How Often Should You Change Your Acrylic Nails?

You saw the lip gloss nail trend, and now you're ready for new acrylics. We don't blame you. Long nails are a game changer. The manicure possibilities are endless, and the claws unlock fabulous energy. Plus, it's free ASMR when you type on a keyboard. Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff accessorized her models in crystal acrylic nails for her NYFW show (per Allure). The artistry of nail polish walks down the runway and stops for pictures on the red carpet. You don't have to be a celebrity or supermodel to rock acrylics, but you'll sure look like one.

The benefit of acrylic nails is that they typically last longer than regular polish. Traditional nail polish only lasts a week (via S&L Beauty Company). That's with the possibility of chipping and peeling. Acrylics are a suitable alternative to get the most bang for your buck. But how often should you be swapping out your acrylic manicures?

How long do acrylic nails last?

When you love your new nail design, it's tempting to leave your acrylics on forever. But how long do they last? According to nail artist Hannah Lee, acrylics are more durable than gel manicures. Their strength makes them last longer than gel, which typically survives on your hand for two weeks. The professional manicurist notes that "acrylics should last six to eight weeks with a fill needed about every two to three weeks" (via Harper's Bazaar). A fill-in restores your manicure where new nail growth can have it appear old and clunky.

It's important to perform aftercare to get the most out of your manicure. Keeping your hands clean will stop dirt and oil from weakening the acrylics. The experts at Sally Beauty recommend a manicure stick to remove debris under the nail. Also, gloves aren't just a lace accessory. The rubber version comes in handy to protect your hands from things that can ruin your manicure — elements like water and chemicals. 

Your nails need time to breathe between manicures

The removal process is simple when it's time to say goodbye to your nail extension. Nail artist Ariela Zuniga explained to InStyle that "acrylics should be removed by soaking each nail in acetone until the acrylic is soft enough to remove gently." There are a few steps to smooth the process of removing acrylics at home. However, Zuniga recommends going to a nail professional to have them removed. Toggling with acrylics can potentially rip and damage your nail beds if you aren't careful.

Once your nails are acrylic-free, wait to book your next appointment. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests letting your nails breathe for one to two weeks between manicures. This time will let your nails rest from the exposure to harsh chemicals in acrylic powder and acetone. Polishes can also dehydrate your nails. Applying cuticle oil and moisturizing your nails when you lotion your hands will help combat this. Remember, the base for any good manicure is healthy nails.