What to ask for when getting acrylic nails

What To Ask For When Getting Acrylic Nails

Getting acrylic nails for the first time? Look no further!

Knowing what to ask for when getting acrylic nails is key to achieving the perfect set of nails that suit your personal style.

Acrylic nails are a popular way to achieve longer, stronger, and more glamorous nails.

They can instantly enhance your look, but if you’re new to getting acrylics, it can be overwhelming to know what to ask for.

In this article, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about getting acrylic nails, including;

  • How to ask for acrylic nails
  • What to ask for at the nail salon
  • What to know before getting acrylic nails

17 Questions To Ask When Getting Acrylic Nails

What to ask for when getting acrylic nails

Thinking about getting acrylic nails? You need to ask the right questions. This will help you get the nails you want and know how to care for them.

We have a list of 17 questions to ask when getting acrylic nails.

1. What can I expect as a first-time acrylic nail applicant?

First-time acrylic nail applicants are always a nervous lot. And understandably so.

After all, you don’t know what to expect or how you’ll be received or even perceived. So, let’s look at what you can expect to reduce your anxiety.

If you are a walk-in customer at the nail salon, you should expect to wait in line for about half an hour or a few hours if the nail artists are quite busy.

And because we are not exactly the most patient generation, we always advise first-timers to book an appointment. That way, you won’t have to wait in line for long.

While booking your appointment, you can mention that you are a first-time fake nail applicant. So try to find out other fake nail alternatives in the market before you make a decision.

This will allow the nail techs to advise you accordingly, from the basics about nail types to the most complex information.

 You should also expect some questions from the nail tech so that they better understand your nails and your needs.

So feel free; the nail tech is not invading your privacy when they ask about the type of work or chores you engage in.

They only want to know the length of nails that work best for you.

On time, expect to stay at the nail salon for about 1-2 hours before your acrylics are well done.

This is enough time for nail prep, acrylic application, polish or gel application, and drying. Lastly, you’ll also get some advice on maintaining your nails.

2. What nail design should I get?

Deciding on the nail design can be fun yet confusing. And if you need clarification, ask the nail technician which designs you should get.

They’ll advise you according to the type of hand you have. Rounded oval and almond shapes work best for people with shorter palms and fingers.

Longer palms and fingers accommodate dramatic shapes such as stiletto or coffin.

If you can’t decide, go for an almond shape. The shape has the magical ability to look good on all types of hands.

The nail technician will also show you some popular acrylic nail shapes. But don’t get caught up in the trends.

If your nail technician advises you otherwise, let go and look for another trendy design.

3. Should I cut my nails before getting acrylics? 

If you are a first-timer, always ask this question. Unfortunately, clients rarely ask and show up to the nail salon with pre-cut nails. The result? A less neat manicure.

So what do we recommend?

Wait to cut your nails before visiting a nail salon. We recommend allowing natural nails to grow a little before getting artificial nails.

Your nail tech will trim your nails accordingly when you visit the salon.

 This will allow the nail tech to cut the nails according to the designs you’ve decided on, and they won’t struggle through the application.

Otherwise, you may cut your nails too much, which will be a nightmare for the technician.

4. Should I get long or short nails?

After choosing your nail design, your nail tech will ask for your preferred length.

If you’ve previously looked up acrylic nail designs, you’ll probably be tempted to ask for long fake nails. But don’t give in to the temptation.

As a first-timer, having shorter fake nails is always the wiser choice. However, long fake nails might feel heavy, and you’ll have difficulty adjusting.

We often liken it to expecting a baby to take giant steps, which is next to impossible.

But starting with shorter nails allows you to get used to having artificial nails on. You can experiment with longer nails as you progress in your acrylic journey.

Pro-Tip: Always discuss the kind of job and chores you engage in before settling for nail length. Nail techs are human, and they may forget. So, remind them.

You’ll need square short nails if you work in a fast-paced environment. That way, they won’t break or chip easily. 

5. How long do acrylics take the first time? 

We are currently living in a fast-paced world. That means, every minute counts.

So, it’s only normal to ask how long does it take to put acrylic nails on the first time.

Many nail techs will rarely give you a definitive time. Instead, they’ll tell you that acrylics may take between one and two hours the first time.

This will be enough for the entire process, from nail prep, acrylic, polish application, nail art, and drying.

The experience level of the nail techs will also influence how long your acrylics take the first time.

