Why Do Nails Grow Faster with Acrylic

Why Do Nails Grow Faster with Acrylic?

Have you ever noticed that your nails grow at warp speed after getting acrylics? It’s like they’re on a mission to set a new record. 

It’s both intriguing and exciting, leaving you wondering: why do nails grow faster with acrylic? 

Do not worry. You’re not alone in this nail growth phenomenon. 

In this blog post, we’ll find out why this happens. Is it some sort of magical spell cast by the nail fairy? Not quite.  

Grab a comfy seat, pamper yourself with a little hand massage, and let’s unveil the truth behind the speedy journey of your nails with acrylics.

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nail extension used in the world of nail art and beauty. They are made by combining a liquid monomer with a powdered polymer

This mixture forms a hard, durable, and glossy layer over the natural nails, providing a longer and more glamorous appearance.

To apply acrylic on nails, clean the nails, shape, and buff them to create a smooth surface. Then, apply a thin layer of bonding agent or primer to enhance adhesion. 

Next, apply and sculpt onto the nails. Do this either by hand or using nail forms or tips as a base. 

The cost of acrylic nails varies depending on various factors. These include the location, salon or nail technician, the complexity of the design, and any additional services included. 

Generally, the price range for acrylic nails can be anywhere from $25 to $80 or more.

Read more: Where did acrylic nails originate?

What are acrylic nails?

What Are the Benefits of Using Acrylic?

Using acrylic on nails offers several benefits, which contribute to its popularity in the world of nail art and beauty. Here are some of the key advantages of using acrylic on nails:

1. Durability. The acrylic mixture forms a hard and robust layer over the natural nails, making them less prone to breaking or chipping. 

2. Versatility. Acrylic nails offer a high level of versatility in terms of design and customization. They can be shaped and sculpted into various lengths, sizes, and styles. They provide endless possibilities for creative nail art and personalization. 

3. Length and shape. They provide the opportunity to achieve longer nail lengths than what might be achievable with natural nails alone. You can extend them beyond the natural nail bed using nail tips or forms. 

4. Nail enhancement. Acrylic nails enhance the appearance of natural nails. The acrylic mixture created a smooth and flawless surface, concealing imperfections for nail polish or designs.

5. Nail protection. Acrylic nails act as a protective layer for the natural nails. They shield them from potential damage caused by daily activities. The acrylic coating acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the natural nails and external elements, 

Why Do Nails Grow Faster With Acrylic?

Acrylic nails do not make natural nails grow faster. However, they can provide an environment that promotes healthier nail growth. 

Here are some reasons why nails may appear to grow faster with acrylics:

Reduce exposure 

Acrylic nails provide a protective shield to the natural nails. They minimize direct contact between natural nails and harsh chemicals.  

Additionally, acrylic nails provide a barrier that reduces the amount of contact between the nails and water. This helps to minimize the potential negative effects of prolonged moisture exposure. 

They also offer protection against mechanical damage caused by daily activities. This also reduces exposure to abrasive substances that can cause friction and damage. 

All these help to maintain the health and integrity of the natural nails underneath, promoting their well-being. 

Acrylic nails offer extra nail protection 

Acrylic nails offer extra protection to natural nails through a physical barrier. They also add strength and durability to prevent damage. 

They also resist moisture and shield nails from potential harm caused by excessive exposure to water. 

Thicker acrylic nails minimize the impact of external elements such as harsh chemicals, cleaning agents, and abrasive substances. 

By creating a barrier, they reduce direct contact between the natural nails and damaging substances. 

Also, ensure proper application, maintenance, and removal to maintain nail health. Improper handling or extended wear can lead to nail damage and weaken the natural nails. 

Increase moisturization

Acrylic nails can increase moisturization in natural nails through a process known as occlusion. When you apply acrylic nails, you create a sealed surface over the natural nails, locking in moisture. 

This barrier helps to prevent excessive evaporation of moisture from the nail plate and nail tissues. 

The trapped moisture helps keep the human nails hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry. This increased moisturization contributes to healthier and stronger nails, promoting their growth. 

The increased moisturization helps prevent nail brittleness and breakage. Dry nails are more prone to becoming brittle and fragile, which can result in frequent splitting or chipping. 

Also, acrylic nails enhance the flexibility and resilience of natural nails. This reduces the likelihood of breakage and allows them to grow longer and stronger. 

Truths To Know Before Getting Acrylics

Before getting artificial nails, there are some truths you need to know. They include: 

1. Maintenance is key. Acrylic nails require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. This includes getting fills or touch-ups every two to three weeks, as the natural nails grow out underneath the acrylics. Neglecting proper maintenance can lead to lifting, breakage, or infection.

2. Potential damage to natural nails. Improper application or removal of acrylic nails can cause damage to the natural nails. Rough handling, excessive filing, or picking off the acrylics can result in thinning, weakening, or even nail bed infections. 

Read also: What to do when acrylic nail lifted real nail.

3. Allergic reactions. You may develop allergies or sensitivities to the chemicals used in acrylic nails. Be aware of any allergic reactions, such as redness, swelling, or itching, and seek professional advice if such symptoms occur.

