I have been working as a nail tech for some years now, but have always had problems with clients’ nails lifting or popping off within two to three weeks. When they lift, I use a nail dehydrator after clipping the edges and filing the exposed natural nail, and then I double prime before applying acrylic. I have tried different products with no noticeable improvements. Am I clipping too much?
There are many variables that can cause lifting. I always suggest that techs attend a manufacturer’s class on that specific product because even though most acrylic products are similar, they all need to be applied slightly differently. The liquid-to-powder ratio is the most important factor, and when switching products it usually takes a couple of weeks to master this.
Also, prepping around the cuticle and groove walls can make a huge difference. Acrylic doesn’t need a super rough surface to adhere to; a 180-grit file is plenty coarse enough. Most technicians make the mistake of only prepping in one direction, going in a circular motion around the cuticle. But it’s much better to use the file like a pusher. This ensures even better adhesion.
Now if a client does have some lifting, and some clients do, I never suggest clipping off the lifted product. This action usually just causes even more lifting. I think thinning out the product around the area with a hand or electric file works best. Don’t file directly on the lifting though. Thin out the product behind it and then work on the lifting. If you try to go directly at the lifting first, you might file at too much of an angle and too much on the natural nail. Keep in mind a hand file can do as much damage as an electric file if used improperly. — MaeLing Parrish is an EZ Flow educator and co-owner of Nail Sensation in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.