A more experienced professional will take a shorter time. Thick acrylic nails, the length of your natural nails, and the type of nail art will also influence how long acrylics will take the first time.

6. Should I get regular polish or gel on my acrylics? 

You need to know what type of polish to get. That’s why we always advise people to ask whether they should get regular or gel polish on their acrylics.

The truth is a gel manicure is mostly the go-to polish on acrylics. It lasts longer, has a smoother finish, and doesn’t crack or chip easily.

And our favorite part, it takes shorter to dry. Gel nails use a UV or LED lamp to dry so you can spend less time in the salon. So, if you want all these things, you’d better go for gel nails.

Regular nail polish, on the other hand, takes longer to dry. You’ll have to be very present at the moment, lest you forget and put your hand in a place that causes the polish to chip.

Regular nail polish will also barely last you a week. It will chip quite easily.

But if you are the type that gets bored quickly, go for regular nail polish. This will allow you to change the nail color when getting a fill.

7. Do acrylic nails hurt 

If you’re a first-timer, be curious enough to ask the question “Do acrylic nails hurt?”

Applying new acrylic nails can be uncomfortable for the first 24 hours. Depending on the individual, feelings of pain or soreness are common occurrences. But from where? 

A tightening sensation arises as the acrylic nails dry up and stick firmly to the nail bed.

It causes pain and discomfort unless you are a regular acrylic nail applicant. You should monitor the pain keenly, as it shouldn’t last more than 24 hours. 

If it crosses the 24-hour mark, you must return to your nail salon. Request the nail artist to remove the acrylic nail and explain the feeling. 

Here’s how nail salons remove acrylic nails.

In most cases, you’ll find that your natural nail is injured or has an infection not detected during nail prep.

Your natural nail may also have been overfilled, and you must wait for it to grow again before attempting another acrylic application.

8. Will acrylic nails interrupt my daily operations? 

We’ve already agreed that getting shorter nails is the more brilliant choice. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that acrylic nails won’t interrupt your daily operations.

As a first-timer, you’ll need time before adjusting to your nails. And you’ll be told this at the nail salon.

So, you might have difficulty typing, working out, showering, and even engaging in daily house chores.

For example, you’ll find that you take longer when showering. After all, you have to master new hand coordination and balance.

Most importantly, you must not poke yourself with the nails. The good news is after about three to five days, you’ll have the hang of engaging in routine chores with the nails.

9. Which routine hygiene changes will I have to adopt? 

Your nail health will depend on the hygiene measures you’ll implement. So, remember to ask about the routine hygiene changes you must adopt.

The nail technician will insist on regular cleaning of your nails. Dirt tends to collect under your acrylic nails. And this can be a haven for fungi and microorganisms.

You must use antibacterial soap and a soft brush to clean your nails daily. But don’t overdo it! Otherwise, you risk drying out your nails and causing acrylic pop-offs.

We also recommend that every day before bedtime, you pass an alcohol swab under your nails. This way, you ensure your nails are sleep-free from any debris.

10. Will acrylic nails damage my natural nails? 

With proper care, acrylic nails shouldn’t damage your natural nails. But if there’s improper prep, application, after-care, and removal, you’ll deal with a damaged natural nail bed quickly.

We always advise first-timers to be keen on researching the best local nail salon.

Visiting nail salons with quacks can lead to problems such as overfilled and poorly fixed nails.

Then you’ll end up thinking that acrylics ruined your natural nails while, in a real sense, a poorly done process did.

And always remember to give your nails a break from acrylics occasionally. By doing so, you’ll allow them time to rejuvenate. 

11. How do I avoid ruining my newly applied acrylic nails?

What to ask for when getting acrylic nails

Picture this; you left the nail salon three hours ago with your nails looking fly.

Then you get home, and on doing a simple chore, you are now glaring at a broken acrylic. Painful, right?

So, how can you avoid ruining your newly applied acrylic nails?

For a start, choose a length that works for you. Ideally, avoid long nails if you are busy with house chores.

And remember to wear gloves when doing these chores. You’ll prevent brittle nails. And still, protect your fake nail from getting hits that could break them.

It would be best if you also kept your nails moisturized. Moisturized nails will hardly be too dry to crack and break.

So, you avert a tragedy by investing in a good nail oil or moisturizer.  

12. How much will acrylic nails cost?

And now to the all-important question you should ask: how much will acrylic nails cost?

Acrylic prices depend on a variety of factors. For instance, the location, type, and reputation of the salon, the length and condition of the nails, and the type of service you want.

