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Top 6 Problems With Acrylic Nails and How to Remedy Them

Here at DeEnterprises, we not only manufacture high-quality manicure and pedicure products you can trust, but we also serve as your resource for your troubleshooting needs. As a large part of the nail service industry revolves around acrylic nails, we’d like to help you with the most common difficulties experienced when performing these enhancements.

Runny Acrylic

When the acrylic bead is placed on your client’s nail it should hold its shape.  When it seems like it is melting it feels like your acrylic service turns into a game of “beat-the-clock” to get an even application. This not only becomes a real challenge to keep the acrylic where you want it, but it can also lead to less than desirable results in the next coming days.

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Incorrect Liquid to Powder Mix Ratio

Runny acrylic is usually a sign that you’re using too much liquid and your brush is too wet.

Recommendation: A normal, well-balanced liquid to powder ratio is 1.5 to 1, respectively. You may need to re-calibrate your liquid to powder usage to account for seasonal humidity and temperature changes.

Temperature Imbalance

  Even though your salon and product may be temperature controlled, the temperature of your customer’s fingers may all differ, and every degree can make a difference in your setting speed.  The warmer your liquid and powder, the faster the curing time.  The cooler the product, the slower the curing time.

Recommendation: If your customer’s finger is cool to the touch, warm your product to compensate for the temperature difference.  In the winter, many technicians prefer using a faster setting powder to alleviate this temperature imbalance.  

 

 

Bubbling AcrylicBlog post about why acrylic nails sometimes have bobbles!

Bubbling can be the opposite problem of having runny acrylics.  Even when you think that you’ve done everything perfectly and bubbles still show up in your acrylic it can be beyond agitating.  Below are a few of the most common reasons bubbling can occur, but for more information check out our blog on Bubbles in Acrylic Nails.

 

Incorrect Liquid to Powder Mix Ratio

Too Wet makes tiny (sometimes unnoticeable at first) bubbles that will grow in size over time.
Too Dry traps air in the dry powder and usually provides in too thick of an initial application.

Recommendation: A normal, well-balanced liquid to powder ratio is 1.5 to 1, respectively. You may need to re-calibrate your liquid to powder usage to account for seasonal humidity and temperature changes.

Incorrect Application

 Brushes can whip air bubbles into the liquid that are picked up and mixed with powder on the nail resulting in an airy application.
  Overworking the product after it has been placed on the nail can form air bubbles within the completed enhancement.

Recommendation: Always ensure your brush hairs are saturated in monomer by gently submerging them to the bottom of your liquid dish to release trapped air bubbles. Press and smooth the product to remove trapped air bubbles.

Curing Too Fast

  Faster does not necessarily mean better. If/when the acrylic dries too quickly the top layer may plasticize before any air bubbles have had enough time to naturally work their way out, and therefore get trapped beneath the cured surface.

Recommendation: If you are using a Fast Set powder, try switching to a Standard Set to allow your product more time to naturally release those pesky air bubbles before the top layer cures.  Since seasonal humidity and temperature changes can affect curing speeds, you should take these factors into account as well.

 

 

Cracking Acrylic

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An acrylic enhancement under normal circumstances is created with a balance of strength and flexibility, but should also be able to avoid cracking.  You don’t want your enhancements to crack and/or break, but having the enhancement crack is much preferred over the natural nail. If an enhancement is too strong (like those that are created with MMA monomers) it can damage the real nail if there is a strong enough impact. However, if you are using EMA monomers (which you should be) and your enhancements are cracking there are a few reasons why this may be occurring:

 

Incorrect Liquid to Powder Mix Ratio

Too Wet can create excess shrinkage, weakening the balance between strength and flexibility.
Too Dry does not use enough monomer to properly hold the enhancement together, leading to a lack of internal adhesion and lowering the strength of the enhancement.

Recommendation: A normal, well-balanced liquid to powder ratio is 1.5 to 1, respectively. You may need to recalibrate your liquid to powder usage to account for seasonal humidity and temperature changes.

