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Though there are thousands of video tutorials on YouTube and Instagram, dip powder is nothing new. In fact, the acrylic dip is an old-school technique that gained popularity in the ’80s and is now making a serious comeback. Keep reading to learn more about acrylic dip and find out if it’s right for you.

What It Is:

When you get an acrylic dip manicure, the technician applies a base coat to the nail, dips it into a colored acrylic powder, gently taps off the excess, repeats, then seals in color with a top coat. Dip powder provides the same durability as traditional acrylics and more extended wear than a gel manicure. So what sets acrylic dip apart from traditional acrylic? Unlike traditional acrylic, which is applied with liquid monomer and powder, dip powder bonds to the nail with an adhesive called cyanoacrylate, the same ingredient found in crazy glue. The results? Durable, full-coverage color that lasts up to three weeks.

The Pros:

If you’re looking for an option that provides more extended wear than a traditional gel manicure with the same durability as acrylic, you may want to try dip powder. Not only does acrylic dip provide longer wear, but the service is also less time-consuming than a traditional acrylic application.

The Cons:

If you think dip powder sounds too good to be true, you may be right. Unfortunately, because of dip powder’s profit-boosting benefits (i.e. shorter appointment times mean more appointments per day), some salons may rush the removal process—and, in turn, do major damage to your nails. Similarly to gel polish, acrylic dip must be soaked in acetone for at least 15-20 minutes to properly break down the product. And, since the soak time increases the longer you wear the product, it may result in the tech scraping it off your nail rather than allowing the acetone to break it down. The tech may opt to gently file off the top layer of the product, but the nail must be soaked afterward to prevent any damage to the nail plate.

The Verdict:

In short, acrylic dip poses the same threat to nails as other types of nail enhancements. Regular appointments and proper removal are the keys to maintaining the overall health of your nails. If you do decide to give dip powder a try, make sure to go to a tech that you trust and pay attention to the removal process. Make sure your tech allows you to soak for at least 15-20 minutes, or longer if you’ve had your previous set on for a while, and tell your tech to stop if you feel any scraping.


Cover Image Credit: @rachels.nailspiration.station