hurt?
Can You Remove Acrylic Nails at Home?
You can remove acrylic nails at home. If you have been wearing your acrylic nails for a while and have decided to remove them, you might be wondering how to do this. There are many different methods for removing acrylic nails, but most involve soaking or filing away the acrylic material. Here’s how;
How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home?
Acrylic nails are also easy to apply and remove at home with the right tools. However, if you decide to remove your own acrylic nails at home, make sure to follow these steps:
The most common way to remove acrylic nails is with acetone. Acetone is a chemical that is present in most nail polish removers. It can also be purchased separately. Acetone works by breaking down the adhesive that holds your acrylic nails on your real nail. You will need to soak your fingers in acetone for several minutes, but make sure you do not leave them in it too long.
Too much exposure to acetone can cause stinging, burning, or even skin damage. Acetone can be purchased on Amazon. It comes in different sizes and prices depending on how much you want to use at one time.
An orange stick, also known as a cuticle pusher, can be a helpful tool to remove acrylic nails. Here are the steps you can follow to use an orange stick to remove acrylic nails:
- Prepare Your Nails: Before you begin, you should trim your nails as short as possible and file down the acrylic surface. This will make the removal process easier and less damaging to your natural nails.
- Create a Gap: Using the flat end of the orange stick, gently push back the cuticles to create a small gap between the acrylic nail and your natural nail.
- Pry Up the Acrylic: Insert the pointed end of the orange stick into the gap and gently pry up the acrylic nail. Be careful not to force the orange stick under the acrylic nail, as this can damage your natural nail.
- Work Around the Nail: Once you have lifted one edge of the acrylic nail, use the orange stick to work around the nail, lifting it up a little bit at a time. If the acrylic nail is not coming off easily, stop and try soaking your nails in acetone for a few minutes to soften the acrylic.
- Be Patient: Removing acrylic nails with an orange stick can be a slow and tedious process, so be patient and take your time. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop and seek the help of a professional.
It’s worth noting that using an orange stick to remove acrylic nails can be more time-consuming and can put more strain on your natural nails than soaking them in acetone. I do suggest you use wooden orange sticks as hey are stainless and cause no harm to your skin. If you’re unsure about how to remove your acrylic nails or you’re worried about damaging your natural nails, it’s best to seek the help of a professional nail technician.
Recommended Product: Glass Cuticle Pusher by GLADZY
The first step to remove your acrylic nails is to soak them in nail polish remover. This will soften up the artificial nails so that they can be removed easily. You can either soak your nails in a bowl of a nail remover solution or pour it directly on your fingers. Let your nails soak for 10 minutes or until the artificial nails become soft.
- Insert Dental Floss: Cut a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long and loop it under the edge of the acrylic nail at one corner. Be sure to use unwaxed dental floss, as waxed floss is too slippery for this method.
- Slide Floss: Hold the ends of the dental floss and gently slide it back and forth in a sawing motion between the acrylic nail and your natural nail. Be careful not to force the floss or pull it too hard, as this can damage your natural nail.
- Move Around the Nail: Once you have cut through one side of the acrylic nail, move the dental floss to another corner and repeat the process. Continue working your way around the nail until the acrylic is completely removed.
- Clean Up: Once you have removed all the acrylic nails, use a nail buffer to smooth out any rough spots on your natural nails. You can also apply a cuticle oil or moisturizer to help restore the moisture to your nails.
Note: Once all of your nails are removed, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them completely before putting on moisturizer or lotion to keep them soft and healthy!
As it turns out, the process is relatively straightforward. A professional simply uses a solvent to soften the acrylic nails and then gently scrapes them off with a spatula (a provided tool) until they’re all removed.
But even before this stage, the designs can be slightly altered by bending or flexing the nails. Of course, as with anything, there are always exceptions. For example, other crack-prone acrylics require a different removal technique altogether, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try!
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