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Removing Acrylic Nails

The removal of acrylic nail extensions should only be performed if you no longer wish to keep the nail extensions on. Correctly maintained acrylic nails can be kept for a number of years without the need to replace or renew the product. There will be the odd breakage which will require a complete new remove and replace.

Acrylic nails can only be removed using a solvent. Most nail technicians will use acetone as this is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way of soaking off acrylic nail extensions from the natural nail. Acetone will break the bond in the polymer chains. The stronger the bond the harder it will be to dissolve the nail extensions.

The easiest to remove is fibreglass as there is no cross-linking structures. The resin in the extension has the weakest bonds which makes it quicker to remove than other systems but offers less product strength. The liquid and powder acrylic system is reasonably easy to remove although it will take a good bit more soaking time and buffing. The most difficult to remove is UV Gel nails, as the bonds that link the structure of the extension are so strong that it is almost completely impenetrable and the nail would need purely filing off. However UV gel does offer an extremely strong nail system. There are gel systems that are soak off gels, these only take 10 mins to soak off but are not strong enough to use as an extension just an overlay.

--- Cover the work surface with the towel to prevent damage from acetone and to catch dust.
--- Fill one manicure bowl with hot water (NOT BOILING!) Fill the second manicure bowl ONLY enough to cover the nails, as the acetone evaporates more can be added to the bowl. Place the second bowl on top of the first bowl to warm the acetone up and make it work faster.
--- Apply Vaseline to the fingertips and around the cuticles to help prevent skin drying out. Take care not to cover the actual nail itself with
--- Place one hand into the manicure bowl and leave to soak for 10 - 15 minutes.
--- Remove hand from the dish and gently scrape the nail with a cuticle pusher to remove the softend product. The gel like substance that used to be the acrylic nail should scrap off quite easily. Be careful not to scrap the natural nail plate. Don’t take your hand out of the solution for more than a few seconds at a time as the acrylic will very quickly harden again.
--- Repeat the soaking/scraping process until almost all of the acrylic nail has dissolved. you may need to gentley white block the nail to remove the last little bits.
--- File your nails back into shape.
--- Wash the hands as they will be dusty. Apply hand cream and moisturise the hands. Rub a little cuticle oil onto each nail to finish
--- Your nails may be weaker and break after wearing acrylic nail so do make sure you moisture them regularly with cuticle oil.  The nails will also feel softer for the next 8 hours until the acetone has completely evaporated out of the nails.

Please note : this method will only work for acrylic, silk/fibreglass and soak off gel nails. not for regular gel nails or any acrylics that include the product
Methylmethacrylate known as MMA.

- Make sure you are sitting in a well ventilated room!
- Do not use acetone on broken, sore or damaged skin.
- Be careful near work areas, acetone is a solvent and will remove paint or varnish from work surfaces.
- KEEP AWAY from sources of ignition, it is Flammable!
- DO NOT Pour acetone into drains (it may dissolve plastic plumbing pipes).

The easiest way to dispose of acetone is to allow it to evaporate in a safe location out of direct sunlight, or soak up with couch roll and dispose of in an outside bin.

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