Why Do Acrylic Nails Lift? (Exact Reasons, Preventions And Fixing)

Acrylic nails are sometimes termed fake nails. They are artificial extensions placed over the original nails to add a look to your personality. They hurt and get misplaced if not taken care of. 

In the blog post, we’ll discuss “Why do acrylic nails lift” and take views from famous cosmetic experts. In addition, we’ll discuss the reasons behind lifting nails and finally provide you with multiple ways to fix them.

See What Experts Say About Nail Lifting?

  • According to Doug Schoon, president of Schoon Scientific, adhesion is the ultimate reason behind successful acrylic nails. Adhesion helps the acrylic nails and the bed of the natural nails stay intact. A weak bond between fake and natural nails will lead to lifting and hurting. So, clean the bed throughout and remove debris, water content, and oil.
  • According to Greg Salo, President of Young Nails, there are three things to get your nails to stay in place and remain intact, and there are no shortcuts other than these three strategies. The first is preparing your nails by cleaning the bed and removing dirt. The second one is applying the correct procedures and suitable products. The third one is giving a final touch and a good finish.

Why Do Acrylic Nails Keep Lifting? 10 Things To Know

Before I discuss ways to fix the nails, you must know the potential reasons behind lifting. I’ve gone through all the possible reasons below.

1. Not Taking Care of Acrylic Nails 

One of the basic reasons why acrylic nails lift is not taking care of them. It’s not just about wearing and leaving them carelessly. You have to keep an eye on them and provide them with a healthy environment to make them stay intact. 

You can do this by applying a top coat every week. Moreover, it will help if you prevent them from biting and picking.

It would help if you remembered that they are artificial nails and not as strong as natural ones. If you’re being careless, they’ll get brittle and eventually break. 

2. Putting On Low-Quality Acrylic Nails

Some people tend to buy budget-friendly acrylic nails and other relevant products. It’s a good idea to save money, but sorry to say you will compromise your personality and beauty. These types of nails and products save you money but cause you to get your nails to lift. 

Some people use low-grade glue to adhere the nails to the bed, causing the bond to be weaker. This glue may work instantly, but it is not as durable as it should be.

Moreover, low-budget nails are made of artificial ingredients compared to organic ones found in costly nails. These nails crack and don’t last long. 

3. Missing Primers and Dehydrators

A secret to getting the nails to stay healthy and intact is using nail primer or dehydrator. These products are essential when putting on acrylic nails as they promise a strong bond. Hence, they must be used as an essential coat before wearing the nails.

Keep in mind a good quality primer is a plus point, and applying it correctly affects the bond too. For this purpose, please take out a small amount of the primer from the tube and spread it over the nails evenly with the help of a nail brush. Don’t use thick layers, as it will misplace the acrylic nails, and the bond may also be affected.

4. Not Following the Correct Application 

Another primary reason why acrylic nails lift is following an incorrect method or applying the nails without knowing the procedure.

Some people may choose to do a manicure themselves. It is good to know what you are doing and have a good grip on it. But if you’re experiencing it, it will compromise your acrylic nails. If you’re doing it to save money, I suggest you watch a YouTube tutorial on how to put on acrylic nails.

Moreover, if you’ve used to visit a salon for a manicure, keep an eye on them and make sure they do not deceive you through low-grade products. 

5. Weak Natural Nails

One of the central problems women face is weak nails. These weakened nails don’t allow nail extensions to adhere strongly. Dryness or malnutrition causes the nail’s upper surface to get micro-cracks and whitening. These damages may affect the bonding while acrylic paints are planted over them.

Moreover, too short nails can also be a hurdle to supporting the weight of the acrylic nails. Hence, it is better to give proper time to your natural nails to get their length before you put on the fake nails.

6. Missing To Remove Cuticles

When preparing to wear acrylic nails, a vital step is removing cuticles. Missing this step can indeed affect your new nails. Why? Because cuticles keep growing and root into the artificial nails causing them to lift. So it’s always recommended to remove them properly with a cuticle pusher or other metal tool.

A cuticle is a layer of tissue matrix and part of your natural skin cells supporting nails at the base. They are beneficial in protecting your nails by working as a barrier. So please don’t remove it as long as you’re not wearing acrylic nails. 

