Acrylic Toenails 101 – Everything You Need to Know

acrylic toenails
acrylic toenails

In this article, I am gonna tackle some of the most common questions about Acrylic Toenails such as:

  1. Safety issues
  2. The pros and cons of having acrylic on your toenails
  3. The average price to apply them in a salon
  4. How to apply them at home.
  5. And if also you do decide to get acrylic toenails I will give you some tips on how to manage and keep them healthy.

Can You Get Acrylic on Your Toe Nails

Acrylic nails can be applied to your toenails both as a nail extension or even as a replacement for a broken toenail.

And most salons do offer acrylic applications for your toenails. But if you are skilled enough you can also apply them to yourself.

The application process is almost identical to how they are applied to your fingernails. They can be applied using either nail tips or sculpted using nail forms.

Is Acrylic Safe For Your Toe Nails

Acrylics can be safely applied and worn on your toenails. But they do have some risks. Mainly that they increase the chance of you developing a nail infection or having ingrown toenails.

These risks can be mitigated if the acrylic toenails are applied and cared for properly.

Keep reading for my tips on How to care for acrylic toenails.

Pros of Acrylic Toenails

1- Durable & Long Lasting

Acrylic toenails are more durable and long-lasting when compared to just using regular nail polish.

How Long do Acrylic Toenails Last?

Acrylic Toenails can last for 3 to 4 weeks before needing a fill-in.

They tend to not need a fill-in as frequently as when acrylic is applied to your fingernails. This is because your toenails grow much slower than your fingernails.

Now how long your acrylic toenails will last varies based on:

  • the amount of activity that you do – the less walking that you do the longer the nails will last.
  • the shape and length of the acrylic toenails – shorter acrylic toenails last longer
  • the type of footwear that you wear – Wear open footwear to avoid infections.
  • how well you care for them – keep them clean and dry

Acrylic Toenails have a tendency to lift more easily. I suspect this is due to the pressure that is exerted on the nails when you walk and you have on an enclosed shoe.

2- Can Be Used to Cover Broken Toenails

Since you can use acrylic to extend the length of your toenails it can be used to cover up when your toenails are damaged.

This is especially useful if your toenail growth tends to be stunted or if one of your toenails is broken.

3- Allows for Uniformity & Amazing Designs

Acrylic Toenails allow you to create amazing and durable designs just like you can for your fingernails.

They also make all your toenails look really neat and uniform.

You see each toenail tends to have widely different appearances with some being longer, smoother, and grown outward whilst others might be shorter, rougher, and grown inwards.

This difference in appearance is mostly due to lack of care since most of our efforts tend to be focused on our fingernails.

Now by using acrylic allows your toenails to like nice and neat.

Cons of Acrylic Toenails

1- Can Cause a Fungal Infection

Acrylic toenails can cause serious fungal and bacterial infections.

You see fungi and bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments. And moisture tends to be trapped between the acrylic and your toenails, this is especially true if they start to lift.

This build-up of moisture between the acrylic nail and the toenail coupled with the natural heat and sweat from your toenails can be a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria which can cause infections to occur. Citation.

Now, this is not an issue when you use acrylic on your fingernails this is because your fingernails are always in the open allowing them to dry.

But because your toenails are usually covered by your shoes, they prevent moisture from properly drying out.

2- Can Damage Your Toenails & Cause them to Hurt

An acrylic application can be brutal, requiring a good amount of filing and using strong chemicals such as nail primer and dehydrators which can be extra damaging to your toenails.

You see your toenails are thinner, weaker and they grow slower when compared to your fingernails. This means that your toenails can be damaged more easily and they will take a longer time to heal from excessive filing and being exposed to harsh chemicals.

So if your nail tech doesn’t know what they are doing and is heavy-handed with the filing and uses an acid-based primer they can seriously damage your toenails and leave them in a bad state for months.

Why Do your Acrylic Toenails Hurt

Acrylic Toenails can hurt and cause severe discomfort. This can be due to:

  1. During the application process too much filing was done leaving the toenails very thin and exposed.
  2. The acrylic toenails were made too long and they press too much onto your shoes.
  3. Your natural nails are becoming ingrown – due to the pressure from your acrylic toenails.
  4. Lifting is occuring which on your thin toenails can cause pain.

