How long do Acrylic Nails take?

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How long do Acrylic Nails take?

With their endless versatility and customization options, it’s no wonder acrylic nails have remained a sought-after manicure for decades. However elaborate nail art and long extensions require time and skill to apply properly. In this article, we will and the question How long do Acrylic Nails take? and maintenance of acrylic nails, offering insights into the time commitment involved in enjoying this popular nail enhancement technique.

Acrylic Nail Application Steps

How long do Acrylic Nails take?

A proper acrylic manicure involves multiple steps and can last from 45 minutes up to two hours or longer depending on the level of customization.

Here is a general overview of the acrylic process:

  • Shaping the natural nail – Filing to remove length and shape nails.
  • Cuticle care – Pushing back and trimming excess cuticle tissue.
  • Priming the nail – Applying dehydrator and primer coats.
  • Form application – Adhering tip guides or forms to build out the extension.
  • Acrylic application – Brushing on layers of colored acrylic polymer powder and liquid monomer.
  • Shaping – Filing and perfecting the shape of extensions.
  • Finish – Buffing and applying the final polish or gel manicure.

Nail techs require practice and precision to apply each acrylic layer flawlessly. The curing time between steps also adds several minutes to the total process. Every step is crucial for long-lasting, damage-free results. Rushing through acrylics risks poor adherence, lifting, and breakage.

Factors that Impact Overall Timing

Several factors influence the time required for professional acrylic manicure application:

  • Length of extensions – Longer nails require more product and time to apply.
  • Thickness – Thicker acrylics, such as extreme coffin-shaped nails, take longer to form.
  • Size of nails – Applying the product to small or bitten-down nails can be tricky and tedious.
  • Add-ons – Art, gems, or glitter add steps and curing time.
  • Experience level – Newer techs work slower as their skills develop.
  • Salons may overbook clients, leaving techs rushed and you waiting well beyond your appointment time. Seek out unhurried salons for a stress-free experience.

How Long Do Acrylic Fills Take?

Getting follow-up acrylic fills every 2-3 weeks will take less time than a full set. Fills involve:

  • Filing off lifted product and shaping.
  • Applying new acrylic to regrow the extensions.
  • Finishing with buffing and polish.

Fills may take 30-45 minutes depending on how much growth needs to be re-done. Arriving with clean nails helps speed up the process.

Dry Time After Application

After your tech finishes applying acrylics, your nails won’t be completely set and cured. Avoid using your hands for 30-60 minutes to allow products to fully dry and harden to avoid denting or smudging your fresh manicure.

Nail Industry Standards

Reputable salons schedule appointments so techs have enough time allotted for acrylic services. Rushed jobs typically result in poor-quality manicures. Here are some general time standards per nail shape:

Short square or oval full set: 45-60 minutes Medium length round or almond: 60-75 minutes
Long coffin or stiletto: 90 minutes to 2 hours Elaborate designs/art: 2+ hours

Price will correlate with time, so more complex manicures cost more. Tipping your nail tech is customary in acknowledgment of their time and skill.

How to Make Acrylics Last

Once applied properly, acrylics should last 2-3 weeks before requiring a fill. Don’t pick at lifting or gaps near the cuticle, which allows moisture in and leads to separation. Avoid banging nails on hard objects. Use your hands gently and treat acrylics with care.

How long do Acrylic Nails take? (FAQS):

Q1. How long do acrylic nails take to dry after application?
Answer: Acrylic needs 30-60 minutes of setting time to fully cure and harden after your appointment. Keep hands still during this period to prevent smudging.

Q2. Is there a technique to make acrylics dry faster?
Answer: No, acrylic liquid and powder require a chemical reaction that can’t be rushed. Attempting to speed up drying may ruin the manicure. Patience prevents problems!

Q3. Why do some salons take way longer for acrylics?
Answer: Inexperienced or overbooked salons may require more time. Seek out seasoned professionals working in unrushed settings for the most efficient services.

Q4. Can I get acrylics done in less than an hour?
Answer: It’s extremely challenging for even the most skilled tech to apply a complete acrylic set in under an hour. Opt for a simpler, shorter style if time is very limited.

Q5. Should I come back if my new set feels uneven?
Answer: Yes, don’t hesitate to have your nail tech adjust any imperfections in your new set 1-2 days later, while acrylics are still malleable.


Beautiful, long-lasting acrylics require meticulous precision and time to apply correctly. While a basic short set may clock in around an hour, elaborate designs and extreme lengths can stretch the process to two hours or more. Extensions, embellishments, small or damaged nails, and novice techs also extend the time needed. To ensure enough time is scheduled for your service, opt for an experienced nail salon with good time management and properly set client expectations. With proper application and care, acrylics will enhance your look for weeks to come.

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