Can you file acrylic nails

Can You File Acrylic Nails? The Answer!

Acrylic nails have to be maintained and cleaned as you would do with regular nails.

Apart from cleaning acrylic nails, the big question is if you can file acrylic nails.

Can you file acrylic nails?

You can file acrylic nails. Filing might be needed to prevent acrylic nails from breaking or peeling and you might want to shape your nails. Acrylic nails need to be polished before you can shape them. A good-quality nail file will do the trick. Be cautious when filing acrylics because improper filing can cause irritation and pain to the skin. 

How to properly file acrylic nails

Filing Acrylic Nails
Filing Acrylic Nails

When acrylic nails are applied, you may have a bumpy texture or a piece of small plastic that annoyingly sticks out of your nail.

Don’t worry this is normal (especially if you applied acrylic nails by yourself) and it is often totally fixable.

The remedy is simple: all you need is proper and careful filing. 

Also, filing is needed to create a polished surface before you decide what shape, length, and style you would like to go for.

Use a glasss nail file to file acrylic nails

Use a Glass Nail File for Acrylic Nails
Use a Glass Nail File for Acrylic Nails

First, look for a glass nail file that is designed sleek and with no sharp edges.

A standard nail file will also do but you have to file with two of them against each other in order to avoid blunt edges.

If your nail file is not soft on all edges, you may cut yourself and bleed.

And that’s painful and trust me you don’t want to experience it.

So either you purchase a glass nail file which is a bit costlier.

Or purchase two standard nail files and file with them. 

Lighting is important when filing

Proper Lighting is Key When Filing Nails
Proper Lighting is Key When Filing Nails

Make sure you have proper lighting so you can see the skin around your nails and your natural nail bed.

Then identify the free edges.

These are the sides of the acrylic that lie underneath that are not touching your skin. 

Position the file underneath the free edges

Position the file under the free edges
Position the file under the free edges

Third, position your file underneath the free edges and begin filing straightly up and down on one side first.

After, repeat to the other side. 

File the top free edge

File the top free edges
File the top free edges

Once you’re finished with the sides, file the top free edge. 

If you feel uncomfortable filing, hold the nail plate downwards on the acrylic nails that you are filing.

Be sure to hold the nail plate steady as you file because if you don’t, your finger will just go back and forth in the direction that you’re filing.

A good grip is always the key to comfortable and successful filing.

The longer your acrylics are, the more grip is required.

The shape and length of acrylic nails

Acrylic Nails can be done in different shapes and length
Acrylic Nails can be done in different shapes and length

After you polish the sides and the top, it’s time to decide what shape, style, and length you want your acrylic nails to be. 

Depending on the shape you are going for, the technique will vary.

The different acrylic nail shapes and how they are filed

Almond Nails

Almond Nails
Almond Nails

Almond nails are nut-shaped, so you will need to focus on filing more on the edges to create a round, nut shape. 

Long Square Nails

Long Square Nails
Long Square Nails

Long square nails perhaps are the most common acrylic nail shape. This is because they are easy to do.

You just have to file on the side of your nails to achieve a square effect. 

Stiletto Nails

Stiletto Nails
Stiletto Nails

Stiletto nails have pointed nails that resemble claws.

Celebrities love this shape.

To achieve stiletto nails, trim your acrylics first at an angle.

Then file the edges to polish and even them, while keeping the pointy shape.

If the top part is too pointy, it should be filed down a bit. 

Squoval Nails

Squoval Nails
Squoval Nails

Once you have trimmed your nails at your desired length, file the top part into a straight line.

Then hold the nail file at a 45-degree angle and begin rounding the corner of your acrylic’s free edge.

For a successful result, use a rounding motion when pulling the file on the corner of your acrylics to create a rounded shape. 

This is how you get squoval nails.

Oval Nails

Oval Nails
Oval Nails

Oval nails are said to be the most classic shape of all because they look natural.

To achieve oval nails, file to soften the edges and ensure that the tip of your acrylics is longer than the side so it won’t look like square nails.

Use a rounded motion when doing this and aim diagonally up one side and down the other side.

Also, don’t make the tips too pointy or else it will look like an almond shape instead of oval. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Filing Acrylic Nails

Will natural nails get damaged when filing acrylic nails?

Natural nails will not get damaged when filing acrylic nails. This is one of the perks of having acrylic nails. You are not working on your natural nails but rather the artificial ones.

What to do if I scratch my skin during acrylic nail filing?

Skin is frequently scratched when filing acrylic nails. Especially if you trim acrylic nails too short and your nail file is too thick. If you feel pain, bleeding, or scratching, wash your hands. Then apply ice onto the affected area. Make sure the pain is gone before deciding to file again. 


Conclusion

When filing your nails, make it a habit to pause in between filing.

Check if the corners of your nails are in the desired shape to avoid over-filing. 

Be cautious when filing your acrylics and make sure that the side of your nail file doesn’t touch your skin, to avoid irritation and pain.

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