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11 Reasons Why Are My Acrylic Nails Coming Off After 2 Days?

11 Reasons Why Are My Acrylic Nails Coming Off After 2 Days?

Many people who enjoy getting manicures strive for long-lasting acrylic nails. It’s frustrating when your acrylic nails come off just 2 days after getting them done at a salon. It gets annoying when you see your hard-earned money and time go down the drain. 

If your acrylic nails lift within 48 hours then there may be some underlying causes. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 11 reasons for acrylic nails coming off after 2 days after application. We will also present tips to prevent this frustrating issue from recurring. 

What Exactly Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic Nails

Before probing into the reasons why your acrylic nails are not lasting, it is important to understand exactly what acrylic nails are and how they are applied.

A specialized liquid and powder sculpting process is used to apply fake acrylic nails over natural nails. The main components involved are:

Polymer powder – This fine powder is a copolymer that contains methacrylate monomers. The most general type used is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

Liquid monomer – The liquid is a mixture of ethyl methacrylate monomers and an originator compound.

During application, the powder polymer and liquid monomer are mixed to form a thick, elastic acrylic paste. The nail technician competently sculpts this paste. You apply it over your natural nail bed area and shape it into the desired length and style.

After applying and shaping the acrylic paste, it remains flexible. It is then hardened and cured under UV lamps or LED lamps. This curing process leads to the monomers linking together via polymerization, which turns the paste into a hardened plastic-like solid.

Additionally during the process, the acrylic layer bonds strongly to the natural nail surface. This helps in sticking to the enhancement in place.

If properly applied with the right technique acrylic nails can last between 2-3 weeks or longer before needing to be filled for new nail growth.

However, if they start prematurely coming off after just a couple of days, then something has gone wrong with either the application process or your natural nails.

11 Reasons Your Acrylic Nails Coming Off After 2 Days

arcylic nails coming off after 2 days

If your acrylic nail enhancements do not last for more than a couple of days before lifting, cracking, or breaking then there could be several reasons for this premature failure:

Improper Preparation of the Natural Nail Plate

It is very important to properly file, buff, cleanse, and dehydrate the natural nail plate before applying acrylics. We create a strong bond this way.

Before acrylic application, carefully clean and buff the natural nail bed to remove all dirt, oil residues, and dead cuticle tissue.

The process of preparing your nails is crucial in making sure that the acrylic adhesive, primers, and enhancements stick tightly onto a clean and rough surface.

Skipping or rushing through this process can result in premature lifting and detachment of acrylics or gel polish within days of application.

Therefore, taking the time to properly prep your nails can significantly improve the longevity of your nail enhancements.  

Failure to Apply Primer Before Acrylic

Beginner nail artists often overlook an important step in nail preparation – using primer on the natural nails before applying acrylics or gel polish. The acrylic primer contains methacrylate monomers that bond strongly to the natural keratin proteins in the nail plate. This is a critical step that ensures the longevity of the nail art.   

This creates a “double-sided” adhesive effect by bonding to the natural nail on one side and the acrylic enhancement on the other side. The primer helps to bridge the gap between artificial enhancement and real nails. This provides grip which is necessary for acrylics to adhere tightly rather than just sitting on top of the nail bed.

Acrylic enhancements will lift and pop off natural nails quickly without proper bonding with the adhesive primer layer first. If not bonded correctly it’ll wear off much more quickly and pop off in a couple of days. 

Applying Acrylics Over Nails That Are Too Short or Too Long

For the best adhesion and durability, it’s important to have your natural nails at the ideal length before applying acrylics. This means they should be long enough to provide ample surface area for bonding, but not too long. 

When someone has short nails, it becomes difficult for the acrylic product to adhere or stick appropriately. This is because there is not enough space on the nail for the product to grab onto.

As an outcome, the artificial nail may become loose and separate from the natural nail, particularly at the tip where it is not supported by the natural nail.  

If you begin with long natural nails, it can be tricky to apply acrylic enhancements without creating excessive length that isn’t maintained by the nail bed. This puts extra pressure on the artificial nail, which can cause it to crack, pop off, or peel off from your natural nail before it should.   

Applying Acrylics Over Unhealthy, Damaged Natural Nails

There can be plenty of reasons like nail diseases, damage, and disorders that create a weaker natural nail plate. This does not properly provide the base needed for attaching acrylic sculpting long-term.

Normally weak, peeling, thin, or soft natural nail beds are not capable of holding the weight and pressure of lengthy, heavy acrylic nail enhancements. This results in the bond failing swiftly with the acrylics popping off after just days or a week at most.

