How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Acrylic Nails?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails have become a popular trend in fashion and self-expression. These artificial enhancements offer a way to achieve beautiful and long-lasting nails.

But have you ever wondered about the age restrictions surrounding acrylic nails?

In this article, I will explore the factors determining the appropriate age for getting acrylic nails.

These factors include nail development, chemical sensitivity, maintenance requirements, and activity limitations. 

Dive right in.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Acrylic Nails?

Individuals under 16 must have written consent from a parent or guardian to get acrylic nails as per the National Occupational Standards (NOS). They should also be accompanied by an adult for the appointment. Check with your insurer, as their policy aligns with the NOS guidelines.

Understanding Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are a combination of a liquid monomer and powdered polymer. This mixture forms a durable material.

After applying acrylic nails, nail technicians shape and buff them to achieve the desired length and appearance.

Acrylic nails offer many options for nail art and colors. They provide a long-lasting solution for enhancing the natural nails’ appearance.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get Acrylic Nails?

Why Is There An Age Limit On Acrylic Nails?

The age limit on acrylic nails is based on several important safety and nail health factors. Here’s why there is an age limit on acrylic nails:

Nail Development: Younger individuals are still in the midst of nail development. Their nails are more delicate and prone to damage or deformity.

Applying acrylic nails at a young age interferes with the natural growth process of the nail.

Chemical Sensitivity: Acrylic nails use chemicals such as liquid monomers and powdered polymers.

Younger individuals have a higher risk of developing adverse reactions to these chemicals.

Maintenance and Upkeep: Proper maintenance of acrylic nails is crucial to avoid infections or damage to the natural nails.

Younger individuals may have difficulty adhering to good nail hygiene.

Activity Limitations: Children and teenagers are often involved in sports or music. Physical activities may not be compatible with acrylic nails.

Longer nails can hinder performance. They cause discomfort and increase the risk of nail-related injuries.

What Is The Appropriate Age For Acrylic Nails?

Determining the appropriate age for getting fake nails vary. It depends on factors such as maturity, responsibility, and nail health. 

Teenagers around 16 years old are often considered to understand better the maintenance and care required for fake nails.

The decision should focus on the well-being and development of the individual’s natural nails.

At What Age Can Kids Get Acrylic Nails?

The age at which kids can get acrylic nails varies. It is based on maturity, responsibility, and parental discretion.

Generally, it is advisable to wait until they reach their teenage years, around 14 to 16. By this age, they may better understand nail care and maintenance.

Parental guidance and consent are crucial. Focus on the child’s well-being, nail health, and ability to handle acrylic nails.

Are Acrylic Nails Safe for Kids?

Are Acrylic Nails Safe for Kids?

Acrylic nails are considered safe. But there are important factors to consider for children.

The chemicals used in the application and removal process may pose a higher risk to younger individuals with more sensitive skin. 

Some children may experience skin irritations or allergic reactions to these chemicals.

Acrylic nails can be more challenging for kids to maintain. They may have difficulty following the nail care routine. Improper maintenance can lead to nail damage or even infection.

Kids get involved in physical activities that may not work well with acrylic nails. Long nails can affect their performance or lead to injuries.

Safe and Stylish Alternatives for Younger People

Nail wraps and stickers

Nail wraps and stickers provide an easy and temporary way to enhance the look of nails. To apply, start with clean nails, peel off the wrap or sticker, and carefully place it on the nail. 

Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles and trim off the excess. Finally, apply a top coat for longevity and shine. 

Nail polish

Nail polish offers various colors and finishes to suit different styles. Apply a base coat and two coats of your chosen polish shade. 

Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. Finish with a top coat to protect and prolong the manicure.

Nail art

Use a good acrylic nail brush, dotting tools, or stamps to get creative with nail art designs. Experiment with patterns, popular nail shapes, and colors.

Apply a base coat, paint your design, and seal it with a top coat for durability.

Read also: Can I repaint my acrylic nails?

Factors to Consider Before Getting Acrylic Nails

Before deciding to get acrylic nails, it’s important to consider the following factors:

Maturity and Responsibility: Caring for artificial nails requires maturity and responsibility. Knowing the necessary maintenance to ensure their longevity and health is important.

Maintenance and Upkeep: Acrylic nails need regular maintenance to look their best. Consider if you have the time, resources, and willingness to commit to maintenance. 

Nail Health: Assess the current health of your natural nails. Improving the strength of your nails before the acrylic application is beneficial. Acrylic nails can add extra weight and may further weaken already fragile nails.

Parental or Guardian Consent: If you are a minor, involving your guardians in decision-making is crucial. Parental or guardian consent is necessary to make an informed decision.

Reasons Why 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14-Year-Olds Should Never Get Acrylic Nails

Children between 9 and 14 should not get acrylic nails. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Health concerns

Acrylic nails can pose potential health risks for young individuals. The application and removal processes involve chemicals that can cause nail damage.

Nail and Cuticle Damage: Applying and maintaining acrylic nails involves using chemicals. The chemicals can be harsh on delicate nails, leading to nail weakening or even breakage.

