Do I Get a Refill, Get New Nails or Just Let Them Breathe?

Updated: Jan 14


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Some people wear acrylic nails for the entire year, ladies, this is super duper bad for your natural nails. You should always give your nails a breather. Your nails grow around 1.8 inches per month, and they get hard to ignore when rocking your favorite nail design only to see that big space between the acrylic and the cuticle looking back at you. This natural but unattractive nail outgrowth appears gradually and becomes more prominent a few weeks after getting nailed. No pun intended. haha.


Sometimes you're not sure what to do, but don't worry I understand, the decision on whether you should get a refill or just start fresh is not as simple as many think. Filling in that unwanted empty space or starting fresh depends on many variables, the state of your natural nail is one of them.




When to get a nail refill?


A nail refill is performed when the natural nail is exposed, forming a space between the acrylic/gel nail and the cuticle due to new growth. Acrylic or gel is placed in the space to fill this gap Which depends on how fast your nails grow. Your natural nails grow about 0,1 mm per day, so after 2 to 4 weeks the space between the artificial nail and the cuticle will be quite big.


Refill your nails regularly to prevent the formation of cracks A refill should not take up about 60 to 1hr 30mins minutes of your time, a lot less than for a new set of nails. If you are going to remove your nails at home, get acetone and soak them off in a dish or a bowl. do not and I repeat do not pull off acrylic or gel nails manually. you risk damaging the upper layer of your nail plate. Go to a trained nail tech and have them professionally removed.


Fungal infections are a very common complication of acrylic nails, they are usually caused by excessive moisture trapped under your nails that can cause excessive fungal growth.



When performing a refill, you can use a dehydrator and primer. A nail dehydrator is considered to be an important item to help with longer-lasting nails. Especially when applying acrylic, Gel, andGel polish designs. It dehydrates the nail plate by modifying the pH and removing excess grease. This allows the product to adhere better to the nail plate. Primers help acrylic adhere more to the nail plate. Here are a few of the products I use in the shop.


Modelones Nail Primer, Professional Acid Free Natural Nail Prep Dehydrate & Bond Primer


I've been using Modelones products for almost a year and a half now and I must say that their products are solid, produce quality work and my clients always love their nails. Modelones gel polishes do not easily form lumps, are easy to apply and dry under my UV lamp. Check out my Instagram page to see some of my work with Modelones products.


Another Primer and dehydrator combo I use is the:

Saviland Nail Dehydrator and Primer, Long-lasting Nail Prep Dehydrate and Acid-Free Bonding Primer Set




Young Nails Protein Bond. Nail Prep + Fast Drying. Anchor for Gel, Polish + Acrylic Keratin Bonder 0.25 fl oz


Young Nails is an excellent brand with great products to offer, very client-oriented. This is a non-acid adhesive and corrosive-free primer. It has a polymer that bonds the keratin structure of the nail plate and makes a sticky surface that acts as an anchor for gel and acrylic. I have used their products a few times and trust me Young Nails should be in your collection of nail products.



When do I get a full nail set?

  • Once your nails start to lift, it is better to get a freshly done set.

  • When there are air bubbles and moisture underneath them.

  • Once you refill 2-3 times, I recommend a new set, some times sooner depending on the condition of their nails.

  • Some acrylic sets last for up to 3 weeks, in this case, you should only refill once.

  • In the presence of difficult fill lines.

  • If there is discoloration of the nails (Yellowing)

  • When you want a change of style (for example, you have short nails but want longer nails)

A bonus, when your nail tech decides not to do a refill because you are new, you may need to start fresh. Nail Techs don't like to touch other people's work. I always do fresh sets with my new clients. It takes too much energy trying to find the right products, also sometimes the products don't match. i.e. The acrylic used to fill may be different from what was previously used, this can pose a problem and lifting may reoccur.

As long as you visit your manicurist regularly, a good set should last up to 2 months.


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Can you wear acrylic nails forever?

Sure you can, but I guess it depends on what you call forever in the nails circle. It is hard work and can be quite expensive to maintain, not to mention the health implications. As long as you visit your nail technician regularly and take care of your natural nails you can rock your nails all year long.


You don't always have to get a refill, sometimes your nails have to be changed. Wearing nails for long periods may cause your natural nails to become super thin. The simple act of getting a new set gives your nail technician insight into the health of your nails. This promotes healthy nails, constantly refilling the same nails over and over can lead to damage to the nail plate and nail bed which may cause infection, our nails need to breathe sometimes. Just get a manicure and let them nails relax hun.


Ladies anothe alternative to getting acrylic gel refills or doing a full set is getting press-on nails. Black Brauh Beauty specializes in luxury custom press-on nails that not only eliminates the time you normally at the nail salon but also provides you with instant fit for any occasion. In this article I discussed why it is a growing trend and the benefits of having a few sets of luxury press-ons at home. Luxury Custom Press-on Nails. Indulge Yourself With Black Brush Beauty's Instant Luxury Nails.


They are easy to apply and remove which is great when you just want to give you natural nails a breather from the acrylics and hard gel manicures.


If you're looking to get a nail refill, then visit a nail therapist to have them assessed and done professionally. Trust your manicurist, he or she has the knowledge and experience to keep your nails looking beautiful and healthy. Stay Fabulous!


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Main photo: Courtesy of Black Brush Beauty



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