Damaged Nails After Acrylics

So, you have been using acrylic all along with no problems until recently right? Have you been using the right care and recovery process for your nails?

It’s why you have probably experienced damaged nails after acrylics.

There are various reasons for damaged nails after acrylics. There are also various recovery steps you have to consider as well. With an informed approach and the right products, you are sure of quality results.

Ready to start? Let us begin!

What are Some Common Signs of Damage After Acrylics?

putting acrylic nails on damaged nails
Source: TeenVogue

There are various damage types that can occur to the nails after acrylics. These can include:

  • Nail injury. It refers to a wound that arises around the nail area due to pressure, or elements like dirt and bacteria. Many people also refer to this experience as the sore nails after acrylics removed issue. 
  • Nail bed damage. It refers to structural damage that occurs to the nails, which can sometimes make them paper thin.
  • Nail pain. Failing to use acrylics correctly can lead to gradual nail damage over time. Be cautious in using it correctly.
  • Cuticle damage. Damage to the cuticle can also occur because of overexposure to nail products like acrylics. 

What are the Reasons for Damaged Nails After Acrylics 

paper thin nails after dip powder
Source: Unsplash

There are various reasons why you might have experienced damaged nails after acrylics which can include:

Reason #1. Lack of Proper Hygiene

The first and major cause of damaged nails after acrylics is usually lack of proper hygiene. You see, the nails are made of layers of keratin, which are a form of biological matter. 

Fungi and bacteria like feeding on such substances, and the conditions that exist underneath products like acrylics. 

So, lack of hygiene makes the nails prone to regular damage, as the successive layers become weak. 

Reason #2. Naturally Weak Nails

People who have naturally weak nails are also prone to nail damage complications. Causes like lack of the correct diet, or genetics are common among these people. 

They tend to have weak nails, which makes them prone to various other secondary nail damage complications. It’s good to identify whether you have weak nails ahead of time, especially before using nail care products. 

Reason #3. Excessive Nail Product Usage 

Using large amounts of nail care products also makes your nail prone to regular damage. That is because the excessive product amounts are harsh on the structure of your nail. 

They can cause gradual damage to the nail structure, which you have to be cautious of each time. 

Some notorious product that you also use with acrylics you should consider is acetone. Ensure you keep off these harsh nail products, or take well-timed breaks!

Reason #4. Nail Trauma 

One other common cause of damaged nails after acrylic would be because of a high impact force. 

A good example would be a fall, or perhaps exposing your hands to activities that expose the nails to unusual conditions. 

The trauma effects might sometimes be gradual so that you don’t feel any pain at first. However, as the condition progress, you might notice the intensity of the pain increasing significantly. 

Therefore, you have to avoid any conditions or settings that will expose your nails to high-impact forces. Nail trauma is also a common cause of paper-thin nails after dip powder.

While rare, some cases of nail trauma often occur because of excessive use of nail chemicals and products. 

A common culprit in this category is acetone. While it’s helpful for nail care, you must be cautious in using it (it’s best paired with a nail strengthener!).

How to Heal Damaged Nails After Acrylics

how to heal damaged nails after acrylics
Source: Selectivenails

We have outlined all the products, tips, and solutions you need to heal damaged nails after acrylics. 

Recommended Products

Here is the list of products you need to kickstart any basic nail healing process: 

Nail care kitIt contains resources like a file, nail cutter, and buffing tool.Manicure Set Nail Clippers Pedicure Kit
Nail kit disinfectant containerUse this to clean your nail care tools.JJ CARE Disinfectant Jar
Acetone/disinfectantFor the cleaning processSuper Nail Pure Acetone Polish Remover,
Methylated spiritA cleaning and disinfectant alternative.N/A
GlovesFor holding your cleaning tools, and products.Med PRIDE NitriPride Nitrile-Vinyl Blend Exam Gloves
Cotton padsFor performing the cleaning process. Cliganic Premium Cotton Rounds for Face (300 Count) 
Nail moisturizer conditionerFor strengthening and improving your nail conditionCND SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Care


The level of damage that has occurred to your nails will determine the specific steps you can perform for healing. 

