Why Do Acrylic Nails Lift? Why Do Acrylic Nails Lift?

Why Do Acrylic Nails Lift?

Acrylic nails lift due to improper nail preparation, poor application technique, oily nails, exposure to water, and lack of maintenance. To avoid nail lifting, it is important to properly clean and dehydrate your natural nails , use the correct application technique, avoid excessive oils and limit exposure to water.

You just got your acrylics for your birthday, engagement party or next event and then before the D-day arrives, your acrylics have lifted. This can be an extremely annoying. But, you don’t have to panic. It can be fixed.

Acrylic nails lift due to improper nail preparation, poor application technique, oily nails, exposure to water, and lack of maintenance. To avoid nail lifting, it is important to properly clean and dehydrate your natural nails , use the correct application technique, avoid excessive oils and limit exposure to water.

In this blog post, I will;

  • Explore in detail the main reasons why your acrylic nails may lift .
  • Guide you on how to stop acrylic nails from lifting.

So, without further a do, let’s start with the reasons.

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10 Reasons Why Acrylic Nails Lift

1.Poor Application

Right off the bat is bad application(That’s Right). Poor application of acrylic nails can cause lifting due to a few reasons. When the acrylic is not applied evenly and completely, there may be gaps or voids in the product. These gaps can fill with moisture from everyday activities such as washing dishes or frequently washing your hands at work.

The moisture can weaken the bond between the acrylic and the natural nail, causing the acrylic to lift or separate from the nail. Additionally, if the product is not properly cured with UV light, it may not set properly and become more susceptible to lifting. To prevent lifting caused by poor application, it is important to find a skilled manicurist who uses proper techniques and high-quality products to ensure a strong and long-lasting bond.

2.You Have Weaker Natural Nails

Weak and thin nails that are prone to breaking can be a challenge for acrylic nail artists. This is because the acrylic needs to be applied over the natural nail, so if your natural weeks are weak, the acrylic may not adhere properly. This will cause lifting eventually. it’s important that you take care of your natural nails ( by apply cuticle oil) in order to be strong enough.

3.You Did Not Apply a Primer

Acrylic nails can lift because for one you didn’t apply a primer. When applying acrylic nails, you need to make sure that you apply a primer first. Acrylic nails are not meant to adhere directly to your natural nail bed without a primer. The primer is what helps them stick properly and stay on longer. If you don’t use a primer, then there’s no way your acrylic nails will last as long as they should.

4.Exposure to Environment Factors

Just like any other cosmetic products or materials, acrylic nails will also be affected by the environmental factors. For example, if you do not take good care of your acrylic nails, they will start to lift from the nail bed. This is because the glue that holds the acrylic nails together with your natural nails starts to lose its grip due to exposure to hot water, cold water and other substances like soaps. Therefore, protect your hands from water as much as possible when washing dishes or doing laundry by always wearing gloves.

5.Health Disorders

Nail disorders can cause your natural nails to lift, which can then lead to acrylic fall off as well. For example, psoriasis causes skin cells to build up under your nail bed, which makes it difficult for an artificial nail to adhere properly. You may also see this happen if you have certain fungal infections or eczema around your fingernails.( Source)

If your hands itch or become inflamed after applying the acrylics, then this could be an allergic reaction. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help with any allergy symptoms. It is always advisable to check in with your doctor first if you have history of acrylic nails.

6.Wrong Powder To Liquid Mixture Ratio

When it comes to acrylic nail powders, there are many different types of powders available on the market today. However, not all powders are made equal. Some of them work much better than others when combined with the liquid monomer used to create the acrylic nail product itself.

If you’re using an acrylic nail product that doesn’t contain enough powder in its mixture, then it’s possible for your nails to either become too soft . In this case, your nails will start to lift off of your finger prematurely and cause damage to your natural nail underneath bed. Always use the right mixing ratio.

7.Not Applying Thick Enough Acrylic

If you want your acrylic nail application to last for at least two weeks, then make sure that the acrylic monomer is thick enough. If the acrylic is too thin, then it will not be able to support the weight of your natural nail which will cause it to lift prematurely. The thicker the acrylic, the longer it will stay attached to your natural nail and prevent lifting from occurring. Keep this in mind next time you visit the nail salon.

