Why Do My Acrylic Nails Pop Off? [Reasons+Solutions]

Applying acrylic nails takes a long time. So it’s a little frustrating when we find our acrylic nails lifting or popping off.

However, there are some ways you can fix this problem. But before that, we need to find out the reason for the nail lifting.

So, here’s the answer to your question-“why do my acrylic nails pop off?

There are many reasons acrylic nails might pop off. We sometimes forget to take the complete preparation before applying acrylic. We also make some mistakes while applying the acrylic mix. Too much gel polish can also be responsible. However, improper handling, unhealthy nails, and sudden impact also cause the acrylics to pop off.

These are the reasons why your acrylic nails are popping off. However, if you want to know further about acrylic nails popping off and how to solve them. Then spare a minute and read along.

Shall we start?

Are Your Acrylic Nails Really Popping-Off?

Acrylic nails last longer than the usual nail polish or gel polish. 

Nail polish usually lasts for two days before it starts chipping. Although, there are some formulas that last for up to 2 weeks. After that, the polish starts to chip at the tips or from the cuticles.

Acrylic nails are not similar to any of the above polishes. Unlike gel and regular nail polish, acrylics last a lot longer. The process of applying these nails is also different. 

Also once you apply acrylic nails, you need to refill them every 2-3 weeks from the nail salon. You might also need to reapply gel polish on top of acrylic nails within this period. 

Acrylic nails last up to 8 weeks before it starts falling off. The nail glue expires, as a result, the acrylics lose their adhesion. Which is why they lift from the nail bed.

If acrylic nails are on for more than the due time, they’ll pop off on their own. That’s when you have to go get the new sets of nails. 

Before proceeding to the reasons and solutions, find out if your nails are past their dues. If yes, you’ve nothing to worry about. Because that is their natural time to pop off. 

However, if your nails pop off before that there might be a problem. Your nails might start lifting from the cuticle, from the edge, or from the tips. That’s when you should be in action and fix it as soon as possible.

In order to get to the action, find out the causes of your acrylic nail popping off. To know that, you need to go through a series of inspections. That’s where our step-by-step guide will help you. So why waste any more of our time? 

Let’s get straight into identifying the problem-

Reasons Why Acrylic Nails Pop-Off

There are multiple reasons why our acrylic nails are popping off. Most of them are our own fault. We might’ve made a mistake while applying. Or forgot to prepare our nails before applying. Also, we might’ve mishandled the nails after they were set.

Whichever the case, we are going to find out and that’ll help us take the next step. Find out if you’ve missed a step of the application process. If you can identify the reason behind acrylic nail lifting. Then you can take the appropriate steps.

Here’s a brief overview of the reasons and solutions of acrylic nails popping off-

  • Not removing the oily layer
  • Not washing and drying the hands
  • Not using nail primer
  • Not pushing the cuticles
  • Pterygium hasn’t been removed
Before applyingNot removing the oily layer
Not washing and drying the hands
Not using nail primer
Not pushing the cuticles
Pterygium hasn’t been removed
While applyingApplying too much gel polish
Not pinching c-curve
An incorrect acrylic mix ratio
Broken UV lamp
Not capping the free edge
Applying the acrylic too close to the cuticle
Too much nail filling
Re-apply the broken nail using nail glue. Or get the broken part filled from a nail salon. In case of nail infection or damage, treatment is required.
After applyingApplying too much force
Improper handling
Sudden impact
Nail lengthLong nails require more balance
Prone to breaking
Other causesPregnancy
Poor quality of products
Nail damage or infection

So let us take a look at what causes our acrylic nails to pop off-

Causes [Based On Application Stage]

The application of acrylic nails is the most important stage. Any mistakes in this stage will result in nail issues. One of them is acrylic lifting. That’s why we should be more focused during the application process. And check if any of the steps were mistaken-

Before applying

Our nails need to be prepared before applying acrylic nail polish. That includes washing our hands, pushing the cuticle, priming our nails, and whatnot. 

So before applying acrylic nail polish, there’s some possibility of making a mistake. Which are responsible for the nails to pop-off.

The causes for acrylics to pop-off are given below-

  • The oily and protective layer of the nails has not been removed
  • The nails were not washed and dried properly
  • No nail primer has been used before applying the acrylics
  • Pterygium[a scar tissue on the nail plate] hasn’t been removed before applying
  • The cuticles weren’t pushed

All of the above causes the adhesive to lose its strength. As a result, the acrylics don’t attach firmly to the nail. And pops off within the next few days. In this case, the acrylic might lift from the edges or the cuticles.

While Applying

If you haven’t missed any of the steps of preparation, take a look at this. Chances are you made a mistake while applying the acrylic. Which eventually makes the acrylic nails pop off. 

Usually, these mistakes can be corrected during the process. However, if not careful might lead to nail issues such as this.