7. Acrylic Nails Are Facing The Harsh Environment

An apparent reason why acrylic nails lift is the harsh environment. No matter how strongly the nails are stuck to the bed, they are still susceptible to some chemicals and liquids.

For instance, if you’re constantly washing your hands with soap and warm water, the nails will get loosened. Moreover, exposing the nails to strong chemicals like beauty creams, face wash, hand wash, etc., will weaken the nails.

If your hands remain wet most of the time, you’ll probably lose your acrylic nails, as too much dampness neutralizes the glue used to stick the nails to your nail bed.

8. Long Acrylic Nails

Longer acrylic nails lift easily because they are heavy, and the glue is not enough to hold them up. In addition, longer nails have a chance of getting caught by things nearby, and they may break by accident. So I recommend you wear nails of a suitable length.

9. Correct Product Ratio is Not Used

While wearing acrylic nails, always follow the instructions on the package of a specific product. For instance, the correct liquid-to-powder ratio is crucial to maintaining healthy nails.

Using powder in a higher ratio leads to lifting the nails while adding too much liquid can break the nails. So make sure to read the user’s manual or search on YouTube. 

10. Missing Top Coat

A top coat always gives your acrylic nails a gorgeous look and glossy finish. In addition, the coat provides extra strength and durability. So never miss a top coat when you’re done wearing the nails, or you’ll regret it when they lift.

Read here to learn to use acrylic paint as nail polish.

Why Do My Nails Keep Lifting from the Nail Bed?

We all have gone through the condition when our nails are lifted from the bed. It’s a painful and displeasing feeling to face such a situation. But what are the reasons behind and what causes acrylic nails to lift? Below are some potential causes.

  • Injury to the nails is a common reason our nails get separated from the nail bed. When the skin below the nails is swollen due to a wound, you’ll probably feel a gap between the skin and nails. Sometimes the situation worsens, and the nail comes out with roots. 
  • Fungal Infection is a significant cause of nail lifting in developing countries. The infection can weaken your nail’s attachment to the skin, leading to a medical emergency.
  • Medical Conditions like those targeting the external skeletal system, including nails, can cause the condition. Moreover, lack of keratin protein or essential nutrition damages the nails and may get brittle and unnaturally white. 

If you’re injured in the toe,  you should seek immediate medical assistance to avoid complications. Once the toe is swollen and exposed, you may get infections. So don’t be careless if the condition is due to malnutrition or genetic issues; better to consult a skin specialist. 

Do Acrylic Nails Damage Your Natural Nails?

Acrylic nails are good manicures to add to your personality when going to an event, but the downside to using them is they damage your natural nails. But no worries, you can avoid this problem with a little bit of care.

Try not to use strong chemicals on bare nails, like those consisting of alcohol and acetone, as they can damage the thin upper layer of proteins covering the nails. I always prefer skin and nail-friendly compounds. 

Moreover, don’t leave acrylic nails wet for longer, as it can enhance the possibility of infection, leading to skin complications.

How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

Acrylic nails cost you depending on your setup and what you can afford. The price may vary from place to place, salon to salon, and product to product. So I can’t provide you with the exact figure, but you must expect at least 50$. My woman never spends less than the figure, so I remember the amount. 

A complete set at Vanity Projects will cost you 78$ while fill-in costs you 60$. 

Why Do My Acrylic Nails Keep Lifting at the Cuticle?

Multiple causes exist behind acrylic nails that keep lifting at the cuticle other than those discussed above. 

  • Zero Preparation: One reason is that you have left the bed of the nails unprepared, or you can say the floor for the fake nails is dirty. Dirt, dust, oil, and moisture can make the bed rough and non-adhesive, leading to your nails lifting from the cuticle. 
  • Quality: No matter what the subject is, quality matters a lot. The same applies here when looking for acrylic nails. Good quality nails and supported products must be high-grade to maintain the nails and avoid any mishaps. If you’re using liquid, powder, glue, or nails themselves that are cheap, you’re compromising your personality as the nails will lift sooner. 
  • Setting Time: If you’re not letting your new nail extensions set down properly, you’ll get them to lift. After wearing the nails using glue, you must allow them to dry and set well before working with them. 