It is important to address and treat any nail health issues before getting acrylics or gels. When choosing enhancements for weak nails, You should use stretchy fibreglass or gel wraps instead of hard acrylics and opt for shorter lengths. This will help decrease the pressure on nails

Waiting Too Long Between Acrylic Fills

As the natural fingernail grows out from the cuticle, a small opening forms between the base of the acrylic nail and the new nail growth.   

Soap remains and moisture builds up in the gap, creating a perfect environment for microbes to flourish. This can cause acrylic to separate from the natural nail growth underneath.  

When applying acrylic enhancements to nails, they may lift off the nail bed over time. This normally starts at the cuticle area.

To avoid this from happening and to guarantee long-lasting adhesion, it’s important to get acrylic fills every 2-3 weeks as suggested by professionals. Waiting for 4 weeks or longer between fills can result in lifting in many cases. 

Applying Acrylics Over Weak, Thin or Damaged Nails

Fingernails that are thin, soft, weak, or delicate and damaged do not provide the strongest base for acrylic application.

The heavy acrylic nails overpower the weak natural nails, causing the bond to fail quickly. This results in the acrylic nails popping off in a much shorter time. 

If you have thin or weak nails and plan to get your nails enhanced, it is suggested to use nail strengtheners like biotin, massaging cuticle oil, and moisturizing the nails daily for a few weeks before your next fill. This will help strengthen your nails and avoid lifting. It’s also sensible to keep away from nail polish remover.  

Attempting to Apply Acrylics on Top of Excessively Thick Nails or Cuticles

When natural nails or the skin adjacent to them become overly thickened, acrylics struggle to bond properly. 

It is essential to avoid making the acrylic enhancement layer thicker than your actual natural nail plate. If the artificial nail is too heavy, it can result in torsion forces on the actual nail underneath. This can cause the acrylic to lift up and ultimately come off. 

Before applying acrylic, it is important to file down any dense cuticle tissue or hypertrophied skin. This guarantees the smoothest doable surface between the natural nail and artificial enhancement.

Poor Quality Sculpting Products

Not all acrylic nail products are equal in durability, strength, and wear performance.

Low-quality acrylic powders and liquid monomers don’t offer the same adhesion, hardness, and longevity. High-end salon products and end nail technicians cannot be compared to them in any way.

The lower discount acrylics may save money forthright. However, spending on high-value salon products is essential to extend the longevity of nail enhancements.

Using lower-quality products can result in faster wear and early lifting at the nail edges. This causes enhancements to pop off after just a few days instead of lasting the desired 2-3 weeks

Underlying Nail Infections Disrupting Acrylic Bonding

Healthy nails are important to form a strong bond between acrylics and the natural nail bed. However bacterial, viral, and fungal nail infections can cause an unhealthy environment and result in popping off the acrylics sooner. These infections can damage the layer of cells that make up the nail plate, making it too weak to firmly hold enhancements.  

It is important to seek specialized medical treatment to fully resolve a nail infection before reapplying acrylics or gels. If we do not cure the infection, the unhealthy nail bed will continue to cause the new enhancements to pop off prematurely.

Allergic Reactions to Acrylic Ingredients

Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to chemicals used in lower-cost acrylic products, which may result in enhancements falling off without warning. 

Prevention Tips for Longer Wear Time

Follow these strategies to avoid quick-popping acrylic nails:

  • Get fills every 2-3 weeks to avoid lifting as nails grow out
  • Use nail primer and dehydrate the nail plate appropriately
  • Choose a trustworthy salon and quality sculpting products
  • Avoid too much water contact which can compromise bond
  • Take off gels/acrylics rightly – never tear them off
  • Treat basic fungal or bacterial infections before reapplication
  • Select fiberglass or gel overlays if your nails are very weak
  • Let nails rest and get better between sets if they feel damaged or sore

What to Do When Acrylics Start Coming Off After 2 Days

arcylic nails coming off after 2 days

Don’t fear if you look down to find out an acrylic nail has suddenly popped off or begun lifting at the edges. Follow these do’s and don’ts:


  • Go to your salon on time for repair
  • Gently file any uneven edges on the lifted portion
  • Use suitable nail glue or adhesive to re-adhere the detached section


  • Use household super glue or wild glue on your nails
  • Try to press the lifted part back down without using nail glue
  • Pick the lifted areas as this can make the problem worse

Getting professional repairs quickly helps avoid further separation or breakage issues. Never use random glues around your skin and nails that could cause reactions.

The Bottom Line

It can be tremendously annoying when your acrylic nail starts to come off just 2 days after getting them done. However, if you can recognize the reasons behind this issue, you can make essential changes to avoid it in the future. Don’t lose hope just yet! With some care adjustments, your next manicure can last for weeks instead of just a few days.  

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Dr. Ayesha Nazir

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