How Thick Should Acrylic Nails Be? How Thick Should Acrylic Nails Be?

How Thick Should Acrylic Nails Be?( Recommended Thickness)

Acrylic nails should be 0.03 inches (0.75mm) thick . This thickness should be at the free edge and similar to the thickness of a credit card. It should also provide a balance between durability and flexibility. If your acrylic nails are too thin, they will be prone to breaking or chipping easily, while thicker acrylic nails can be uncomfortable and even painful to wear. By adhering to the recommended thickness, acrylic nails can be both sturdy and comfortable.

Does thickness and bluntness of acrylic nails matter? 100%. Many people underestimate the importance of getting the right thickness when it comes to acrylic nails. Well, thick nails or too blunt may cause a lot of problems, such as pain and discomfort as well as increasing the risk of infection and bacterial growth. So, what exactly is the ideal thickness for acrylic nails?

Acrylic nails should be 0.03 inches (0.75mm) thick . This thickness should be at the free edge and similar to the thickness of a credit card. It should also provide a balance between durability and flexibility. If your acrylic nails are too thin, they will be prone to breaking or chipping easily, while thicker acrylic nails can be uncomfortable and even painful to wear. By adhering to the recommended thickness, acrylic nails can be both sturdy and comfortable.

In this article, I’ll explore the science behind optimal acrylic nail thickness and provide tips and tricks to help you achieve the perfect results.

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The Right Thickness for Acrylic Nails

Now, if you are thinking of getting acrylic nails and wondering what thickness you should go for, here’s what you need to know. Acrylic nails should ideally be about the thickness of a credit card at the free edge, which is approximately .03 inches (or 0.75mm). Thick acrylic nails can be really uncomfortable and cause discomfort or pain, especially when doing small tasks. In nail art, the thinner your acrylic nails are, the more easier is it for them to break.

But, truth is even thick nails can also break and pop, which can lead to infection and other issues. Checkout these 10 reasons why your acrylic nails may pop and what you can do about it. Lastly, thicker nails may look unnatural and even unappealing. I’d prefer you tell your technician to pay close attention to the thickness of acrylic nails and ensure that they are not too thick, especially at the free edge.

Thin vs Thick Acrylic Nails: Know the Difference

1)Thin Acrylic Nails

For the ladies out there who love getting acrylic nails, the thickness of those nails is a pretty big deal. So, what are really the pros and cons of each. Let’s start with thin nails.

  • Thinner acrylic nails tend to look more natural and feel more comfortable, especially if you’re not used to having long nails.
  • They are also less prone to breaking or lifting, which can be a real pain (literally) if you’re trying to do everyday activities or even simple day to day life errands.

I remember after watching Karrueche Tran on Claws, I become so obsessed and told my nail technician to craft the same nails. I wanted the same color, length and thickness. Here’s what happened after- The nails were so long and uncomfortable. I struggled to even type on my laptop (for real, for real). Even though they were thin, I felt so unease. I had them on for about 5 days and decided to remove them at home using acetone and go back to my usual thickness and length.

In my experience, I noticed some downsides to thin nails as well,. These were mainly;

  • Less durability.
  • Thin acrylic nails are difficult to shape and maintain over time.

2)Thicker Acrylic Nails

On the other hand, thicker acrylic nails have their own set of advantages. For one, they are more durable and longer-lasting, which is great especially if you want to keep your nails looking good for weeks on end. I am talking even a month. They are also super easy to shape and work with. This allows for more creative designs and styles( Talk of versatility). If you have ever got thicker acrylic nails , you know what I mean. You can literally re-shape them to your liking.

Even though the pros of thicker acrylic nails out weigh cons. I’ll still tell you the downsides ;

  • They can be more uncomfortable to wear, especially if they are too thick at the free edge.
  • Thicker nails can also be more prone to breaking or lifting. This can lead to infection and other issues.

At the end of the day, whether you choose thin or thick acrylic nails depends on your personal preferences and style. So, go ahead and experiment with both options to find the perfect thickness for you. Just remember, if you go too thin, you might be sacrificing durability and ease of maintenance.

And, if you go too thick, you might be sacrificing comfort . But, with the right balance, you can have the perfect set of acrylic nails that make you feel confident, stylish, and ready to take on the world (or at least your next manicure appointment).

How to Thin Out Thick Acrylic Nails at Home?

Ladies, if you ever want to thin out your thicker acrylic nails, here’s what you can do- First, it’s best to have a nail technician remove some of the acrylic using an electric drill. They have the right tools and experience to safely thin out your nails without damaging them.

But, if you did your acrylic nails all by your self at home and want to thin them out, you can try this method:

  • Use a coarse-grit nail file to gently file down the top layer of the acrylic. Be sure to file in one direction only, and avoid filing too aggressively, as this can damage your nail bed.
  • After you’ve filed down the top layer, switch to a finer-grit nail file and continue filing until you’ve reached your desired thickness. Also, check the thickness of your nails frequently as you file to avoid over-thinning.
  • Once you’ve achieved the desired thickness, buff the surface of the nails with a nail buffer to smooth out any rough spots, edges or unevenness.
  • Finish, moisturize your nails using a hydrating lotion or oil to keep them healthy and nourished. I recommend this Organic Cuticle Oil for Nails

I’d also like to tell you to be patient and gentle when thinning out your acrylic nails, as they can be delicate and prone to damage.

If you are a little nervous or at unease to do it yourself, it’s best to leave it to a professional nail technician. Take your self to your nail salon. Nail technicians will help you achieve the perfect thickness for your acrylic nails while keeping them healthy and strong.