8.Your Natural Nail Is Growing Faster Than the Acrylic

Your natural nails grow at a rate of 0.1 mm per day (one tenth of one millimeter). This means that it takes about 20 days for your nail to grow from the cuticle to the tip of your finger( Source). If you get acrylics, which can be up to 2 millimeters long, it will take 10 times longer for your natural nail to grow out under the acrylic. It is an important to consider so that you don’t become frustrated.

9.Not Enough Base Coats

Another reason why acrylic nails lift is because not enough base coats are applied. Base coats act as a barrier between the acrylic and your natural nails. Without this barrier, it is easier for moisture to get underneath your artificial nails and cause them to lift up over time. When in a nail salon, remind your nail technician to always apply abase coat. Some of them really do not unless reminded. You also want to get value for your buck right!

10.No Refill

If you have acrylic nails, then it’s important to know that if you don’t refill them, they will be damaged. The reason is because the nails are made out of acrylic material and they need to be replaced every two weeks or so. If you don’t do this, then your acrylic nails will start lifting from the nail bed. This is not good for the health of your nails and it can also cause infections in your fingers and hands.

Related Reading: Why Do My Acrylic Nails Keep Popping Off?

Ways To Stop Your Acrylic Nails From Lifting

If you’ve ever had acrylic nails, then you’ve probably experienced them lifting. It’s one of the most common complaints about acrylics. But not to worry! Here are ways to stop your acrylics from lifting and keep them looking freshly applied for weeks;

Related Reading: Can You Bowl With Acrylic Nails?

1.Prep Your Cuticles

Your cuticles are the first place where your acrylics will start to peel off. When you apply your acrylics, make sure that you push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher instead of clipping them back or tearing them off . This will help ensure that there won’t be any gaps between your nail and the tip of the acrylic.

2.Apply a Primer Always

A primer is an essential part of any acrylic nail application because it helps create a smooth surface for the acrylics to adhere to. Without a primer, small bumps and creases in your natural nail.

The primer acts as a bonding agent and helps the acrylic stick to the nail, making it last longer. When the application of primer is skipped or not applied correctly, the acrylic will have a difficult time adhering to the natural nail. This can lead to lifting and breakage of the acrylics. In addition, a primer helps remove oils from the natural nails that can weaken the bond of the acrylics.

Moreover, a proper primer application can also protect your natural nails from any damage that might occur during the application process. A primer will make sure that your acrylics stay in place and that they last as long as possible without lifting.

3.Nurture Out Your Natural Nails

When you first get your acrylics put on, it’s important to take good care of your natural nails so they don’t lift prematurely. You can do this by applying cuticle oil or a cuticle cream every day while your acrylics are in place. This will help condition your cuticles so they don’t get dry and cracked, which could lead to lifting. If you have any cuts or hangnails on your natural nails, be sure to keep them trimmed so there aren’t any sharp edges that could poke through an acrylic nail.

Related Reading: Do Acrylic Nails Ruin Your Natural Nails?

4.Apply Top Coats

After getting acrylics, apply top coats every time you have them refilled. This helps protect against chipping and cracking while also keeping them looking shiny and new-looking at all times. Apply one or two coats of top coat every other week until your next refill appointment with the nail technician.

Applying top coat regularly is a good way to help protect and maintain your acrylic nails. Acrylic nails can be prone to chipping, cracking, and losing their shine over time, so adding a layer of top coat can help prevent these issues.

Related Reading: Can You Paint Over Acrylic Nails?

5.Take Vitamin B12 Supplements

For acrylic nails to stop lifting, take vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 helps produce new cells in your body. A deficiency in this vitamin will result in weak, brittle and thinning nails. Taking this supplement will strengthen your nails and make them less prone to lifting from the nail bed. You can get vitamin supplements from your local chemist or supermarket.

How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last Before Lifting?

Acrylic nails can last for about two weeks, but they can last longer if you take care of them properly.


There are many factors that determine how long your acrylics will last. The main factor is how healthy your natural nail is before the application of acrylics. If your nails are weak or brittle, they may split or break when acrylics are applied. This could cause lifting in the corners or sides of the nails.