Potential Allergic Reactions: Young individuals are more sensitive to the chemicals in acrylic nail products. This sensitivity increases the risk of allergic reactions. Symptoms of allergic reactions may include redness, itching, swelling, or skin irritations. 

Restricting of Natural Nail Growth: Acrylic nails can impede the growth of the nails. The application process involves filing down the natural nail. Constant covering and pressure can hinder natural nail growth.

  1. Cost Considerations

Acrylic nails need regular maintenance, which can incur ongoing costs. Children may need more financial means to support frequent salon visits.

Considering the financial implications of investing in acrylic nails at a young age is important.

  1. Changing Personal Preferences

Children’s preferences and interests evolve as they grow and develop. While they may express interest in having acrylic nails, their preferences can change.

Acrylic nails may restrict their participation in sports and musical activities. Consider the potential impact on their confidence if they no longer desire acrylic nails.

Location Restrictions 

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in Canada?

The age rule for getting acrylic nails in Canada may vary depending on the province or territory. Individuals must be 16 years old to get acrylic nails without parental consent. 

Check with local regulations and specific nail salons. Many may have age restrictions or policies.

how old do you have to be to get acrylic nails

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in America?

The age needed to get acrylic nails in the United States depends on state regulations. Some individual nail salons also have their regulations. 

Most states allow individuals to get acrylic nails at 16 or 18 without parental consent. However, it’s essential to check the specific regulations of your state.

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in Australia?

The age needed to get acrylic nails in Australia varies. Salons have their nail policies.

There is no specific nationwide age restriction for getting acrylic nails. Salons may allow individuals under 18 to get acrylic nails with parental consent.

Others may have a minimum age rule of 16 or 18, even with parental consent.

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in the UK?

The age rule for getting acrylic nails can vary in the UK. The variation depends on the policies of individual nail salons.

No nationwide age restriction exists. Many salons need individuals at least 16 years old to get acrylic nails.

Note that some salons may have policies requiring individuals to be 18 years old, even with parental consent.

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in Ireland?

In Ireland, the right age needed to get acrylic nails varies. There is no specific nationwide age restriction for getting acrylic nails.

The variation depends on the policies of individual nail salons. Some salons may allow individuals under 18 to get acrylic nails with parental consent.

How old do you have to be to get acrylic nails in California?

In California, the age needed for getting acrylic nails can vary depending on the policies of individual nail salons.

There is no specific statewide age restriction for getting acrylic nails. Some salons may allow individuals under 18 to get acrylic nails with parental consent.

Others may have a minimum age rule of 16 or 18, even with parental consent. 

Should I Allow My Child to Get Acrylic Nails?

Deciding whether to let your child get acrylic nails requires careful thought. While it can be a way for them to express themselves, focusing on their safety is important. Here are some things to consider:

Age and Maturity: Think about how old and responsible your child is. Young girls might need help understanding how to take care of acrylic nails.

Older kids who show maturity and can follow instructions may be better suited for them.

Nail Health: Check the condition of your child’s natural nails. It’s best to focus on strengthening weak nails before considering acrylic nails. Strengthening their natural nails can prevent further harm.

Alternatives: Explore other ways your child can express themselves. Safe options include nail wraps, stickers, or temporary polishes.  They allow the children to experiment without the risks of acrylic nails.

Talk Openly: Have open and supportive conversations with your child about why they want acrylic nails. Understand their reasons and guide them towards age-appropriate self-expression. Encourage them to explore different creative outlets.

Benefits of Acrylic Nails

Before you learn the benefits of acrylic nails, learn how to change color of acrylic nails.

Strong and Durable: Acrylic nails are strong and durable. They provide a protective layer that prevents breakage. Thus, your nails stay beautiful longer.

Customizable Designs: With acrylic nails, you have endless design possibilities. They can be shaped, filed, and painted according to your preference.

Nail technicians can create intricate designs and add nail art. They can also incorporate glitters and embellishments for a unique and stunning look.

Length and Shape Options: Acrylic nails allow you to achieve desired lengths and shapes that may not be possible with natural nails. It provides both short, natural-looking nails and long and dramatic styles.

Strengthens Natural Nails: Acrylic nails provide a protective barrier. The barrier supports natural nail growth and prevents breakage. Over time, your natural nails may become stronger and healthier.

Low Maintenance: Acrylic nails require minimal maintenance compared to other nail enhancements. They can maintain acrylic nails for a long time with proper care and regular fills without frequent touch-ups. Luckily, nail refill prices are affordable.

Effects of Acrylic Nails on Natural Nails

Nail damage

Acrylic nails can have several effects on the health of natural nails. The application and removal processes involved can damage natural nails.

The constant exposure to the acrylic material and the chemicals used can strip the nails of their natural oil. Resulting in dryness and dehydration. 

Additionally, improper application or removal techniques can further exacerbate these issues.

Nail fungus

Nail fungus is a potential risk associated with acrylic nails. The moisture trapped underneath the nails can create an ideal environment for fungal infections.

Proper hygiene and timely removal of acrylic nails can help reduce the risk of nail fungus.

