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How to Care For Acrylic Nails at Home

Zeta Pongonis Zeta Pongonis How to Care For Acrylic Nails at HomeWith nail salons closed, here is advice to care for your nails at home.
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Editor’s Note: With nearly four hundred nail salons in Columbus and all of them closed right now because of COVID-19, there is no doubt that some of you are at home wondering how to take care of acrylic nails. We reached out to Zeta Pongonis, Senior Master Nail Artist for Penzone Salon + Spa, to share with us her tips to keep your nails looking good in between salon visits and how to take care of your nails at home.

In these uncertain times, those of us with artificial enhancements on our nails might be worried about how to care for our nails on our own. It could be awhile before we in the industry are back to taking care of you, as we desperately wish we could be.

When the time comes that you can no longer keep your nail service on, you should remove them at home with these easy steps.

How to Remove Dip or Acrylic Nails at Home


Dip nails and other acrylic nails should be soaked off and never peeled or ripped off. Even with stress levels being high for most of us right now, it is important not to peel your nails. These easy steps will help you remove your dip powder or acrylic nails at home, keeping your natural nails in good shape until you can get to your next salon visit.

Gather these materials:
-Acetone (this is a good one: Eternal Professional Nail Polish Remover – 100% Pure Acetone, however any left over acetone will also work well as regular nail polish remover
-Cotton balls
-Foil
-Glass Bowl
-Cuticle pusher or orangewood stick

1. Take your nail file and file the top of the artificial nail to take down some of the thickness. Being very careful here not to scratch the natural nail around the regrowth area. That’s your new nail and you need to keep it healthy. Never go so far into the artificial nail that you can see your natural nail underneath.
2. Cut your foil into squares into approximately 4 inch squares.
3. Saturate the cotton ball with your acetone. To make it easier, pour some acetone into a glass bowl to dip your cotton into.
4. Place cotton ball on nail and wrap it with your foil.
5. Wrapping your hand in a warm towel will speed up the process.
6. Wait 15-20 minutes, then remove. If you have a cuticle pusher or stick, use it to help push the product off the nail plate.

TIP: If you can have someone repeat the process on your other hand it’s best as it’s difficult to wrap the next hand with the other one wrapped. But in these social distancing times, that could be difficult. Otherwise, repeat the process later on your other hand.

removing acrylic nails at home
Process for removing acrylic nails at home.

After you have removed your nail enhancement, you should file the nail tips down to make them shorter. The nail could be weakened a bit and it’s best to let them start fresh from a shorter length. Take a buffer and gently buff off any rough or remaining bits of product. Be very careful here as it’s best to leave tiny spots of product in your nails than to buff super hard and damage the natural nail in turn. In days, that bit of product will loosen on its own.

You can follow these steps to also remove gel manicures being less aggressive when you first file to tops and letting sit for only around 10-15 minutes.

A Super Easy Way to Remove Gel Manicures at Home


Using this product – Magic Nail Polish Remover – is the easiest way to remove gel manicures. Put it on, let it sit, wipe it off. Repeat as needed.

After your acrylic or dip nails are removed, make sure to top coat them with whatever clearcoat polish you have at home. Also, be sure to keep them very hydrated with cuticle oil.

What if you do not have cuticle oil at home? A good substitute for cuticle oil is olive oil, coconut oil, or even lotion.

The top coats can be added every other day to add strength to your nail plate but it’s important to keep them hydrated while we are sanitizing our hands so often. With frequent hand-washing, the nail plate will dry out and be susceptible to cracking and breaking. Dry hands can crack and split during constant sanitizing, making you more susceptible to infections, so keep applying that lotion!

If you’d like to book an appointment with Zeta Pongonis after the Coronavirus pandemic is over, visit penzonesalons.com.

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