Does Acrylic Overlay Add Length to My Natural Nails?


Flaunting beautifully manicured nails is an instant confidence booster for many women out there. And acrylic overlays are one of the trendiest forms of artificial nail enhancements available in the beauty industry.

So, if you are wondering does acrylic overlay add length to your natural nails? Yes! Of Course. If you cannot grow nails naturally or simply want to add more strength to your nails, acrylic overlays are here to rescue you.

does acrylic overlay add length

Acrylic nails look stunning, are very strong, and give you a blank canvas to get any style or nail art you want. Do you know, for how long acrylic nails are serving us?

They were invented in 1934 to help women overcome compulsive nail-biting. Since these artificial nails have an extremely natural finish, they continue to be popular to date.

Most women prefer acrylic overlay for its durability. It protects the natural nails from getting damaged. Acrylic overlays are also cheaper compared to gel extensions.

Sum up: Does acrylic overlay add length?

Yes, it obviously does. As acrylics act as a reinforcement over the natural nails, you can shape them, add length or decorate them as per your liking. They are also easy to refill or remove.

Now let us take a look at some of the common concerns regarding an acrylic overlay.

How does acrylic overlay add length to your nails?

Nail extensions are usually a preferred option for those who want to increase the length of their nails. While an acrylic overlay is technically not a nail extension, it is still an excellent way to add length. So let’s see how an acrylic overlay works. In the case of traditional nail extensions, an artificial tip is added to your nail to increase its length. 

Some salons may prefer placing an artificial nail on top of your natural nail. Your nail technician will use acrylic or gel to secure the tips or artificial nails to the natural nail bed. In contrast, acrylic overlays do not involve the addition of extensions.

The 4 Steps Process of adding length to your nails through Acrylic Overlay

1. Your manicurist will start by dipping a brush into the acrylic liquid monomer, to soak it enough but not too much.

dabbing the brush into acrylic liquid monomer to add length

2. Next dabs the brush into an acrylic powder to create a moist ball.

dabbing the brush in acrylic powder to create bead and add length

3. Here with great perfection your manicurist will create a moist ball, popularly known as acrylic bead. Forming this bead is tricky and a perfect bead ensures durability of the acrylic overlay.

creating an acrylic bead to add length to the nails

4. Now it is time to apply the bead into your nails. Once the moist ball covers the natural nailbed, it forms the acrylic overlay.  By repeating the nail bead process desired length can be achieved.

adding length through acrylic beads overlay

You should allow the nails to dry naturally or use a nail dryer. Once the overlay hardens, the manicurist files your nails to remove any bumps and smoothens them out. After this step, you can get the desired length by filing and shaping the nail.

Acrylic Overlay adds length but how long does acrylic overlay nails last?

The longevity of an acrylic overlay depends on your activity levels and varies from person to person. If you are opening too many boxes or doing a lot of household work or manual labor, you will need to get infills every 3 to 4 weeks. 

If you suffer from extremely oily nails or have a habit of chewing your nails, you may need an infill a lot sooner. 

But if you spend your time mainly sitting at your desk with minimal usage of your hands, these overlays will last long.

The good news is that you can make them last longer by following a few simple tips. Make sure to slip on gloves whenever you are using your hands to wash something or performing household tasks. If you type a lot on your keyboard, try to use your finger pad instead of your nails. 

What if your acrylic overlay breaks accidentally – Can broken acrylic overlay nails be fixed?

Once you get an acrylic overlay, maintaining your nails can be a time-consuming affair. Even then, accidents may happen, leaving you with a broken or chipped acrylic overlay. 

can broken acrylic overlay nails be fixed

Luckily, it is possible to repair broken acrylic overlays. If you notice a crack on your nail, it is best to visit the salon as soon as you can. 

Your nail technician will decide the best course of action, depending on the condition of your nail. For instance, if the crack is only on the acrylic overlay and not the natural nail, your technician will peel off the acrylic near the crack.

The exposed area receives a fresh coat of the acrylic material, followed by a thorough filing of the entire nail. In case the crack appears on the natural nail, your technician will peel off the whole acrylic, apply a disinfectant to the nail, followed by a thin coat of acrylic all over the nail.

If you notice any bleeding or infection near the natural nail, get immediate medical attention before proceeding with any repair work.

If there is no serious issue on the broken acrylic, then don’t worry a broken acrylic overlay can be fixed and length can be added again. Now let’s talk about if an acrylic overlay is unsafe for your nails or is it really worth it.

It is great that acrylic overlay adds length but does it healthy and safe for your nails?

Undoubtedly, acrylic overlays look gorgeous. But they come with their fair share of health risks. 

As acrylics involve chemicals like formaldehyde, pregnant women should avoid acrylic overlay. If you have extremely sensitive skin, you may also suffer from an allergic reaction.

In case you are prone to skin issues like eczema or dermatitis, exposure to such chemicals can flare up your condition. If you visit salons and technicians who do not maintain a high hygiene standard, you may even contract a nail infection. 

 Acrylic overlays can also end up drying out the natural oils of your nail bed, leaving them brittle and more prone to cracks. It is best to allow your nails to breathe between nail treatments. This will prevent the loss of your natural nail.

Lastly, only professionals should handle any application and removal of acrylic overlays.

  • Dermatitis Patient needs to be extra careful with acrylic overlays.
  • Pregnant women should avoid acrylic nails.
  • Always do acrylic overlays from a professional.

Here are some crucial tips before you do acrylic overlay.

  • Avoid: Stay away from any DIY nail kits. Otherwise, you may end up damaging the nail bed permanently. 
  • Allow: Always let your nails to breathe between nail treatments, so they don’t get damaged.
  • Keep in mind: Acrylic overlay adds length via chemicals. So it is not a natural nail treatment, hence some cautions need to be maintained.

How much does it cost to get acrylic overlay nails?

The cost varies based on the city you live in and the salon that you are visiting. If you are planning on getting a standard acrylic overlay at premium salons, expect to pay premium prices. 

On average, a mid-range salon or spa charges anywhere between USD 35 to USD 45 for a standard acrylic overlay.  If you opt for any specific colors for a special occasion, prepare to shell out at least USD 50 or USD 60. 

If you want an elaborate nail art on your acrylic overlay, the prices can go up to USD 100 and above. For nail repairs, charges are usually on a per nail basis.

On average, most places charge between USD 3 to USD 4 for refilling one nail and offer discounts if you get all the nails repaired in one sitting. 

You may come across a lot of discount salons that advertise acrylic overlay at extremely cheap rates. However, your nails run the risk of getting ruined forever. You may also end up with a nail infection.

Finally, is it worth adding length via acrylic overlays?

In my experience, I have always been an acrylic overlay fan. Given some crucial don’ts you need to follow, there actually a handful of advantages in doing an acrylic overlay.  

For starter, the beautiful and stunning designs you can have with an acrylic overlay is unmatched. The durability is great too. As, long as you ensure doing acrylic overlay from a professional salon, I don’t find any problem in getting length via an acrylic overlay.

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