DIY Nail Care: How to Fix Lifting Acrylic Nails at Home

Acrylic nails have gained immense popularity due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, even with their numerous benefits, acrylic nails can sometimes lift, causing frustration and concern for those who love flaunting their beautifully manicured nails. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to rush to a salon to fix lifting acrylic nails. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to fix lifting acrylic nails at home, ensuring your nails remain fabulous and flawless.

What Causes Lifting in Acrylic Nails

Before diving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand why acrylic nails may lift in the first place. Lifting in acrylic nails is a common issue that occurs when the acrylic nail extensions separate from the natural nail or the nail bed. Several factors can cause lifting in acrylic nails:

  1. Improper Nail Preparation: Proper nail preparation is crucial for acrylic nails to adhere well. If the natural nails are not properly cleaned, dehydrated, and free from oils and moisture, the acrylic may not bond effectively, leading to lifting.
  2. Poor Application Technique: Incorrect application of acrylic products, such as using too much liquid or not blending the acrylic properly, can result in air bubbles or an uneven surface, causing the acrylic nails to lift.
  3. Incorrect Nail Length and Shape: Nails that are too long or have an extreme shape can be more prone to lifting because they are more likely to experience stress at the free edge. Nails that are too thin or weak may also be more susceptible to lifting.
  4. Contamination: Dust, dirt, or oils on the nail surface or in the acrylic products can interfere with the adhesion of acrylic nails, leading to lifting.
  5. Moisture Exposure: Excessive exposure to water or moisture can weaken the bond between the acrylic and the natural nail. It’s important to protect your acrylic nails when washing dishes, swimming, or soaking in water for extended periods.
  6. Nail Trauma: Physical trauma or excessive pressure on the acrylic nails, such as banging them against hard surfaces or using them as tools, can cause lifting.
  7. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to the ingredients in acrylic products, which can lead to skin irritation and lifting.
  8. Poor Maintenance: Neglecting proper nail maintenance, such as failing to fill in the regrowth or allowing the acrylic nails to become too long, can contribute to lifting.

Tools You’ll Need To Fix Lifting Acrylic Nails at Home

  1. Nail file
  2. Nail buffer
  3. Acetone or nail polish remover
  4. Cotton balls or pads
  5. Nail glue
  6. Small brush
  7. Cuticle oil
  8. Nail strengthener (optional)
How to fix a lifting acrylic nails at home

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Assess the Damage

Start by assessing the extent of lifting on your acrylic nails. If the lifting is minimal, you can try repairing them at home. However, if a significant portion has lifted, it might be best to visit a professional to avoid further damage.

2. Gather Your Tools

Collect all the necessary tools mentioned above before you begin the repair process. Having everything on hand will streamline the process and prevent unnecessary interruptions.

3. Gently File the Lifted Area

Use a nail file to gently file the lifted area of the acrylic nail. This will help create a smooth surface for the repair. Be cautious not to file too aggressively, as this can damage your natural nail.

4. Buff the Nail Surface

Gently buff the entire nail surface, including the lifted area. This will remove any remaining acrylic residue and create a clean surface for better adhesion.

5. Remove Residue with Acetone

Dampen a cotton ball or pad with acetone or nail polish remover. Gently swipe it over the nail to remove any leftover acrylic debris. Make sure not to oversaturate the cotton, as excessive acetone exposure can weaken your natural nails.

6. Apply Cuticle Oil

Before proceeding, apply cuticle oil to your nails and surrounding skin. This will nourish your nails and prevent them from becoming excessively dry during the repair process.

7. Reapply the Acrylic Nail

Using a small brush, apply a thin layer of nail glue to the lifted area of your acrylic nail. Carefully press the acrylic nail back onto your natural nail, ensuring proper alignment. Hold it in place for a minute or two to allow the glue to set.

8. Buff and Blend

Once the glue has dried, gently buff the area where the acrylic and natural nails meet. This will help blend the two surfaces seamlessly.

9. Finish with Nail Strengthener

To provide additional support to the repaired area, you can apply a nail strengthener. This step is optional but can be beneficial in preventing future lifting.

Also Read: Removing Acrylic Nails at Home Using Hot Water


Fixing lifting acrylic nails at home is a rewarding skill that can save you time and money. By following the step-by-step guide provided and implementing preventive measures, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of your acrylic nails without worrying about unexpected lifting. Remember, maintaining the health of your natural nails and the acrylic overlay requires dedication and proper care. With patience and attention to detail, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any lifting issues that may arise, ensuring your nails always look their best. If you’re ever unsure or encounter persistent lifting, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to maintain the integrity of your nails.