If your acrylic toenails are hurting for a long period of time, then I recommend taking them off. But just be prepared that the removal process might painful as well.

3- Acrylic Toenails Can Lead to Ingrown Toenails

Acrylic Nails tend to be hard and rigid not allowing for flexibility, unlike your natural nails which can bend and flex easily.

Now because acrylic nails won’t bend so easily when you are walking they don’t naturally flex like your natural nails.

Instead, they force your natural nails downwards causing them to be ingrown.

4- Not Very Comfortable

For some individuals, having long acrylic toenails can be very uncomfortable especially when wearing shoes. This is because of acrylic rigid nature and their lack of flexibility.

You see when you are wearing shoes your toenails naturally flex and bend as you walk, this allows your nails to absorb the force instead of your toes.

Now with acrylic toenails, they will stay in one outward position and the force is felt on your toes, which can be very uncomfortable.

Some individuals adjust quickly, but others can’t stand it. But the main takeaway is that acrylic toenails will not feel natural.

5- Harder to Apply

Applying acrylic on your toenails is more difficult especially when you are doing it yourself. This is because you got to bend over to get access to your toenails.

Even for experienced nail techs, acrylic toenails can be a bit of a challenge.

6- Costly

Applying acrylic on your toenails tends to be more expensive when compared to the standard acrylic application for fingernails.

This is because acrylic toenails tend to require more time, skill, and effort to apply. The nail tech has to take extra care when filling and she has to change her normal application set up to adjust for your toenails.

How Much Do Acrylic Toenails Cost

The average cost for doing acrylic toenails is around $35-$75. Now this will vary based on the design that you choose and the area where the salon is located.

Now, fill-ins for acrylic toenails tend to be roughly half the cost of the initial application.

Generally applying acrylics on your toenails tends to cost a bit more when compared to applying them on your fingernails. this is because it requires more time and skill.

Can You Apply Acrylic to Your Toenails at Home

Acrylic toenails can be applied by yourself at home, you dont need any special tools to do so.

The application process is the same as your fingernails, you just need to take extra care when filling and applying nail primers.

How to DIY Apply Acrylic Toenails at Home

I have a great video that will guide you step by step on how to apply acrylics to your toenails

Recommended Tools

When doing acrylic toenails I recommend that you stick with nail tips instead of using nail forms. You see nail tips are easier to use which is better especially when you have to bend over to apply the acrylic.

You can click here to see the price on Amazon for tips that are used on toenails for acrylic applications.

I also recommend using a non-acid primer when applying acrylic to your toenails.

Young Nails has a great protein-based primer that is extremely effective so much so that you won’t need a dehydrator. You can click here to see the current price for a bottle on Amazon.

Tips on How to Care For Your Acrylic Toenails

1- Wear Open Footwear

If you plan to have acrylic toenails, I recommend that you avoid wearing enclosed shoes as much as possible. And instead, try to wear open footwear like sandals and slippers.

You see when you wear enclosed footwear, you dont allow your toenails to breathe and this can cause a build-up of moisture, sweat, and heat which can cause bacteria and fungi to grow and cause an infection.

2- Keep Your Acrylic Toenails Clean & Dry

Now if you can’t wear open footwear, I recommend that you try your best to dry your acrylic toenails completely before putting on your shoes.

To dry them faster you can blow dry them.

3- Dont Make Your Acrylic Toenails Too Long

If your acrylic toenails are too long they tend to press against your shoes which can cause discomfort and even pain.

Shorter acrylic nails also tend to last longer and won’t lift so easily. You see the longer the nails the more surface area it has for pressure to be applied which can cause the acrylic nails to lift.

4- Avoid Shapes that Have Pointed Ends

I recommend that when shaping your acrylic toenails, you stick to shapes that are curved like your natural toenails. The shape of your acrylic toenails shouldn’t have any pointed ends like squared or stiletto.

You see the pointed ends of the nails will have a tendency to hook onto your shoes or socks.

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