What Do Nail Salons Use for Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic Nails are super trendy right now. If you go to Instagram or TikTok and search acrylic nail design, hundreds upon thousands of ideas will be presented. My personal favorite is the salon acrylic nail design and the whole nail art genre.

If you want to do your toes and acrylic nails at home, you might be wondering what do nail salons use for acrylic nails.

Well lucky for you. Today in this article I will share all the industry secrets on how to get the perfect acrylic nails and all the ways salon use to get that professional finish.

So let’s jump right in! Everything you need to know to be a nail tech guy, we included here:

What Do Nail Salons Use for Acrylic Nails?

Primarily all nail salons use acrylic powder for acrylic nails. More specifically nail salons all over the world use two types of monomers called Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) and Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA).

Moreover, the monomers are so durable and easy to work with that it’s even used in dentistry. Now to create perfect acrylic nails, salons will mix the powder with the monomers to get a nice natural-looking nail. Learn how to create acrylic mixture to apex of the nail to create liquid and acrylic powder to prevent damage your natural nails.

Acrylic Nails Application Process: Salon Method

It’s crucial to note that the actual method may differ slightly based on the salon and the technician’s preferences. So keeping that in mind here are the most common steps salon use for acrylic nails:

  • Nail Prep: At first you need to know about acrylic nail process as a nail artist. Then the nail technician will start by removing any old polish or residue from your natural nails. (Note: to remove acrylic nails old design, must need to soak.) They will next shape and file your nails to the length and form you specify. They may also gently push back your cuticles if necessary. Yes, you can use nail file to smooth & shape your nails. No mandatory to use nail glue with nail plate.
  • Nail Base: A nail primer or dehydrator will be applied to the surface of your natural nails by the technician. This helps to eliminate any leftover moisture or oils, resulting in improved acrylic product adhesion.
  • Extended Tips (if desired): If you want to lengthen your nails, the technician can place fake nail tips. These acrylic nail tips, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are attached to the edge of your natural nails.
  • Acrylic Application: To make acrylic, the technician will combine liquid monomer and powdered polymers. They’ll dip a brush into the liquid, then into the powder, forming a little bead of acrylic on the acrylic brush. The bead is then put to your natural nail or tip, beginning at the cuticle and working your way to the tip. This is performed for each nail.
  • Bluffing and Shaping: The nails are buffed after shaping to remove any rough edges or flaws. This process smoothes the surface of the nails and prepares them for the following steps.
  • Polish and Finishing: After they’ve painted and coated your nails, you’ll need to wait for them to dry (acrylic to dry). To speed up the drying process, some salons may employ a nail drier or UV lamp. Finally, the technician may apply cuticle oil or hand lotion to the skin around your nails to hydrate it.

Acrylic Liquid and Powder: Nail Salons Acrylic Nails

Perhaps the most vital ingredient of all nail extensive manicures and pedicures is the Acrylic powder and the monomers. But what are they exactly in acrylic manicure?

Acrylic powder is a durable ground-up material that is gentle on your nails if diluted with the aforementioned monomers. They come in all colors and finishes. From ultra Matt to super glitter. You name it, they have it.  The results with acrylics are long-lasting.

They will last for up to five to six weeks (depending on how carefully they are maintained). The most salon uses some type of UV lamp to harden the products. Unlike Gel Manicures/Pedicures they are more cost-efficient and can be done by an amateur nail beautician.

Acrylic Nail Brushes: Key Tools for Nail Salon

Now let’s explore a little bit about the brushes the nail salon uses for acrylic nails. You can have high-quality acrylic powder and good-quality liquid but if the brushes are wrong you will not get your desired finish. All nail salons use some type of oval brush.

Because the roundness of the brush provides better control when depositing the damp bead of powder onto the nails. The application process will be smooth and you will get a seamless real-to-extension transition.

You could also use watercolor brushes to do your acrylic as they are made from synthetic hairs. If you are interested in getting a toenail extension. The process is the same in terms of the utilization of the tools and application method.

Cleaning and Sanitization Practices for Acrylic Nails in Nail Salons

Every salon will have different hygiene practices but it is important to ensure that between client rotations they are cleaning their tools frequently. Cross-contamination is the leading cause of nail infection in America.

Nail drills, cuticle pushers, and brushes need to be thoroughly sanitized as they work closely with the nail base. Pedicurists have to be even more vigilant as toenails fungus is highly contentious.

If the brush comes in contact with any type of nail infection, it is recommended that they throw away that product. The same goes for acrylic powder.

Aftercare Of Acrylic Nails in Nail Salons

Maintaining acrylic nails is as important as maintaining your natural nail. This will ensure longevity and healthy nails. Here are some aftercare practices you should follow:

  1. Buy a nail scrubbing brush and clean your nails (especially underneath the extension) every day using lukewarm water and soap.
  2. Don’t go picking stuff up with nails or scratch something. Instead, use your knuckles.
  3. Use hand sanitizer and clean your nails in between meals and snacks.
  4. Remember, underneath the extension, there still are your natural nails. So don’t put pressure on your acrylic nails.
  5. Wear waterproof items when working with cleaning solutions (bleach, window cleaner, etc.).
  6. Cuticle oil is also beneficial for maintaining the health of the nail beds.

My Personal Recommendations for At Home Nail Salons like Acrylic Nails

Here is my personal recommendations from Amazon for at home nail salons like acrylic nails. You may select anyone or all or no one. It’s up to you!


Q1: What is acrylic for nails?

Acrylic is a common material used in salons for creating beautiful and durable acrylic nails. It is a combination of a liquid and a powder that is applied to the natural nail or a nail tip to create an artificial nail.

Q2: What type of acrylic is used in salons?

The most common type of acrylic used in salons is a combination of an acrylic liquid and an acrylic powder. These materials are mixed together to create a paste that is used to sculpt and shape the artificial nail.

Q3: Can natural nails be treated with acrylic?

Yes, natural nails can be treated with acrylic. In fact, many people prefer to add a layer of acrylic to their natural nails for increased strength and durability.

Q4: What should I know before getting acrylic nails?

There are a few things you should be aware of before getting acrylic nails. Firstly, it is important to find a reputable nail salon and nail technician who has experience with applying acrylic. Secondly, you should know that the process of applying acrylic can cause damage to your nail bed if not done correctly. Lastly, you should be aware that acrylic nails require ongoing maintenance to keep them looking beautiful.

Q5: How are acrylic nails applied?

The process of applying acrylic nails involves several steps. First, the natural nail is cleaned and prepared. Then, a nail tip may be added if desired. Next, the nail technician applies a small bead of acrylic to the top of the nail and uses a brush to spread it evenly over the entire nail. This process is repeated until the desired thickness and shape is achieved. Finally, the nails are filed and shaped, and nail polish or nail art may be added if desired.

Q6: How long do acrylic nails last?

The lifespan of acrylic nails varies depending on several factors, including the quality of the application, the type of activities you engage in, and the rate at which your nails grow. Typically, they last for around 2-3 weeks before requiring maintenance or a new set of nails.

Closing Thoughts

Acrylic nails have grown in popularity in nail salons due to their versatility and ability to improve the appearance of natural nails. They provide a broad range of customized alternatives, such as different colors, forms, and patterns, allowing people to show their particular flair and originality.

Would you get an acrylic nail? What design will you get? Let me know in the comments below.

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