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How to Remove Acrylic Nails: Step-by-Step Guide

Without causing any damage!

No matter whether you’re looking for some extra length or a flawless foundation for nail art, acrylic nails offer the perfect solution. The only thing is, once your natural nails grow out (and/or you’re ready for a new mani) removing your acrylics does require a bit of dedicated time and attention. “It’s not necessarily hard to remove acrylic nails, but it can be time consuming,” points out nail artist Aaliyah Smith. A lot of people get impatient and try to pop them off, which can be damaging to the nail plate, causing thinning, bruising, and potentially even bleeding, she cautions. In an ideal world, you’d want to see a professional nail technical for acrylic nail removal, she adds. That being said, if that’s just not in the cards, you can DIY the process. Follow the steps below for how to get acrylic nails off and you’ll be able to do so, sans any damage.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home

1. Start by trimming.

“Cutting down your acrylics with nail clippers will help make the removal process easier and less tedious, says Smith. “It will also help minimize any damage to your natural nails underneath.” Since acrylics can be thick, you may want to use a more heavy-duty nail clipper, like the Songqee Thick Nail Cutter ($5.99; Trim them as short as possible, ideally right to the top of your fingertips.

2. Soaking comes next.

And we’re not talking about soaking in any old nail polish remover; you’re going to want pure acetone. Try: Super Nail Pure Acetone ($9.95; Pour enough in a small bowl to cover your fingertips. Submerge one hand at a time—but just your fingertips—, covering the bowl with a hand towel to help keep the fumes to a minimum, suggests Smith.

3. Be patient.

According to Smith, when done safely, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to remove acrylics. “Don’t rush the process. Focus on quality over speed,” she says.

4. Start to scrape (gently).

Peek at your nails occasionally; once you see that the acrylics are starting to turn flaky, use a cuticle pusher or orange stick to gently scrape off the product. One to try: Tweezerman Pushy Stainless Steel Cuticle Pusher ($18; Repeat, alternating between soaking and scraping, until all of the acrylic is removed from the nail plate, says Smith.

5. Finish with moisture.

Once the acrylics are completely gone, file and buff your nails, then load up on hydration to help counteract any acetone-induced dryness. Smith recommends swiping on a cuticle oil, massaging into the nail beds and surrounding skin. Our pick: CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Oil ($13.99;

We've get you ready for your beautiful nails! The Shampoo Lounge has been attending to an international and Indonesian clientele since 2012 so check out our our website and our TripAdvisor reviews! We can’t wait to have you in.

Article written by Melanie Rud  for


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