Why Are My Acrylic Nails Lifting After a Week?

Why Are My Acrylic Nails Lifting After a Week
Acrylic nails are a great way to beautify your nails. When acrylic nails are not properly bonded to the nail plate, they may lift.

Nails are an important part of our body that helps to protect the tips of the finger and toes. Many people want to beautify their nails so those get noticeable. Nail treatment or art was popular for a very long period. But in recent years, this has gotten a different dimension as new designs and techniques have been introduced. Acrylic nails are one of the ways of beautifying nails with artificial nail extensions. But, many people with acrylic nails face nail lifting after a week.

So, why do acrylic nails lift after a week? There are some reasons behind this. For example-incorrect preparation of cuticles, too short nails, skipping primer and dehydrator, untrained nail technician, and so on. You can avoid nail lifting by following some ways and rules. Taking good care of your natural nails and applying a top coat can help you to prevent nail lifting. Maintaining proper precautions can provide you with an effective result. Moreover, if your acrylic nails are already lifted, you can fix them in different ways.

Acrylic Nails: Characteristics

Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nail extension made from a combination of a liquid and powder polymer. This mixture is applied to the natural nails and then shaped and polished to create a shiny and durable finish. This nail become very popular among people who want to increase the appearance of their nails or who have difficulty growing their natural nails.

Acrylic nails characteristics
  1. Durability: Acrylic nails are known for their durability and strength. They are less likely to break compared to natural nails. This can last up to several weeks with proper maintenance.
  2. Customizable: Acrylic nails can be customized to suit individual preferences. They can be customized in terms of shape, length, design, and color. This can be painted in different ways to get a different look and style. There are different ways to apply this nail depending on the look you desire.
  3. Extending the length of Natural Nails: Acrylic nails can be used to extend the length of natural nails. It is also used to create a new nail bed. So, it creates versatility. If you want to enlarge your nails a bit, Acrylic can be a good choice. Besides adding length to your nails, Acrylic nails can also add strength and style to your nails.
  4. Quick Application: Acrylic nails can be applied relatively quicker than other nails if it is applied by a trained person. This makes it a convenient option for people to choose.

13 Reasons Why Acrylic Nails Lift

Acrylic nails can last up to several weeks if it is properly maintained. But one of the main problems with acrylic nails is that they may lift or peel if not applied properly to the nail base. There are some reasons why acrylic nails lift. The reasons are as follows-

1. Incorrect preparation of the cuticles

It is one of the most important things to do when applying nails. Correct preparation of your cuticles is the key to not lifting your acrylic nails. Apply the acrylic mixture to your nail plate, not to the cuticles. If the mixture rests on your cuticles, the nails won’t properly adhere to the skin. This can result in lifting your nails. Moreover, cuticles help to keep your nails healthy and stop bacteria and fungus from entering the surface. So, pushing back the cuticles with a cuticle pusher is recommended.

Incorrect preparation of the cuticles

2. Incorrect prepping of natural nails

To get perfect acrylic nails, you should clean and prepare your natural nails properly. If it is not done properly, your nails won’t adhere to your nail plates. When preparing your natural nails, filing your nails is very important. It helps to remove any oily layer or leftover cuticles from the nail plate. For removing the dead cuticle skin, buff your nails gently. Finally, wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol or acetone.

Incorrect prepping of natural nails

3. Nails are too short for acrylics

If your natural nails are too short or weak, your acrylic nails will be more likely to lift. In this case, you can skip an acrylic manicure and make your nails healthier and more natural. Because if you apply your acrylic nails on a weak or short base, it can damage your nail plate and will make you cut your nails shorter. This will make your nails less suitable than now. So, if your nails are not long or strong enough, you should choose healthy manicures such as gel or Japanese manicures so you can get back to acrylic when you want.

Nails are too short for acrylics

4. Applying acrylic nail extensions that are too long

If your acrylic nails are too long compared to your natural nails, the chances of lifting the nails increase. Longer acrylic nails are more likely to break and lift. In that case, you should choose shorter ones to avoid nail lifts. If they are too long, they are more likely to be exposed to strain or harsh environments. Over time, this will weaken the nails and the nails may be lifted. So, if your acrylic nails are likely to be lifting, make sure to make them shorter.

Applying acrylic nail extensions that are too long

5. Nail primers & dehydrators were not used

Nail primers and dehydrators are very essential elements to prevent lifting the nails. After preparing your nails, use primers and dehydrators to create a perfect base for your acrylic nails. For ensuring a long-lasting manicure, this step should not be skipped. A primer will help to increase the adherence of your nails with the mixture. At the same time, dehydrators work by removing the oils from nail plates. You may use acetone or rubbing alcohol as a dehydrator for your nails. You may also choose a different one which matches your skin.

Nail primers dehydrators were not used

6. Skipping the top coat

A top coat provides an extra layer to your nails. Seal the acrylic nails off with a top coat. Using a top coat is very important. Your nails may damage or lift easily if you don’t use a top coat. So, if you want your acrylic nails to last, use a topcoat in your acrylic manicure. For enjoying a long-lasting manicure of 8 weeks, you can apply a UV gel top coat in a week. A proper top coat will make your nails strong and provide a glossy finish.

Skipping the top coat

7. Gluing nail tips with nail glue incorrectly

Nail tips are the easiest way to create acrylic nail extensions. If you can properly glue your nails, it can bring a good result. But, if you can’t glue it properly, the nail tips along with the acrylics will be separated. The nail glue should be applied properly so that it can stick strongly to your nails. So, if your acrylic nails are lifting after a week, check if your nail tips are glued correctly with your nails.