Where Should the Apex Be on Acrylic Nails?

The apex is a crucial component of a well-built acrylic nail. It refers to the point where your natural nail meets the acrylic. You can notice the apex by looking at the middle of your acrylic nails. Here’s everything you need to know about apex, where to place it and how to build it:

What Is an Apex?

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The apex is a small, curved bump on the underside of the nail that helps to distribute pressure evenly across the nail plate. It also helps to reinforce the structure of the nail, making it stronger and more durable.

Where to Put the Apex?

Apex should be placed about two-thirds of the way down the nail, closer to the cuticle than the free edge.

How to Build the Apex?

  • To build the apex, you’ll need to apply thin acrylic at the cuticle.
  • Begin by slowly applying a thin layer of acrylic to the nail plate, then use a brush to gently push the acrylic towards the cuticle, creating a small bump.
  • Now, as you reach the apex, add thicker acrylic beads.
  • You can ass more layers of acrylic till you see the thickness you like. Continue to shape and refine the apex, ensuring that it is smooth, even, and strong.

At the tip, also add acrylic but it should not be thicker than the apex. Once you’ve achieved the desired shape and thickness, you can file and buff the nail to smooth out any rough spots or unevenness.

How Thick Should Gel Nails Be?

The recommended thickness for gel nails is not much different from acrylic nails. In general, the ideal thickness for gel nails should be around 0.3 inches or less. To have a clear idea of this, look at the thickness of your credit card. Your gel thickness should not over pass that. I would like to mention why this thickness is recommended for gel nails;

Gel nails are made from a thick, sticky gel that is applied to the natural nail or an extension. This gel is cured under a UV lamp or LED light and for the most part can be difficult to cure properly, leading to problems such as lifting, cracking, or peeling.

On the other hand, if the gel layers are too thin, the nails may not be strong enough to withstand normal wear and tear. They may also be more prone to breaking or chipping, and may not provide enough protection for the natural nails. I would suggest that you take a glimpse at the article that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both acrylic and gel nails to help you make an informed decision about which one is best .

How Do I Know if My Acrylic Nails Are Too Thin?

To know if your acrylics are too thin your nails will feel extra sensitive or sore when you tap them on a hard surface. Your natural nails should be protected by a strong layer of acrylic, so if you feel any discomfort or pain, it could be a sign that your nails are too thin.

Another way to tell if your acrylic nails are too thin is to examine them closely. If you can see through the nails and notice any bumps or ridges in the natural nails underneath, this could be another sign that the acrylic is too thin.

This is even worse especially if there is any cracking or chipping in the acrylic as this could be a sign that it is not thick enough to hold up to everyday wear and tear.

If you have any doubts about the thickness of your acrylic nails, it’s ask your nail technician before you exit the nail salon. And, if your nail technician indeed confirms that your acrylic nails are thin, they will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your nails are strong, durable, and beautiful.

Why Are My Nails So Thin After Acrylics? And, What You Can Do About It?

As an acrylic nail lover, it can be frustrating to notice your natural nails feeling thin and weak after taking off your acrylics. This is a common issue that many ladies experience due to the fact that acrylics require filing down of the natural nail to ensure a smooth surface for the application of the acrylic. Over time, this can cause your nails to become brittle and thin.

Another reason why your nails may be thin after acrylics is due to the use of harsh chemicals during the application and removal process. Take for instance, acetone. This is a pretty common ingredient used to remove acrylics, but it can also strip the natural oils and moisture from your nails, leaving them dry and brittle.

To combat thin nails after acrylics, there are several things you can do. Firstly, make sure to give your nails a break between applications to allow them to breathe and recover. You can also apply cuticle oil daily to nourish and hydrate your nails, as well as taking biotin supplements to promote healthy nail growth.

As for my personal experience, I remember getting acrylic nails done during a trip to Dubai a few years ago. While they looked beautiful, I noticed that my natural nails felt thin and weak after I had them removed. I was worried that they would never regain their strength, but I took the necessary steps to care for them, such as using cuticle oil and taking biotin supplements. Over time, my nails gradually became stronger and healthier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Ideal Thickness for Acrylic Nails at the Free Edge?

The ideal thickness for acrylic nails at the free edge is about 0.03 inches (or 0.75mm), which is approximately the thickness of a credit card.

Can Acrylic Nails Be Too Thin or Too Thick?

100%. Acrylic nails can be both too thin and too thick. Have them thin and they may break easily whereas acrylic nails that are too thick may cause discomfort, pain, and an increased risk of infection. Its best to sort of just have a balance. Just don’t get too thin and too thick.

What Are the Risks of Having Acrylic Nails That Are Too Thick or Too Thin?

Just like I said, if acrylic nails are too thin, they may break easily and cause damage to the natural nail underneath. On the other hand, if acrylic nails are too thick, they may cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to an increased risk of bacterial and fungal infections. Just rock what works for you.


The general rule of thumb is that the average thickness for acrylic nails should be around 0.03 inches However, this can vary depending on the length and shape of your natural nails. If you have long natural nails, you need thicker acrylic nails to provide adequate support and prevent breakage. On the other hand, if you have short natural nails, thinner acrylic nails are more appropriate.

Consider your lifestyle when determining the appropriate thickness for your acrylic nails. If you work with your hands or engage in activities that are tough on your nails, thicker acrylics are perfect for extra durability and protection.

Ultimately, the ideal thickness for your acrylic nails will come down to personal preference.