Most of my life I had short nails. I used to bite them when I was younger and often times they would just break before they got long. When the miracle of gel nail polish hit the market, it really helped my nails grow a lot. Leaving them alone and protected was the trick (kind of like hair).
But to be honest. Taking off gel nail polish is very worrisome for me. Im not sure why it’s ok to soak your nails in acetone twice a week. It doesn’t feel right to have your nails sitting in a very strong chemical so often. Gel is new, so part of me feels like we won’t know the consequences of this until years from now. Not to be a Debbie Downer but that’s how I felt and was why I switch from gel to acrylic.
Because my nails were so long from gel, the next time I went to the salon I chose to do an acrylic overlay. This is where they just put a thin coat of acrylic over your nail to give it some extra strength. When it’s time to get a fill they just fill in the new growth with more acrylic so you don’t have to soak your hands in acetone. I felt so much better about this decision. You can still get gel polish on acrylic but when it’s time to fill them, they buff off the polish rather then have you soak your hands in the acetone.
I kept my acrylic nails on about a year getting fills about every 3 weeks. This week I kind of got tired of them and I also want to just have less chemicals in my life period so I decided to take them off. Now nail salons will all take them off different, some way worse then others for your nails. The best bet is to just take them off yourself.
Here’s how I took my acrylic nails off and how I still had long strong nails after:
Strong nails honesty first start on the inside. I try to eat a lot of green vegetables and I also drink a TON of water. I’m like a fish. I never leave home without my water bottle. One time I even drove back to the other side of LA because I left it at my friends house and couldn’t spend the day without it. Its that serious lol I do it more now because I think my body just craves water all the time now but an added side effect is stronger nails.
Now the technical stuff. This is where you just can’t avoid the acetone. BUT I feel better about it because I’m only using it once this year and not every 2 weeks like I was with gel polish. Sometimes for beauty you just can’t avoid the chemicals but the less exposure the better!
You can go to any drug store and get acetone in the nail polish section. Make sure it say 100% acetone, it has to be the strong stuff to take them off.
I started with cutting my nails a little shorter so I wouldn’t have to take as much acrylic off. If you want to keep your nails extra long then you can skip this step.
Then I took two shallow bowls and filled then halfway with the acetone and proceeded to soak my nails. This is a tedious process but worth it to keep your nails in good condition. Every so often I would take my nails out the acetone and use the hard side of a nail file to buff off the “melting” acrylic. Then I would continue to soak them. I did this repeatedly until all the acrylic was buffed off.
It took about an hour and half but it was totally worth it. It took longer for me because I also had gel polish on top of the acrylic so it was more layers to remove. When I got it all off my nails were long and strong! I filed them a bit and put a top coat of clear polish to keep them protected until I could head to the salon.
I actually ended up cutting my nails shorter afterwards because I just needed a break from long nails and I want to start playing guitar again. I’m still going to have my bi-weekly salon trips but I’m going back to regular polish. I can do without all the extra chemicals!