Nail separation

Nail separation, also known as onycholysis, is a possible effect of acrylic nails. It occurs when the acrylic layer separates from the natural nail bed, creating a gap.

Onycholysis can result from improper application, trauma, or prolonged wear. Proper application techniques and careful maintenance can help prevent nail separation.

Allergic Reactions

Some individuals can have allergic reactions due to the chemicals in acrylic nail products. Symptoms may include redness, itching, swelling, or skin irritation around the nail area.

It is important to be aware of known allergies and conduct a patch test before getting acrylic nails to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Nail Dehydration

Nail dehydration is a potential concern associated with acrylic nails.

The application and removal processes of acrylic nails can contribute to the loss of natural moisture from the nails. Lack of moisture makes dry, brittle nails more prone to breakage.

Proper hydration and moisturization of the nails are essential to minimize the risk of nail dehydration.

Regular use of cuticle oil and moisturizers can help keep the nails hydrated and maintain their health and flexibility.

Safety Concerns and Considerations

When it comes to acrylic nails, ensuring safety is paramount. Here are some important tips for maintaining healthy nails:

Professional Application: Seek the services of a qualified and experienced nail technician. A professional will have the expertise to apply the nails correctly, reducing the chances of permanent damage.

Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular fills to maintain the integrity of the acrylic nails. Regular maintenance helps prevent lifting and maintains a polished appearance.

Avoid delaying or skipping maintenance appointments. It also helps reduces the risk of water or debris getting trapped beneath the nails. 

Gentle Nail Care: Using your nails as tools can damage or break your nails. Use non-acetone nail polish remover when changing nail colors to prevent excessive drying of the nails.

Hydration and Moisturization: Apply cuticle oil and moisturizers to hydrate your nails and the surrounding skin to prevent nail brittleness.

Proper Removal: It is important to have your acrylic nails removed by a professional. Forceful removal of the nails causes trauma and weakens the natural nails.

Parental Considerations

Parents play a crucial role in deciding whether their child should get acrylic nails. It is important to have supportive discussions about personal style and self-expression. Consider the following:

Age and Maturity: Consider the child’s age and maturity level to understand their readiness for acrylic nails. Assess their ability to handle the responsibility and maintenance involved.

Health and Safety: Focus on the health and safety of your child. Discuss any potential risks, such as allergies or nail damage, and make an informed decision based on their well-being.

Communication: Engage in open conversations with your child about their desire for acrylic nails. Listen to their reasons and express your concerns.

Guide them towards age-appropriate self-expression options and encourage individuality within safe boundaries.

Setting Limits: Establish clear boundaries and guidelines together. Ensure your child understands the importance of proper nail care and hygiene.


Can an 11-year-old get acrylic nails?

Yes, in general, an 11-year-old can get acrylic nails. There are no legal restrictions on the age limits for receiving nail enhancements. Consider the child’s maturity and parental consent before proceeding with acrylic nails at a younger age.

Can a 12-year-old get acrylic nails?

Yes, a 12-year-old can get acrylic nails. It depends on the salon’s policies and the parent or guardian’s consent. It’s advisable to check with the nail salon to ensure they are willing to provide the service.

Is 10 a good age to get acrylic nails?

There may be more suitable options than getting acrylic nails at age 10. Parental guidance and consultation with professionals are crucial in making an informed decision. A young child may face challenges in proper nail care.

Can a 7-year-old get acrylic nails?

There may not be a legal restriction on a client’s age for nail enhancements. But, It’s not recommended for children at age 7. There may be challenges in maintaining and caring for acrylic nails.

Should a 9-year-old get acrylic nails?

Getting acrylic nails at 9 should depend on personal preferences and parental judgment. Some parents may prefer to wait until the child is older before allowing them to get acrylic nails. The decision should focus on the child’s nail health and align with parental comfort levels.

Are acrylic nails unhealthy?

Acrylic nails are not unhealthy, but improper application and maintenance can damage nails. The chemicals used in acrylic products can cause skin irritations or allergies. Focusing on proper nail care and ensuring regular maintenance is crucial to reducing potential risks.

Do acrylics hurt when you get them?

Some individuals may experience slight discomfort or sensitivity. If significant pain is felt, it’s important to communicate with the nail technician. Properly applied acrylic nails should not cause discomfort after initial application.

Can you go to the beach with acrylic nails?

Yes, you can go to the beach with acrylic nails. Though not water resistant, acrylic nails are durable. Remember to avoid excessive water exposure, and consider wearing waterproof gloves to protect the nails. Taking these precautions will help maintain the appearance and durability of your acrylic nails during beach activities.


Deciding whether to get acrylic nails for young individuals requires careful consideration.

Age, maturity, responsibility, and nail health are essential. Prioritizing the well-being of natural nails is crucial.

Exploring safe alternatives like nail wraps or temporary polishes can offer stylish options. 

Practicing proper nail care, seeking professional advice, and maintaining open communication is key.

By balancing self-expression and nail health, individuals can enjoy the beauty of acrylic nails.


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