All About Acrylic

Acrylic nails have been around for a long time. With the development of new products every year, it can be confusing as to what types of nail services you’re looking for. Let’s talk about what acrylics are, how they are applied, gel, and dip.

What is acrylic?

Acrylic is a hard coating that’s placed on the nail to add thickness and strength. It’s applied with a brush and formed to your nail. It takes a nail technician lots of practice to perfect this art form. They must have the right consistency of the product, know how thick the acrylic can be on the nail, know the breaking points, and be precise with their nail tools.

Acrylic can be put on your natural nail to add strength or help to grow them out over time, this is called an acrylic overlay. However, the more common option is to add length to the nail along with the acrylic. Tips are the most popular, this is where a nail tip is glued to the natural nail and then the acrylic is applied over both. Also, available to add length is called sculpting. Sculpting is where the nail technician uses acrylic to add length with a form. The nail technicians are able to customize the shape and length better for a sturdier “tip.” The advantages to having the nail tips sculpted is that they don’t have to shorten your natural nail first, there’s no adhesive (glue), and they are stronger.


Acrylic nails take maintenance to keep up. As your nails grow the acrylic will grow out with them. If you want to keep your acrylics nails, they will need to be filled every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how fast your nails grow. With a fill appointment, they simply place the acrylic on the back part of the nail and smooth them out. At the time of the fill, you can have the opportunity to shorten the length of the nail, if you like them at a shorter length or shape them to grow longer. If ever you’re wanting to remove the acrylic nails, it should be done in a certain to maintain the natural nail. We soak off the acrylic instead of forcing them off. This prevents the natural nail from breaking, peeling, and/or cracking, it is also less painful.

Types of Acrylics

Lastly, there are different forms of acrylic. We get calls all the time to schedule an appointment for ‘gel nails’ and after asking several questions, the guest is looking for (ultimately) acrylic and not gel polish. Different nail salons use different terms for acrylic, like gel or dip, and it can get confusing. We like to give the analogy for acrylics like hair color. We have several different types of hair color; permanent, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, acrylic is the same – there are different types of products under the acrylic umbrella. Dip nails are a popular request and while that is a form acrylic it is different. So just be informed of what you may be getting at other nail salons. When coming to our salon, if you didn’t get your original set from us, we may ask to remove what you have on already and start over because we don’t know exactly what they used.

Scheduling Your Appointment

At Sisters Salon, we only have 4 nail technicians that perform the acrylic services. They love what they do and are excited for new acrylic guests. That being said, it may take a week or so to schedule a full set appointment with them. After that, it’s easier to schedule the fill appointments. Full set appointments are about 2 hours and fills take between 1.5 – 2 hours depending on the provider and what type of polish and nail art you’d like done. They are always happy to answer any questions regarding nails and acrylics. Just give the salon a call to visit with a provider today!

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