Post Acrylic Nail Rehab – How to bring your own nails back to health

nail rehab using press on nails

I must confess I have worn acrylic nails for about 18 months straight and what remains of my natural nail is in dire need of serious nail rehab. I originally got fake nails because it was when my nails were getting weak and brittle from my psoriatic arthritis. At the time I didn’t know the reason, I was just sick of short, brittle and pitted nails, so I bit the bullet and got acrylic nails. The cost about $60 initially and I loved them. The ‘infills’, the process of filling the gap when you nail grows out, is about $40, with a shellac gel manicure as well. The problem is when you want to remove them and grow your own nails back.

Acrylic nails look great on the surface but complete wreck your own nails
Acrylic nails look great on the surface but complete wreck your own nails

The process of having acrylic nails ravaged my own natural nails, and so now, 18 months later after countless infills, I have taken the artificial nail off to inspect the damage. It’s nothing permanent and the new nail growth looks strong, but where the fake nails were, the nail is paper thin, as a result of the over filing of the nail surface that the nail salons use (it’s like a dentist’s drill and can actually hurt like hell with arthritis).

How to start nail rehab

My solution for nail rehab and it may not work for everyone, is to use press on nails. If applied correctly you honestly cannot tell they are press-ons and there is a huge variety available pre-decorated.

Press on nails from H & M
Press on nails from H&M

Making the transition to healthy nails

  1. Remove the acrylic nail and softly buffing the surface of the nail.
  2. If the nails are really damaged like mine, I am using stick on nails with a double-sided adhesive that doesn’t need glue, to protect the nails while the new nail grows out.
  3. Do not use anything permanent, like nail glue, on the nails as it will further damage your nails
  4. Take a ‘hair, skin and nails’ supplement
  5. Keep hands out of host water and detergents
  6. When the press on nails fall off replacement them, don’t glue with nail glue
  7. Keep hands moisturised
    L'Occitane Roses et Reines Hand & nail cream
    L’Occitane Roses et Reines Hand & nail cream

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  8. Keep the press-ons short, so they don’t bend or come off. They aren’t as strong as acrylic, so I keep mine short and oval, as natural looking as possible.
KISS imPRESS may not look as long and luxurious as long ballerina shaped acrylics, but they are a great in-between step from acrylic to natural nails.
KISS imPRESS may not look as long as my old ballerina-shaped talons, but they are a great in-between step from acrylic to natural nails

Looking for some low damage nail accessories?

Dior Diorific Vernis Nail Liner - Precious Rocks $28 USD
Dior Diorific Vernis Nail Liner – Precious Rocks $28 USD

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Nails Inc Gel Effects Polish - Chiltern Street
Nails Inc Gel Effects Polish – Chiltern Street

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Scholl Velvet Smooth Electric Nail Care System - Pink
Scholl Velvet Smooth Electric Nail Care System – Pink $39.94

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Nature's Way Vita Gummies Hair Skin Nails $16.95
Nature’s Way Vita Gummies Hair Skin Nails $16.95

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 Manicare Glam Nails 228 Diamanté Medium Square 1 Kit
Manicare Glam Nails 228 Diamanté Medium Square 1 Kit $15.99

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ImPRESS Accent Press-on manicure
These ImPRESS Accent Press-on manicure kits are my favourite as they are short enough, the right shape and come with a variety of my size nails and styles.

I hope this is helpful in making the transition from acrylic to healthy nails.

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