4. Length and daily activities. You can customize acrylic nails to various lengths. Consider your daily activities and lifestyle. Longer lengths may hinder certain tasks, such as typing, texting, or handling small objects. Choose a length that suits your lifestyle to ensure comfort and practicality.

5. Maintenance costs. Acrylic nails come with ongoing maintenance costs. Regular fills or touch-ups can add up over time so you’ll have to budget accordingly. You will also have to factor in potential repairs or replacements if any damage occurs.

6. Time commitment. Acrylic nails need time for application, fills, and removal. The initial application process can take a couple of hours. Subsequent fills may require an hour or more. Additionally, proper removal of acrylic nails takes time and care. Consider the time commitment involved before opting for acrylic nails.

7. Patience with nail growth. Acrylic nails can make it challenging to see the natural nail growth underneath. Be patient and allow your natural nails to grow out properly. Rushing the process without breaks can weaken the natural nails.

8. Proper nail care. While acrylic nails offer added protection, you will still need good nail care habits. Moisturize the cuticles and nails, avoid harsh chemicals, and use proper tools when handling or filing the nails. 

Interesting read: How does acrylic fill work?

Truths To Know Before Getting Acrylics

Does Acrylic Ruin Your Nails?

When applied and maintained well, acrylic nails should not ruin your natural nails. However, there are potential risks and factors that can lead to nail damage.

Here are some potential reasons: 

  • Improper application
  • Incorrect removal
  • Allergic reactions
  • Moisture and fungal infections

To minimize the potential risks and prevent nail damage when using acrylic nails, here’s what to do:

  • Choose a reputable and skilled nail technician who follows proper hygiene and application techniques.
  • Avoid excessive filing or rough handling of natural nails during the application and removal process.
  • Give your natural nails a break in between wearing acrylics to allow them to breathe and recover.
  • Follow proper maintenance practices.

How Fast Do Nails Grow Under Acrylics?

Nail growth under acrylics occurs at the same rate as natural nails. This is about 1-3 millimeters per month. 

However, the visibility of nail growth may be diminished due to the presence of acrylic extensions. The length and thickness of the acrylics can make it challenging to perceive the new nail growth at the base. 

Regular fills or infills are necessary to accommodate natural nail growth. You can also change the color of acrylic nails when getting infills.

Prioritize nail health by caring for the nails, even while wearing acrylics. 

This includes keeping them clean, moisturized, and avoiding excessive force or pressure on the nail bed. 

How Long Should You Leave Acrylic Nails On?

You are probably asking yourself the question, “When should I take my acrylics off?”

Well, the duration for which you should leave acrylic nails varies depending on factors such as nail growth and overall nail health. 

On average, you can wear your acrylic nails for about 2-3 weeks before requiring a fill or infill.

As your natural nails grow, a visible gap starts to appear between the cuticle and the acrylic nails. 

This indicates the need for maintenance. Regular fills help maintain the desired length and appearance of the nails.

Pay attention to the health of your natural nails. If you notice any signs of damage or weakening, it may be necessary to remove the acrylic nails. 

Here’s how long to soak acrylic nails in acetone.

Personal preference also plays a role. Some individuals choose to wear acrylic nails for longer periods. Others prefer to give their natural nails a break in between.

I also recommend visiting a skilled nail technician regularly. They can assess the condition of your natural nails and provide guidance on the appropriate timing for maintenance or removal.

Natural Nail Tips That Every Woman Should Know And Follow

As a woman, you should know how to clean nails under acrylic. Beautiful, well-maintained natural nails are a timeless symbol of elegance and self-care.

Here are essential tips that every woman wearing acrylic nails should know and follow: 

Clean your nails regularly with a gentle nail brush or soft toothbrush to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria. Proper hygiene helps prevent infections and keeps your nails looking fresh.

Apply cuticle oil or moisturizing cream to your cuticles. Moisturized cuticles promote healthy and strong nails, and help prevent dryness and hangnails.

Break the habit of nail biting, as it can weaken and damage your natural nails. Instead, find alternative stress-relieving activities to keep your hands busy.

Wear gloves when doing household chores or any activity that involves water or harsh chemicals. This prevents exposure to damaging substances that can weaken or discolor your nails.

Give your natural nails a break from acrylics, gel polish, or other nail enhancements. Constantly wearing these can lead to thinning and weakening of the nails. 

Take breaks in between to allow your nails to breathe and regain strength.

Use a gentle nail file to shape your nails in one direction. Avoid harsh filing or sawing motions that can cause nail splitting or damage.

Excessive and prolonged nail enhancements use without breaks can cause discoloration and weakening. Allow your nails to rest and breathe between polish applications.

Ensure you’re getting a balanced diet. Healthy nails are a reflection of overall good health, so prioritize nutrition for strong and resilient nails.

Trim your nails to maintain a neat and healthy appearance. Use sharp and clean nail clippers to avoid nail splitting or jagged edges.

Avoid using your nails as tools for opening cans or scratching surfaces. Treat your nails with care to prevent accidental damage or breakage.

Natural nail tips every woma should know

How To Stop Acrylic Nails From Growing Too Fast? 