That is because some people have nails with wounds, while others simply have paper-thin nails after acrylics. However, expect the following steps or procedures for nail damage from fake nails: 

  • Clean your nails, and the tools you plan on using for nail care. Do this to reduce any chances of dirt or bacteria seeping in again to the damaged nail section. 
  • Apply cuticle oil or moisturizer to the affected area. You can do this after performing the buffing process.
  • For nails that have wounds, proceed with caution. Cut any damaged part of the nail accordingly. If the pain is excessive, visit a doctor. Avoid working on nails with significant damage or wounds. 
  • Remember to give your damaged nails a significant break. It helps your nails rejuvenate, especially if they have been weak.
  • While minimal, diet has a crucial role to play in the quality of your nails even after using acrylics. So, eat well!
  • We recommend you “SKIP” the cuticle pushing process. Doing this can cause do more harm than good to your acrylic nails.

PRO TIP! We found an informative Youtube Video to guide you on healing your nails after using nail care products. Here is the title “HOW TO REPAIR AND GROW WEAK & DAMAGED NAILS AFTER ACRYLICS.”

How Long Does it Take for Nails to Heal After Using Acrylics?

paper thin nails after gel nails
Source: Styleseat.com

There are various factors that come into play in the healing time of your nails after using acrylics. These include

  • Frequency of use. People who use acrylic products on a regular basis are much more prone to nail care issues, than those who don’t. 
  • Your nail health. Aspects like the general health of your nails will impact your nails’ ability to heal even after using acrylics. 
  • Your nail care habits. Using the correct nail care habits has a positive impact on the recovery process of your nails. 
  • Ability to make good decisions. Being informed about nail care procedures will influence the healing time of your nails. 

How to Use Acrylic Nails Correctly 

what should i put on my nails after removing acrylics at home
Source: Lotsoflaquer

We also thought that you would find this guide on using acrylic nail products correctly helpful. Why is that?

It’s because failing to use acrylics correctly is one of the main causes of thin or damaged nails after acrylic issues. 

Fortunately, applying acrylics should become simple after you practice a few times. Here are the steps you should expect (use the table above for product references!):

Recommended Product 

Almond Fake Nail Tips Contains the acrylic nails. Acrylic Nails 
Diamond Wipes Acetone Nail Polish Remover PadsFor cleaning your nails and the tools. Acetone pads.
Manicure Set Nail Clippers Pedicure Kit It contains buffering tools, and more. Nail Clippers and various other tools 
Modelones Gel Nail Polish PrimerFor setting the acrylicsNail polish primer for your acrylics.


  1. Start by getting all the tools that you need for the nail care and application process. 
  2. Prep your nails such as through buffing, and sanding techniques. You might also have to push back the cuticles.
  3. Apply the dehydrating primer on your nails.
  4. Next, apply the acrylic nail products on your nails.
  5. Shape it according to your needs. 
  6. Let your nails sit undisturbed for a few minutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What to Do if Your Nails Are Thin After Acrylics?

There are various things you can do if your nails are thin after acrylics. You can use nail strengtheners and moisturizers on your nail. You will also have to avoid nail care products for up to one month. 

Why Are My Nails So Thin After Taking Acrylics Off?

There are various reasons why your nails are thin after taking acrylics off. It could be because of genetics, poor nail care procedures, and gradual damage due to nail care products. Regardless, you have to find ways of remedying the problem fast. 

How Long Does It Take for Thin Nails to Heal?

It takes between 2 weeks to four months for paper-thin nails to heal. The healing process depends on the results you want, your preferences, and the damage level. It also relates to the quality of care you expect for your nails. 

Can Acrylic Nails Permanently Damage Your Nails?

Even if possible, it’s rare for acrylic nails to permanently damage your nails. It all depends on your nail care regimen, the health of your nails, and your ability to be cautious when using these products. 

Will My Nails Grow Back After Acrylics?

Yes, your nails will grow back after using acrylics. The speed of this recovery process depends on your nail health, the products you use, and the expected results. It also relates to the damage level that occurred to your nails.

As you have seen, there are various causes of damaged nails after acrylics. You must be cautious in your approach to ensure the best recovery process. Fortunately, the guide above has identified all you need to know!

Katharyn Riedel

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