And the factor that affects the cost the most is the type of service you’d like.

Do you want a fill-in or a full set? If you are a newbie, you’ll want a full set. And this will be more expensive than a fill-in.

A recent survey shows that the average cost of a full acrylic set in the U.S. is $46.01.

A fill-in, which you’ll need every two to three weeks, is relatively cheaper. Depending on the salon, acrylic nail fill cost approximately 25-50 dollars.

 Pro-Tip: Always ask your salon whether they offer package deals that can reduce the amount spent on fill-ins.

13. How much does it cost to get acrylic removed? 

The cost of acrylics continues beyond the fill-ins. You’ll still need to ask about the cost of removing acrylic nails.

Removing nails at home is still a choice. But you risk damaging the nails. 

So, we recommend getting a professional to remove your acrylic nails.

But how much does it cost to get acrylic removed? Most salons in the U.S. will charge you about $10-20 to remove acrylics using vinegar.

But, again, the cost will vary with location and type of salon. Also, please note you may get a discount if you get another service done after removal.

14. How long will acrylic nails last?

One week, one month, one year? How long will my acrylic nails last? If you are a newbie in the acrylic world, this is perhaps one of your greatest sources of anxiety.

Well, fake nails can last between six to eight weeks. And the exact period they last varies from person to person.

For instance, fake nails can last a shorter time, while those in slow-paced environments may enjoy their nails for longer.

And to ensure they last long, you’ll need to go for fill-ins every two to three weeks.

Why? Natural nail growth creates space, which can be a breeding place for bacteria. A fill-in takes care of this space, reducing your risk of infection.

15. How should I maintain my acrylic nails?

Contrary to popular belief, acrylic nails are not maintenance-free! Neither are they indestructible. You need to maintain them so that they serve you for a longer time.

And this maintenance should start with treating your nails gently. We always remind our clientele; ACRYLIC NAILS ARE NOT TOOLS.

Of course, you’ll be tempted to open cans with them and break tapes, among other tasks. But do not succumb to that temptation, lest your nails start to break off.

You should also avoid overexposing your nails to water. They’ll dry up and start popping off.

So, get a pair of gloves you can use when doing house chores using water. We also recommend regularly moisturizing your nails and the surrounding areas to avoid nail breakage.

Lastly, maintain your acrylic nails by adopting these routine hygiene changes. They’ll ensure your nails stay healthy longer.

16. What not to do after getting acrylics? 

We’ve talked about moisturizing your nails after getting acrylics. But, beware-not all moisturizers will be good for your acrylics.

Avoid using moisturizers, sunscreen, or tanning products that may have lanolin or mineral oil. Such products weaken acrylics and will eventually cause them to lift.

You should also avoid using products that can potentially damage the acrylic. For instance, avoid acetone-based removers if you need to use a polish remover.

It can make the nails soft fast. And we all know this will end with broken and chipped-up nails.

Most importantly, make sure to attend your fill-in appointments. These are what lead to a healthy and attractive manicure.

17. How often should I come in for a fill?

Considering “how many acrylic fills can you get” is essential to gauge the optimal timeframe for your nail care routine.

If you have acrylic nails, you must get an acrylic nails fill in every 2-3 weeks. This is because your nails grow, which can create a gap between the acrylic nail and your cuticle.

The nail can become loose and fall off without filling the gap.

If you’re tough on your nails or if they grow quickly, you might need to get them filled in more often.

If you’re good at taking care of your nails and they don’t grow as quickly, you might be able to wait longer between fill appointments.

Skipping or delaying fill appointments can weaken your acrylic nails, which can cause them to break more easily.

Also, if you leave the gap between your acrylic nail and cuticle for too long, bacteria and moisture can get trapped, leading to an infection.


Should I cut my nails before getting acrylics?

Should I cut my nails before getting acrylics?

It is not necessary to cut your nails before getting acrylics. Leaving a bit of length is helpful to create a strong bond between the acrylic and your natural nail.

However, if your nails are extremely long, you may want to trim them before your appointment to make them more manageable.

Ultimately, it’s up to your personal preference and the recommendations of your nail technician.


Our final thoughts? Be as curious as you can be before getting acrylic nails. You need to understand the nails you should get, their maintenance, and their costs.

And to actualize all this, you’ll need to have visited/called a good nail salon. So, conduct in-depth research before settling on one salon or nail artist.

Although it may be pricey, the good quality services and information you get will be worth it.


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