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The sad truth is that there are some licensed trained nail techs out there that are too busy or too lazy to remove enhancements the proper way and resolve to just ripping the clients nails right off. This can result in permanent damage to your nail.

Removing nail enhancements yourself is actually very easy, a little time consuming, but easy all the same.

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All you need is a few supplies. All supplies can be purchased for reasonable prices at Sally Beauty Supply.

  • Pure Acetone
  • Cotton Balls
  • Foil (I used salon quality foil, but regular reynolds will work)
  • Orange wood stick
  • Acrylic file
  • Natural nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail nippers
  • Nails strengthener
  • Cuticle oil

Step 1: With your acrylic file, file off any polish you have on the enhancement until you reach the acrylic underneath.

Depending on how thick your nails are you may want to file the acrylic down a little bit. This will help the acetone penetrate and dissolve the acrylic.

Step 2: Soak with pure acetone (make sure this is pure acetone from a beauty supply shop and not from Home Depottrue story, a client of my coworker actually used acetone meant for thinning paint and ended up with a serious chemical burn)

Once you have prepped all the nails you have two options for soaking the enhancements with acetone.

Option 1: Apply acetone to cotton ball, place on enhancement, wrap with foil.

Option 2: Pour acetone into a glass bowl (it is very important to use glass as it is non reactive and won't melt), dip finger tip in acetone.

Which ever option you go with the procedure is the same.

Let enhancements soak for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Remove from acetone. Using your orange wood stick begin scraping the acrylic off the natural nail.

Depending on the thickness of your nails you may have to repeat steps 2 & 3 a few times. My nails we're on the thinner side and I had to repeat 3 times.

You may also find that no matter how long you soak your finger tips some of the acrylic just won't come off. That is totally normal. You can either file the remaining acrylic off or smooth any edges so that it's not noticeable.

I chose to smooth the little amount of acrylic remaining on a few of my nails.

Step 4: Clip, file and shape nails

This is what my nails looked like immediately after I was done removing the acrylic and shaping them.

Of course they don't look as pretty as I would like them to, but they definitely look better than if I had ripped them off. And they don't hurt at all, nor are they bleeding or ripped to far down the nail bed.

Step 5: Apply nail strengthener

I personally like to give my nails a day or two before putting any polish (gel or regular) on them.

When you take enhancements off, either by this method or by ripping them off, they will feel thin and brittle. This is because they are very dehydrated, and if you ripped the enhancements off you are probably missing a layer of nail as well.

I like to apply nail strengthener only for the first day or two and then add polish to give a little extra protection and strength. The day or two allows the nails to regain some of the moisture they we're deprived of.

Step 6: Apply cuticle oil

Last but not least apply cuticle oil to your cuticle and nail fold. The healthier your cuticles are the healthier your nails will be.

Before and after are quite different from each other. Normally I like to have a square shape to my nails, but I almost always have to wear them rounded right after taking off enhancement because for some reason the skin under my nails (the hyponychium) grows with my nail and can be painful to cut or file away, so I usually just let it dry up and go away. I've never gotten a good reason for why this happens, but usually with in a month of taking off the enhancements the extra skin is gone.

I hope this helps show that removing nail enhancements safely is easy and I swear you will never regret removing them this way. Plus your nails will thank you!

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 05/07/2017


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