Glueing nail tips with nail glue incorrectly

8. Natural nails growing quicker than expected

Our nails grow 3.5 mm per month. Some people’s nail grows quicker than others. This causes the acrylic nails to lift very easily. Some people’s nails grow faster than others. When the nails grow fast, the acrylic nails get loose and don’t fit in our nails.

Natural nails growing quicker than expected

9. Low-quality acrylic nail products are being used

You may see your acrylics lifting because low-quality acrylic nail products have been used here. Poor quality glue used to attach the nails can make the nails loose. Also, low-quality powder and liquid used in this treatment can result in breakage or damage to your acrylic nails. So, for avoiding nail lifting, use high-quality products.

Low quality acrylic nail products are being used

10. Using the wrong powder to a liquid mixture

While mixing the powder and liquid for acrylic nail application, it’s important to use the right amount of monomer. If the ratio is not correct, the nails will lift and peel very often. An improper mix of powder and liquid can also cause allergic reactions or other skin-related problems. The recommended ratio of liquid to powder is 2:1. If too much powder or too much liquid is used, the nails will be too brittle and more prone to lift. So, a wrong ratio can be led to poor-quality of acrylic nails. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any problems.

Using the wrong powder to liquid mixture

11. Untrained nail technician

Another common reason for acrylic nail lifting is, applying it by an untrained nail technician. For saving money, many people go to untrained or unprofessional nail artists for their manicures. That’s why, they face major problems such as nail lifting or damage. So, if you don’t want to experience nail lifting, go to a trained and professional technician.

Untrained nail technician

12. Exposing your nails to stress or harsh environment

If your acrylic nails are exposed to mechanical stress or environmental factors, they will be damaged and lifted. For example- constant hand washing, exposure to chemicals, working with your hands for long periods, etc. Even if the acrylic nails are applied properly, exposing your nails to this type of stress can result in lifting nails.

Exposing your nails to stress or harsh environment

13. Acrylic nails were not taken care of properly

Taking care of your nails is the most important thing to do after you have taken acrylic or any other nail treatments. For making them last longer, avoid damaging elements or activities.  Keeping your nails clean and dry may lead to effective results. Also, you should apply a top coat every week to avoid breakage or damage to your nails. So, taking care of your nails is the first and foremost duty once your acrylic nails are done.

Acrylic nails were not taken care of properly

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6 Ways to Stop Acrylic Nails from Lifting

Acrylic nails can lift for many reasons such as improper application, moisture, or natural nail growth. But there are some ways to stop them from lifting.

  1. You must prepare your cuticles as this is the first place where the nail starts to peel off. Before applying your acrylics, make sure you push back your cuticles. This will ensure that there won’t be any gaps between your nail and acrylic tips.
  2. If you want your acrylics to adhere to your skin, apply primer as this is an essential part to create a soft surface for the acrylics. Primer will help your nails to last longer. If primer is not applied, your acrylics won’t adhere to your skin. As a result, it will lift easily.
  3. It is very important to take good care of your natural nails if you want perfect acrylics. You may use cuticle oil or cream for taking care of them. Nurturing out your natural nails is very important for saving your acrylics from lifting.
  4. You should take vitamin B12 supplements to stop your nails from lifting. This helps to produce new cells in your body. This will also strengthen your nails and stop them from lifting.
  5. You must apply a top coat to avoid lifting. Applying a topcoat is required to protect and maintain your acrylic nails. The top coat may prevent your acrylics from lifting.
  6. Keep your nails and hands dry and avoid moisture. Moisture can cause nails to lift. So, avoid activities like washing dishes or swimming for the first few hours after your acrylics are done.

How to Fix Acrylic Nails that Are Lifting?

If your acrylic nails are lifting, you can follow some ways to fix those nails.

  1. Check with Your Nail Technician: The first thing you should do is- go to your nail technician. They will advise you what to do next if your nails are lifting.
  2. Use Nail Glue: If you have used nail tips to do your acrylics, there is a chance for the nails to lift. So, use proper nail glue to stop them from lifting.
  3. Use Acrylic Mixture: If your acrylics are lifting, you can use acrylic powder and liquid mixture and apply them to the area where it is lifting.


1. How long should acrylic nails last before lifting?

Acrylic nails can last for two or three weeks before they start lifting. It depends on how well they are applied and how well they are maintained.

2. Why is my real nail lifting under acrylic?

Natural nails tend to absorb moisture every day. This causes the nail to expand. As a result, they pull away. For avoiding this problem, glue the nails correctly.

3. Does water cause acrylics to lift?

Yes, water can cause acrylic nails to lift. It is essential to avoid exposing acrylic nails to water and moisture for extended periods.

4. What does nail lifting look like?

An irregular border is seen between the pink portion of the nail and the white edge of that area. The detached nail is white compared to the pink natural nails.

Final Thoughts

Acrylic nail is a popular way to enhance the appearance of one’s natural nails. But they can be prone to lifting if not applied or maintained properly. There are so many reasons for the acrylics to lift. It is important to take preventive measures to avoid lifting. Choosing a skilled nail technician, using high-quality products, and avoiding moisture are very important to avoid nail lifting. Taking care of acrylic nails by keeping them healthy can also prevent lifting. With proper care and maintenance, acrylic nails can be a beautiful and long-lasting addition to one’s appearance.

Key Points

  • Acrylic nail is an artificial nail extension where a combination of liquid and powder polymer is used.
  • Acrylic nails may lift if it is not applied properly or if low-quality nail products are used while doing acrylic.
  • You can avoid your acrylics from lifting by taking good care of your natural nails and acrylic extensions.
  • Fixing your acrylics after lifting is difficult. Still, you can fix some of them through some strategies such as using nail glue or acrylic mixture.

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