Thin Acrylic Nails: Common Causes and Solutions

Acrylic nails are a popular cosmetic enhancement that can provide a long-lasting and durable solution for those with short or damaged nails. However, after extended use, acrylics can cause damage to the natural nails, leaving them thin, brittle, and prone to breaking. I will explore the causes of paper-thin nails after acrylics and provide solutions to help restore the health of your nails.

Causes of Paper-Thin Nails After Acrylics

There are several factors that can contribute to paper-thin nails after acrylics, including:

Overuse of Acrylics

Wearing acrylic nails for an extended period of time can cause the natural nails to weaken, as they are constantly covered and unable to breathe. This can make brittle and thin nails more susceptible to breaking and peeling. Additionally, the pressure put on the nails by the added weight of the acrylics can cause damage to the nails over time.

Chemical Damage from Acrylics

The chemicals used in acrylics, such as acetone and monomer, can be extremely harsh on the nails. The repeated use of these chemicals can strip the natural nails of their moisture and cause damage over time. This can result in paper-thin nails that are brittle and prone to breaking.

Improper Removal of Acrylics 

If acrylics are not removed properly, they can strip the natural nails of their moisture, leaving them dry and prone to damage. This can result in paper-thin nails that are brittle and prone to breaking. It is essential to remove acrylics properly to avoid further damage to the natural nails.

Nail Biting and Picking

Nail biting and picking can weaken the nails and make them more prone to breaking. This repetitive and damaging behavior can contribute to paper-thin nails, as well as other nail problems, such as fungal infections and hangnails.

Nutritional Deficiencies

 A lack of essential vitamins and minerals, such as biotin and iron, can weaken the nails and contribute to paper-thin nails. It is vital to maintain a balanced diet and take supplements as recommended by your doctor to ensure that your nails receive the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.

Symptoms of Paper-Thin Nails

The symptoms of paper-thin nails include:

Brittle and Dry Nails

One of the main symptoms of paper-thin nails is their brittleness. Nails that are thin and brittle are more likely to break and crack, which can be painful and unsightly. The nails may also feel dry and rough to the touch, which can be uncomfortable and make them more susceptible to further damage.

Peeling and Splitting Nails

Another symptom of paper-thin nails is peeling and splitting. Nails that are thin and brittle are more prone to peeling and splitting, which can cause discomfort and unsightliness. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as typing and writing, without causing further damage to the nails.

Slow Growth and Discoloration of Nails

Thin nails may also grow more slowly and become discolored, leading to an unappealing appearance. This can be due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, such as biotin and iron, necessary for healthy nail growth. Discoloration can also signify a fungal infection or another underlying health issue.

Loss of Shine and Luster

Paper-thin nails may also lose their shine and luster, making them look dull and lifeless. This can be due to a lack of moisture or nutrients and exposure to harsh chemicals, such as those found in nail polishes and acetone. A lack of shine and luster can make the nails look unhealthy and detract from their overall appearance.

Prevention of Paper-Thin Nails

To prevent paper-thin nails after acrylics, consider the following:

Limit the Use of Acrylic Nails

One of the best ways to prevent paper-thin nails after acrylics is to limit the use of acrylic nails. Overusing acrylics can weaken the natural nails and make them more susceptible to damage. If you wear acrylic nails, give your natural nails time to recover before applying them again.

Proper Acrylic Removal Techniques

Removing acrylic nails properly is vital to avoid damage to natural nails. Never peel or rip off acrylics, as this can cause damage to the natural nails. Instead, use an acetone-based remover and gently soak the nails until the acrylics are loose enough to be removed.

Nail Care Regimen

Establishing a nail care regimen can help prevent paper-thin nails after acrylics. This can include regular moisturizing, protecting the nails, and avoiding harsh chemicals and substances that can damage the nails. Keeping the nails trimmed and filed can also help prevent breakage and promote healthy growth.

Healthy Diet and Hydration

 A healthy diet and adequate hydration are essential for maintaining the health of your nails. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, such as biotin and iron, can help promote healthy nail growth. Drinking plenty of water can also help keep the nails hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.

Consider incorporating foods high in these nutrients, such as leafy greens, nuts, eggs, and fish, into your diet. Additionally, taking a multivitamin supplement can help you get the nutrients your nails need to stay strong and healthy.

Avoid Nail Biting and Picking

Nail biting and picking can weaken the nails and make them more prone to breaking. If you struggle with these habits, consider seeking help from a therapist or trying techniques like painting your nails with a bitter-tasting polish to discourage biting and picking.

Treatment of Paper-Thin Nails

If you have paper-thin nails after acrylics, there are several options for treatment, including:

Medical Treatments

If you have paper-thin nails caused by a medical condition or another underlying issue, your doctor may recommend medication or other treatments to address the problem. For example, if you have a fungal infection of the nails, your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication to treat the infection. If you have a vitamin deficiency, your doctor may recommend taking supplements to help restore the health of your nails.

It’s important to consult with a doctor if you have persistent or severe symptoms of paper-thin nails, as they can help diagnose the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Home Remedies

Simple home remedies like coconut and tea tree oil can help moisturize and strengthen the nails. To use coconut oil, massage a small amount into the nails and cuticles once or twice daily. To use tea tree oil, mix a few drops with carrier oil, such as olive oil, and massage into the nails and cuticles. You can also try soaking your nails in a warm bath of olive oil and lemon juice to help moisturize and strengthen the nails.

Professional Nail Treatments

A professional nail treatment, such as a manicure or pedicure, can help improve the appearance and health of your nails. During a professional treatment, the nails will be trimmed, filed, and shaped, and a moisturizing treatment will be applied to help strengthen and protect the nails. This can help improve the overall appearance of the nails and prevent further damage.

Nail Hardening Products

Various nail hardening products available in the market, such as strengthening polishes and treatments, can help reinforce the nails and prevent breakage. These products typically contain ingredients that help to strengthen and protect the nails, such as keratin, calcium, and vitamins. Before using a nail hardening product, it’s important to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure the best results.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Adding a biotin supplement or increasing your intake of iron-rich foods can help strengthen the nails from within. Biotin is a B vitamin essential for nail health, and increasing your biotin intake can help improve the thickness and strength of the nails. Iron is also important for nail health, as a lack of iron can lead to thin, brittle nails. Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy greens. A daily multivitamin or mineral supplement can also help ensure you get the nutrients you need for healthy nails.

Give Nails a Break

Artificial treatments such as acrylics, gels, and polish can strain your nails, leading to damage and thinning. It would help if you gave them a break from these treatments to allow your nails to recover. This means avoiding using artificial nails, gels, and polishes for a certain period. This will allow your nails to rest and return to their natural state, promoting healthy growth.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your nails is also crucial in preventing further damage and promoting healthy growth. This includes keeping your nails clean, moisturized, and well-groomed. You can moisturize your nails using products like cuticle oil or hand cream. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cutting tools, such as metal cuticle pushers that can cause damage to your nails.

Additionally, wear gloves when working with water, detergents, or other harsh chemicals to protect your nails from damage. By following a regular maintenance routine, you can help keep your nails strong and healthy and prevent paper-thin nails from becoming a recurring problem.