How To Make Your Acrylic Nails Last Longer

Acrylic nails are meant to last longer than traditional polish, but the upkeep can be a little daunting for some. They're supposed to last up to two months, but you have to get what's called a fill-in every couple of weeks (via Cosmopolitan).


Fill-ins, also known as fills, basically patch up your nails to help them last longer. This allows you to fix the length, fill gaps between your nail and the acrylic, and color the tiny space between your cuticle and the bottom of the acrylic nail (via Easy Nail Tech). It usually takes around a half hour. If you want to ensure your acrylics last, it's definitely worth the extra time.

Thankfully, though, there are extra steps you can take to make your look last. Whether you want to tackle it at the forefront or hide a grown-out manicure, there are plenty of ways to maintain your mani.

Nail length and shape matters

If you're tempted to get your natural nails cut short before you apply acrylics, don't bother. Having longer nails gives the acrylic more surface area to cling to, which can help them last longer. On the same note, shorter acrylics are easier to maintain. The longer your nails are, the more likely they'll get caught on things. That means more lifting and likely more pain for you. For longevity, applying a shorter acrylic on a longer natural nail is the way to go (via Easy Nail Tech).


Your nail shape can also affect the wearability of your acrylics. If you're worried about breakage, pointy nails may not be the best for you. Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of Olive and June, weighs in to Makeup about the strongest nail shapes.

"Think round, oval, squoval or even almond," says Tuttle. "Round and squoval nails are most resistant to breakage because there are no sharp edges that can cause weak points in the nail."

Be sure to be gentle with acrylic nails

According to PureWow, one of the best tricks to protect your nails is to wear gloves when doing the dishes. Like regular polish, hot water can seriously damage acrylic nails and even cause chipping. Naturally, it's also a good idea to wear gloves when dealing with chemicals (via Who).


The best trick to maintaining your nails is to be gentle with them. Don't try to open things with them or lift anything heavy. If you notice anything weird going on with your nails, think twice before trying to fix it yourself. The wrong move may not only leave you with wonky nails, but it can also lead to a nasty infection (via More). When in doubt, take it to your nail tech, not your coffee table.

Maintaining your acrylics doesn't have to be challenging, but it definitely requires some lifestyle changes. Whether you're a die-hard acrylic advocate or simply looking for some nail extension alternatives, book regular fills and follow these tips for the best nail results.