To maintain the appearance of acrylic nails, it’s important to take good care of them by always trimming cuticle oil and applying a moisturizer.

Tips on How to Make Acrylic Nails Last

Proper Nail PreparationClean and dehydrate natural nails before applying acrylics to ensure proper adhesion.
High-Quality ProductsUse high-quality acrylic products for a stronger, longer-lasting bond.
Proper Application TechniqueEnsure even application and use a clean brush to prevent lifting.
Avoid Oily NailsRemove excess oils from natural nails before applying acrylics to prevent weakening of bond.
Limit Water ExposureSoaking nails in water for extended periods can weaken the bond, limit water exposure as much as possible.
Regular MaintenanceRegularly fill in the growth area at the base of the nail to prevent lifting and maintain appearance.
Avoid Exposure to ChemicalsExposure to harsh chemicals can weaken the bond and cause lifting, so it’s best to avoid contact.
Wear GlovesWearing gloves while performing household chores can protect your nails from damage and extend their lifespan.
Seek Professional CorrectionIf lifting occurs, have it corrected by a professional to avoid further damage and discomfort.
Source: Acrylicpedia.com

DIY – How To Repair Lifted Acrylic Nails At Home

Acrylic nails are a great way to get a manicure that lasts for weeks. But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the time or money to visit the salon every two weeks for a fill.(At-least I don’t either). That’s where acrylic at home DIY comes in. Whether you want to repair a broken nail or simply add length, these steps will help you achieve salon-quality results at home.

1.File Down Your Nails

The first step in repairing your acrylic nails is to file them down so they are even with the tips of your fingers. Use a flat file and work from side to side rather than just back and forth on each nail. This will prevent any damage to your natural nail bed as well as ensure that your new application of acrylic is smooth and even. Filing always makes your nails even out, don’t miss that out.

2.Push Your Cuticles Back ( A must- Do)

Using either a cuticle pusher or an orange stick, push back your cuticles so they are flush with the skin surrounding them. If there’s excess skin near the cuticle area on one or more of your nails, trim it off using nail clippers or scissors before applying more a dehydrator, primer or acrylic.

3.Apply Dehydrator

Apply dehydrator to your nail before using any other nail products. Dehydrator contains a substance called formaldehyde, which will help keep your natural nails from absorbing moisture from the acrylic and damaging them further.

4.Apply A Primer

A primer is a special kind of base coat that helps seal the nail bed and make your polish last longer. It also fills any holes in the surface of the acrylic so that it doesn’t chip as easily as it would without primer beneath it. This step is optional if you are only repairing one nail but if you want all of them looking smooth again then apply it first

5.Seal it With Glue

If the nail has lifted but not completely fallen off the nail bed, use a clear acrylic glue to seal it back down again. Apply a small amount of glue on top of the nail and push it gently into place with some tweezers. The glue will dry clear and harden within minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Stop Acrylic Nails From Lifting?

The best way to stop acrylics from lifting is by keeping your nails moisturized. This will prevent the acrylic from cracking and peeling off at the edges after it has been applied. Use a lotion , Vaseline or coconut oil

Why Is My Acrylic Lifting at the Cuticle?

If your acrylics are lifting at the cuticle, it could mean that the adhesive wasn’t applied properly. The cuticle should be completely covered with a layer of adhesive and then filed down into place before applying the rest of the application. This prevents any lifting at the cuticle.

Why Are My Acrylics Lifting After a Few Days?

The most likely reason for this is that your nail tech didn’t use enough liquid monomer to bond the acrylic to your natural nail. The liquid monomer will create a chemical reaction with your natural nail and turn into a hard plastic coating. If there isn’t enough of it, then the acrylic won’t bond properly with your natural nail and will start lifting off shortly after application.


If your acrylic nails weren’t applied correctly, it’s easy to understand why they might end up lifting. As noted above, sloppiness is the most likely culprit when it comes to nail lifting. It also usually means you get a refill or DIY at home. Now that you know why acrylic nails lift, you can make sure to avoid the problem in the future!

Expert Take away: When you do have the acrylic nails removed, be sure to moisturize your cuticles and the skin around your nails for a week or two to help prevent any damage.



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