The mistakes that we make during the application process are listed below-

  • Applying a thick layer of gel polish
  • The c-curve at the end of the acrylic has not been pinched
  • The acrylic mix is not correct
  • The UV lamp is broken or the bulb hasn’t been replaced
  • The free edge of the acrylic nail has not been capped
  • The nail enhancement isn’t shaped properly or balanced correctly
  • Putting too much filling over the nail bed
  • Applying the acrylic mix too close to the cuticle

These are the reasons why the acrylic nail might pop off. Applying a thick layer of gel polish and not pinching the c-curve are some of them. And the others include- incorrect acrylic mix ratio and the broken UV light. Because they don’t allow the acrylics to set on the nail bed firmly.

 And sometimes they make the polish shrink. The rest of the missteps cause trouble in balancing. As a result, the nails pop off from the tip and sometimes from the cuticle.

After Applying

Now if none of the reasons above comply with your situation, there must be another reason. A lot of the time, we don’t remain careful enough after the acrylics are set properly. 

We often don’t treat them gently. Or put them under too much force. As a result, the nail glue or primer comes off. And the nail lifts.

elegant nail art
Source: nailarts.co

Regular activities like typing or lifting heavy objects can also put an impact. And they might even dislodge the nails from the finger. Besides, sudden or accidental impacts can also make the acrylic nails come off. 

In that case, you might have to re-apply the acrylic nails in the salon.

Causes [Based On Nail Length]

There is another reason why your acrylic nails are lifting. That is your nail size. Long nails are extra hard to handle. They’re more susceptible to falling off than the shorter ones. 

Because longer nails require more balance.  So any small impact can make them fall off. As a result, they need to be more firmly set with the nail bed. This is the reason why long acrylic might pop off earlier than short nails.

Other Causes

Besides all the above reasons, there are a few issues we usually can’t avoid. These might be responsible for popping your acrylics off. These reasons are sometimes neglected and people are mostly unaware of them.

The reasons are stated below-

Nail Damage

The wrong application procedure is not the only reason for acrylic nails popping off. Unhealthy or damaged nails can also cause acrylics to fall off. Sometimes the acrylic nails pop off when the nails break underneath. Or has developed some kind of infection. 

This is the reason why acrylics don’t remain attached to the nail bed.


Another reason for acrylics to pop off is pregnancy. A woman during her pregnancy undergoes a lot of hormonal changes. One of them is the change in nails and hair. 

The hormones change the texture of the nails. It makes the nails brittle and thicker. As a result, the acrylic nails don’t adhere to the nails properly. Curling nails is also a reason for the acrylic nails of pregnant women lifting. Avoiding curling nails can save one from acrylic nails popping.

Poor Quality Product

Some of the nail products used in nail salons might be allergic to you. Or the product might be of poor quality. In some cases, the products become expired. 

Using any of these products might cause the acrylic nails to pop off.

How Can You Fix Your Acrylic Nails Popping Off?

If you’ve identified the problem, now it’s time to solve it. Fixing acrylic nails that are falling off is very simple. There are only two simple solutions. And the solution depends on the way your acrylic nails are popping off. It can be either from the sides or from the cuticle, or even from the tip of the acrylic nails.

how can you fix your acrylic nails popping off
Source: pinterest.com

If Only A Portion Of The Acrylics Lifted

There are two options for you. You can either use nail glue on the lifted area and fix the acrylic back in place. Or you can go to the salon. They will pinch the lifted area off using a nail nipper and refill the area with a coat of acrylic mix.

If The Acrylics Separated From The Nail Bed

If the acrylic nail has only separated from the side or edge then using the nail glue would do. However, you need to soak your hands on alcohol first. This will clean your hand from the bacterias and allow a smooth bed for nail glue. 

There are a lot of nail glue options available in the market right now. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best ones to make it easier for you-

nailene ultra quick nail glue

Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue

5 pcs kds nail tip glue

5 pcs KDS Nail Tip Glue

Using these nail glues, you’ll be able to fix any nail lifting problems. 

Now that you’ve gone through the details. These are some of the ways to fix your acrylic nail popping off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can acrylic nails come off by themselves?

Absolutely! Acrylic nails last for around 8 weeks. Any time after that, they might fall off naturally. That’s when you should go to the salon and get a new set of acrylic nails.

Why won’t my acrylic nails stay on?

There are many reasons behind this problem. One of them is the incorrect preparation of the nail before applying the acrylic mix. Also, the wrong acrylic mix ratio, thick layer of gel polish, incorrect shaping of the nails are also some of the reasons. Besides, if the nails are damaged or if the product is poor, acrylics won’t stay on.

Can I superglue an acrylic nail back on?

Yes! If you must. Superglue is the easiest way to adhere to a broken or lifted nail. However, using nail glue is still a convenient way to glue broken nails. Lifted acrylic nails can also be glued back together.

Signing Off

Now that we’ve answered your question, why do my acrylic nails pop off? Next time you’ll be more careful about applying acrylic nails and gel polish. Do remember to refill the cuticle growth area every 2-3 weeks.

Let us know if you have been able to put your acrylic nails back in the comments.

Adios! Have a great day!

Katharyn Riedel

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