To slow down the growth of acrylic nails, there are a few steps you can take. 

Firstly, make sure you trim your natural nails and keep them short. This will help maintain the length of your nails and reduce the noticeable growth. 

Avoid using any nail growth-enhancing products or treatments as they can speed up nail growth. Also, keep your hands and nails moisturized. 

Hydrated nails tend to grow slower. Apply a nourishing cuticle oil or hand cream to prevent dryness.

Lastly, be cautious with your daily activities and try to minimize excessive pressure or trauma on your nails.   

Can Your Nails Be Too Short for Acrylics?

Yes, your natural nails can be too short for acrylics.

When it comes to getting acrylic nails, there needs to be a sufficient length and surface area on your real nails. If you have very short nails, it may be hard for the acrylic to bond and stay in place.

If your natural nails are too short, it may not be possible to create the desired shape or length with acrylic extensions. 

Acrylics are used to extend the length of the nails, so if your natural nails are short, there may not be enough base to build upon.

Allow your natural nails to grow to a certain length before considering acrylic nails. This ensures that you apply the acrylics securely and achieve the desired look.

If you’re unsure about whether your nails are long enough for acrylics, consult with a professional nail tech. They can assess the length and condition of your natural nails and provide further guidance.

Can I Shorten My Acrylic Nails at Home?

Certainly. While it is possible to shorten your acrylic nails at home, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you do it safely and effectively.

You must have the right tools for the job. Acrylic nail clippers or nail cutters are the best for trimming acrylic nails. 

When trimming the acrylic nails, proceed with caution. Take small increments while cutting to avoid cutting them too short. 

Cutting too close to the natural nail can cause discomfort or damage. Trim gradually and make any necessary adjustments later.

After trimming, use the coarse nail file to shape the edges of the nails. File them in one direction, moving from the outer edge toward the center, to avoid any splitting or damage. 

Then, use a fine-grit buffer to smooth out any rough edges. Be gentle and avoid over-buffing, as excessive buffing can weaken the acrylic.

After buffing, remove the acrylic nail dust and moisturize your nails. 

Remember, professional nail technicians have the expertise and specialized tools to perform nail services. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, seek professional assistance from a nail salon to ensure the best results. 

What’s the Difference Between Acrylic and Gel Nails?

The difference between gel and acrylic nails lies in their composition, application process, and appearance. 

Acrylic nails are made by combining an acrylic liquid or other substitutes for monomer, and a powdered polymer. This mixture forms a paste that hardens when exposed to air. 

Gel nails are made from a gel-like substance that consists of oligomers and polymers. Gel nails come in different viscosities, including hard gels and soft gels.

Acrylic nails are shaped by the nail technician who applies the acrylic paste onto the natural nail or an extension. 

The paste then dries and solidifies through a chemical reaction between the liquid monomer and powdered polymer. In contrast, gel nails are applied in layers cured under a UV or LED lamp. 

Acrylic nails have a thicker and sturdier look. They can be shaped and provide length and strength to weak or brittle natural nails. 

Acrylics can be customized with various colors and designs, allowing for a wide range of creative possibilities. Gel nails have a more flexible and natural-looking appearance. 

They are generally thinner than acrylics and provide a glossy finish. Gel nails offer a lightweight and comfortable feel on the nails, mimicking the look of natural nails.

Acrylic nails are strong and more durable. They can withstand daily activities and are less prone to chipping. 

However, acrylics require more maintenance as they grow out. Gel nails, while not as strong as acrylics, still offer decent durability. 


How fast do nails grow under acrylics?

Nails grow at the same rate under acrylics as they do naturally. This is about 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters per day. However, the growth may appear less noticeable due to the presence of the acrylic overlay.  

How fast do nails grow after acrylics?

After removing acrylics, real nails will resume their normal growth rate. This is about 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters per day. However, the rate of nail growth can vary from person to person due to factors such as genetics, age, overall health, and lifestyle habits. 

Do acrylic nails get longer as your nails grow?

Yes, acrylic nails can appear to get longer as your natural nails grow underneath them. This is because the acrylic nail overlay remains fixed in place on top of the nail bed while the natural nails underneath continue to grow. 

What type of fake nails are healthiest?

The healthiest fake nails are gel nails. They are more flexible, lightweight, and gentler on natural nails. They don’t require harsh chemicals, have a more natural appearance, and are easier to remove. 

Why does my acrylic nail hurt?

Your acrylic nail is hurting because there could be various reasons contributing to the discomfort. For more knowledge, read our article; Why do my nails hurt when I get acrylics?


I hope you now know why nails seem to grow faster with acrylics.  The truth lies in the optical illusion created by the acrylic overlay. 

As our natural nails grow beneath the sturdy acrylic shield, the visible length appears to increase rapidly. However, remember that the acrylic material itself doesn’t grow. 

Rather, it’s our nails underneath that continue their steady pace. So, next time you admire your glamorous acrylic nails, appreciate the clever trickery at play and embrace the allure of faster growth. 

After all, who doesn’t love the satisfaction of flaunting manicured nails that seem to grow at lightning speed?


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