How to Fix Lifting Acrylic Nails at Home 

Acrylic nails are a good option for women to enhance their beauty and fashion, but a common problem is they are misplaced from the bed or at the cuticle, which is a distasteful feeling. But no worries, these tips on how to fix an acrylic nail lifting will help you a lot in this regard. 

  • Cuticle Pusher:

If you see your nails lifting, use a cuticle pusher. A cuticle pusher is a tool that helps you propel the nails back into place. Once the nails are in their place, they may not be disturbing anymore. 

  • Reattachment: 

If the nails are lifted to a severe level, and you’re sure they will get out of the nail bed, better to reattach them using nail glue. If only the edges are lifted, a file is suitable to soften them. It ensures the nails stick back to the floor.

  • Use Tape:

You can use clear tape to hold the nails in place while they are getting dry after fixing or after wearing them freshly. The tape will give the glue enough time to dry.

  • Use Warm Water:

Another way how to fix acrylic nails that lift is using water. If the nails are misplaced but solid and can’t be moved smoothly, use warm water to soften the glue and push back to fix them. It helps soften the adhesives making you push acrylic nails smoothly. 

  • Redo the nails:

If the nails are non-fixable and the ways above are not working, the last option is to redo your nails. It should be the final decision after the techniques discussed are failed.

Take your nails off with hot water or use glue thinner and then apply them again using good-quality glue and other products. You can do your acrylic nails at home yourself or visit a salon. 


Why do my acrylic nails keep breaking?

Acrylic nails break due to multiple causes. You might not be taking care of your nails or using low-grade products to wear them. Moreover, weak natural nails lead to the lifting of acrylic nails as well.

Why do my acrylic nails keep popping off?

Acrylic nails pop off due to improper application or using expired products. But the potential reason is missing to apply a primer. Without nail primer, the adhesion between the nails and the bed is weak. 

Can your nails reject acrylic?

Generally, your natural nails should not reject acrylic nails. But if you’re facing this problem, it is probably because of the improper application of the nails, forgetting to prepare and clean the nail bed, and sometimes hormonal imbalance can affect the nail plate, too, causing the lifting of the nails.

How to prevent acrylic nails from lifting?

Acrylic nails can be fixed and stopped from lifting following the correct procedure of applying them and using high-quality products. Moreover, preventing the nails from frequently washing, especially with soap, is a plus point. 

How long do acrylic nails last without filling? 

Acrylic nails can last for 3-6 weeks without fill, depending on your habits. If you’re taking good care of them, they’ll probably last longer, but exposing them to physical stress like biting and picking will reduce their life span. Moreover, leaving them wet also affects their bonding with the nail bed.

Why are my acrylic nails lifting?

Your acrylic nails may be lifted due to various reasons including incorrect application, low-quality primer, and dehydrator, or maybe you are not using the right ratio of liquid to powder.

Look at what my colleague Recommends:

“Hey guys, it’s Vinni, and today I’m going to give you a review on an at-home acrylic nail kit. This has been the best thing I’ve found. I have to break my nails pretty often, but I’ve been growing my nails out for a long time.

So whenever one of them breaks, they sit as it kills me to have to cut all my nails. I tried a bunch of different at-home nail kits for acrylic nails lifting fix, but this one helped me a lot. It’s called a lightning-speed acrylic dip kit. 

It’s probably the fastest and easiest to use, so I highly recommend it. I don’t like to go to the nail salon to get my nails done professionally. My natural nails grow really quickly, so I would have to keep going back to get them redone and fill in all that.

Anytime I get a set of fake nails on, they do grow up so quickly that I have to get them done again, and I’ve had them done maybe twice professionally. 

I just don’t really like the experience and also the fact that you do spend a lot of money when you get your nails done at the salon.

I’ve had these on my nails for almost three weeks now, and they still look really good, and they are very sturdy, and I’ve had to reduce some of them because I am a very clumsy person, and I smashed 2 of my fingers when I was doing some like chores around the house”. 

Final Thoughts On Why Do Acrylic Nails Lift

Acrylic nails are used worldwide, but being negligent and unaware of their proper application and care can cause lifting the nails sooner than the expected time frame.

This was all from my side. I hope you got what I tried to convey. Thank you for reading!  

Marissa Arnold

Leave a Comment