Over-Filing the Enhancement

The molecular structure of the enhancement becomes compromised and results in a break-down.

Recommendation: Avoid coarse, abrasive, and/or electric files.  File with a gentle touch.

 

 

Lifting Acrylic

Clients have many phrases they commonly use to deflect responsibility for lifting when it usually turns out to be their fault. You may hear a variety of things like their nails “flew” or “popped” off.  It’s difficult to believe the customers when they make these claims because lifting usually occurs over time and is not something that is immediately noticeable at the time your service is completed; however, these complaints of lifting are not to be callously disregarded because occasionally it can start in your salon and get worse as the days go by. These are a few reasons why lifting can occur because of something that happened within your control:

 

Contamination

Contamination affects product chemistry and performance producing unpredictable results.

Recommendation: Dedicate a brush for sculpting and only clean it with monomer. Do not use oils to condition the bristles. Click here for more information on how to Avoid Contamination.

Improper Application

When the enhancement is not properly applied, the bond between the enhancement and the natural nail can be compromised or become almost non-existent after a while.

Recommendation: Avoid contact with soft tissue during application. Leave a free margin around the sidewall and cuticle to avoid soft tissue contact, and press to smooth the product onto the nail to improve adhesion.  

Incorrect Liquid to Powder Mix Ratio

Too Wet can create excess shrinkage, weakening the balance between strength and flexibility.
Too Dry does not use enough monomer to properly hold the enhancement together, leading to a lack of internal adhesion and lowering the strength of the enhancement.

Recommendation: A normal, well-balanced liquid to powder ratio is 1.5 to 1, respectively. You may need to re-calibrate your liquid to powder usage to account for seasonal humidity and temperature changes.

 

 

 

Yellowing Acrylic

After taking your time to ensure your work has been completed to the best of your ability you never want to see it turn yellow.  Even worse is when acrylics turn yellow because of something you could have prevented. Click the link for more information on Why Acrylics Turn Yellow.

 

Product Contamination

Contamination can be responsible for many undesirable results in a salon, one of which is yellowing.

Recommendation: Be sure to store liquid and powder far away from each other. Dedicate a sculpting brush to be used only for acrylics that has been properly stored, cleaned and maintained. Clean your dappen dish between each service to ensure fresh monomer is used for each client.

Wet Acid-Based Primer

Acid-based primer can chemically contaminate the liquid and powder mix and cause yellowing.  Applying acrylic to the nail before the primer has completely dried can also result in discoloration.

Recommendation: By using Magic Bond Primer, our non-acid, non-etching and non-burning primer and allowing it to dry completely before applying your acrylic, you can avoid this scenario entirely.

 

 

Irritation

Every client’s skin is different, so it makes sense that their skin’s ability to handle acrylic application differs as well.  A client that has a bad or allergic reaction to materials may be turned off from receiving those services, or any other forever. Obviously, that is a worst-case scenario, but when care is taken to avoid irritation it may avoid the painful problem entirely.

 

Improper Application

Prevent sculpting monomer from contacting soft tissue during application.

Recommendation: Never swab the nail with monomer.  Always use monomer with polymer and be sure to use the appropriate mix ratio to prevent monomer from flooding the sidewall and cuticle area.

Natural Nail Damage

This can happen during the time of the service. Always be adamant about protecting the integrity of the natural nail during services to prevent damaging the natural nail.

Recommendation: Use a light-handed technique when filing the natural nail during enhancement finishing or re-balancing to prevent friction burns. Do not use an e-file on the natural nail plate.

Chemical Damage

Different monomers contain different amounts of raw materials in their formulations.  Products containing HEMA are most prone to causing irritable allergic reactions.
Flooding the sidewalls, cuticle area and underside of the nail with primer can cause a chemical irritation.

Recommendation: Avoid all soft tissue contact with professional-use products in the salon.

 

 

 

We are your enhancement experts – manufacturing the highest-quality products for acrylic nails is what we do. If you have come across any other problems with acrylic nails during your application or length of time they last for a customer, please feel free to comment below and we can assist you with troubleshooting.

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