How to Remove a Broken Acrylic Nail Set

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If you have an acrylic nail set, then you know how important it is and how much work it can be to maintain them. You should learn how to remove a broken acrylic nail.

Although applying an acrylic nail set can require a bit of time and maintenance from the nail technician.

acrylic nail brush

It is also up to the wearer to properly care for and maintain acrylic nails well after the application process to ensure they don’t chip, break or become loose.

However, accidents can happen, and acrylic nails can break especially with everyday wear and tear.

If you notice a broken acrylic nail before you get anxious and try to just tear off or remove the nail yourself—don’t!

This can cause serious damage to the natural nail and to your skin. There is a better way! Read on to learn how to remove a broken acrylic nail safely.

How to Remove a Broken Acrylic Nail Set

Safely removing a broken acrylic nail set is relatively easy to do by following this tutorial. But before you begin, you may need the following supplies:

  • Nail Clipper
  • File and/ or Nail Buffer
  • Small or Medium-sized Glass Bowl
  • Acetone (used for nail polish remover)
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Hand Moisturizer
  • Soap & Water or Disinfectant

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Remove the Acrylic. The first step is to remove as much of the broken or lifted acrylic nail set as possible. You will likely need a nail clipper and file to perform this step.

Use the nail clipper to carefully clip off the part of the nail and acrylic that need to be removed. Do not use the nail clipper to tear off the acrylic as this can severely damage the natural nail.

If the acrylic is still too thick to clip, then this is where the nail file comes in. Try filing down the nail first before clipping.

If the nail is lifted, sometimes all you need to do is file around the area where the acrylic is lifted to pop the acrylic right off. Also, try to avoid cutting the nail bed as this will cause bleeding.

2. Use Acetone to Remove the Topcoat. If you have painted acrylic nails, then you may not be able to remove the topcoat or paint simply by filing.

This of course depends on the amount of paint that is still on the nail after the broken or lifted acrylic is removed.

Fill a small or medium-sized bowl halfway with acetone. Then, place the nail into the acetone for several minutes.

If you have sensitive skin, then you may want to consider applying a little petroleum jelly to the skin around your nail after using acetone.

This will help prevent irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin or if you have hangnails.

Note: Acetone is incredibly strong and extremely flammable, so be sure that the room you are working in is well ventilated.

3. File the nail. Once the broken acrylic nail set and the top coat are removed, the next step is to file down the natural nail.

Be sure to file and buff out the natural nail as much as possible so that you have a smooth surface to work with once it is time to re-apply the acrylic or repaint.

Although it is important to remove as much of the acrylic nail as possible, try to avoid removing or damaging the natural nail.

Keeping the natural nail intact is important when re-applying acrylic chemicals as they need some of the natural nails to adhere to properly.

4. Reshape the Natural Nail. Once you have successfully removed the leftover acrylic, topcoat, and paint, and have buffed out the nail until smooth, now you can work on filing and reshaping the nail.

You can use your nail clippers, file, and buffer again to smooth the edges to get the desired shape.

While filing and buffing, be sure to move from the base of the nail to the tip. Filing in one direction will avoid damaging the nails.

5. Disinfect. Be sure to disinfect the nail before re-applying acrylic or repainting. You can either use a professional nail disinfectant or soap and water.

If you choose to use soap and water, allow the bare nail to sit in the soapy water for up to ten minutes.

This will sanitize the nail and also prevent fungal infections, which is especially important if you are re-applying the acrylic.

6. Re-application. Now that your natural nail is intact and restored to its natural state, you can either reapply the acrylic chemicals or simply paint it as is.

After you have safely removed the broken acrylic nail, you may not want acrylic nails anymore.

However, know that if you have one nail that is in its natural state and the other nine nails are acrylic, it may look a little funny until you remove all acrylics.

If you only have one broken acrylic nail set, then you may want to consider fixing it until you are ready to remove the acrylics entirely.

7. Moisturize. The final step—after reapplying acrylic or repainting the nail—is to moisturize. Remember, you just put your nail under a great deal of stress.

You may have also used a number of chemicals to help treat the nail, such as a disinfectant, petroleum jelly, and acetone. These chemicals can cause severe dryness to the skin.

Therefore, the final step is to moisturize by using a simple hand moisturizer.

Keep Your Acrylic Nail Set Looking Great

We hope that you found this tutorial helpful and easy to follow. All in all, it’s important for the acrylics wearer to maintain the acrylic nail set as much as possible to not only keep the nails looking great but also to maintain the health of the nails and skin.

Therefore, if an acrylic nail breaks, you now know the proper steps to treat it and safely remove a broken acrylic nail set.

Do you know how to remove a broken acrylic nail set? Or have you tried another process? We’d love to hear about it! Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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