Why Do Nails Hurt After Getting Acrylics?

Acrylic nails are made from a combination of liquid and powder that is laid over your natural nail. Once applied, your nails are filed and shaped to your preference, but the process can be uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.

If you’re new to getting acrylics and are experiencing pain you might be wondering: why do nails hurt after getting acrylics? 

In this article, I provide you with some key information about acrylics, from whether acrylic nails hurt the first time to why your nails can hurt after getting acrylics.

Why do nails hurt after getting acrylics?

There are a few things that can contribute to your nails hurting after getting acrylics, but it mainly comes down to poor technique when it comes to applying the acrylic nails.

For acrylic nails to adhere properly to your natural nail, the nail expert will file down and smoothen the natural nails using a buffer. While this step is a fundamental part of the process, individuals who are not used to having their nails filed down may find it discomforting and painful. 

Another reason that your nails might hurt after getting acrylics is that there was too much pressure applied when you had the acrylics done. While you should always make sure that your nail technician is qualified, oftentimes they don’t have the experience to know that they’re applying too much pressure when doing your acrylics.

Although it can be intimidating, always inform your nail technician if you begin to feel pain so they can reduce the amount of pressure they apply to your nails. A good technician should adjust the pressure and take the feedback on board for future clients.

Additionally, your nails might hurt because the nail technician pushed your cuticles back roughly. For the acrylic nail to sit properly and look natural on your natural nails, your manicurist will often push back the cuticles and cut the skin around the nails using cuticle nippers before attaching the acrylics to your natural nail.

For the same reason, your nails can be thin after getting acrylics.

The process of pushing the cuticles back and the skin around the nails being removed can cause slight pain if your nail technician is rough with your cuticles. To avoid this, many nail technicians apply cuticle oil to help the pain before and after to the cuticles to ease the pain and to aid the recovery process.

To minimize the risk of your nails hurting after getting acrylics, you should always research the salon and the nail technician that is going to be doing your nails.

Failure to do so could result in not only a painful acrylic application experience but can also damage your nail plates. Bearing this in mind, you should always voice if your manicurist is applying too much pressure to your nails and make sure that the salon has good customer reviews before you book an appointment with them.

Do acrylic nails hurt the first time?

Getting acrylics for the first time can be painful for a variety of reasons. Namely, this often comes down to the fact that getting acrylics is a new experience, and you won’t be used to having your nails filed and buffed to ensure that the acrylic adheres to your natural nail.

To begin with, acrylics can feel heavy and may cause a little pain while you’re adapting to them. Your body may react to this process as it’s a brand new experience, but this pain shouldn’t last long.

You may feel some pain and discomfort after getting your acrylic nails done the first time if you have naturally thin nails. Adding a nail extender and acrylic to your thin natural nails can cause some discomfort or acrylic nail pain which usually lasts for a day as your nail beds get used to the extra weight.

During the process of preparing your nail bed for acrylic, the nail bed can incur damage without the nail technician noticing it. Many people already have damaged or thin nails, which might be one of the main reasons that they wish to have the nails covered with acrylic nails.

However, this can cause further damage to the nail, as the process of getting acrylics can cause significant wear and tear to the healthiest of nails let alone damaged nails.

This is true of getting acrylics and also refers to the acetone soak that helps the manicurist to remove the acrylic nails. Acetone dehydrates the nail plates and can, in turn, make them more brittle and prone to breakage.

Additionally, it can take some time to get used to the sensation caused by acrylic nails as they begin to dry and stick firmly to the nail plate. This causes a tightening sensation that can be uncomfortable and painful to your nail beds.

That being said, this feeling is normal for people getting acrylic nails for the first time, or people who don’t get acrylics often.

Although it’s normal to feel some discomfort when getting your nails done, you shouldn’t feel pain throughout the entire experience. If you are experiencing pain during the process and after, it might indicate a lack of experience in your nail technician.

If you continue to feel pain after subsequent visits to the same nail technician, you should consider visiting another technician. It is important to note that you need to talk to your nail technician whenever you don’t feel comfortable during the process of acrylic or a few days after having your acrylic done.

The bit to remember

Getting acrylic nails can be uncomfortable and painful for a variety of reasons. Always make sure that you research the salon and voice when you are uncomfortable so that your nail technician can adjust the pressure that they are applying to your nails. 

Although it’s normal to be uncomfortable the first time that you get acrylics whilst you are adjusting to the process if it continues to hurt, it could indicate that your technician isn’t experienced enough and you need a new one.