Getting your nails done can be fun and relaxing, and it’s important to do it on time. If you go too long between your nail appointments, your nails can grow out and your nail polish can start to chip.
Before you book your next appointment, consider the type of nail polish or nail treatment you currently have to figure out how often you’re supposed to be getting it done.
So how often should you get your nails done? Every 2-3 weeks is a good amount of time to go between appointments to prevent your nails from looking too grown out or damaged. However, the type of manicure you’re getting will dictate how long you should wait between appointments, and there are different nail techniques and applications.
In this post, we will go over every type of manicure and how often you should get that type of manicure re-done for the most gorgeous results!
How Often Should You Get Your Nails Done
Depending on what type of nail polish your technician used, or what type of faux nail she gave you, the time between appointments will vary.
Some nail treatments can only last a week or two, while others are so strong, you can wear them for a whole month! Below, we’ve gathered the most popular types of nail applications to give you a definite timeline for each of them:
Regular Nail Polish
Regular nail polish is the type you can get done at home or go to a salon. It’s the type of nail polish you can buy at the grocery store or a pharmacy. We’re all familiar with it.
This type of nail polish has the shortest lifespan. With proper application (including a topcoat), this nail polish can last about 1 – 1.5 weeks before it begins to chip.
For some people, it can happen even sooner, especially if they expose their nails to a lot of moisture and chemicals. Because it doesn’t last very long, it is recommended to do a fresh set once every week. This way, your nails will always look fresh and pretty.
Applying regular nail polish every week will ensure there is no “gap” between the nail polish and your cuticles. It will also ensure that the nail polish won’t chip and break off at the tips.
To do a regular nail polish application, make sure any previous nail polish is removed with a nail polish remover. You would then want to clear off any cuticle growth, prep the nail, and apply a few coats of nail polish. You would then want to seal it with a topcoat.
This can all be done at a salon as well. Your nail tech can make sure your nail is filed and prepped for the best results.
Because regular nail polish needs to air-dry after each layer, you should expect to spend at least 30-40 minutes on each application.
Gel Nail Polish
Gel nail polish is another very popular type of nail polish. It is much stronger than regular nail polish and lasts longer.
There are also different types of gel polish. “Soft gel” behaves similarly to regular nail polish. It’s applied directly to your natural nail to add a glaze of color. It is then set under UV light causing the soft gel to harden. The result is a hard, yet flexible surface over your nail that looks shiny and pretty and lasts weeks.
“Hard gel” can be used to add length and extensions to your natural nail. It has a more solid consistency than soft gel. Your nail tech can build up the hard gel over your nail until it has the right length and size. Then it gets set under UV light and hardens into a beautiful nail extension.
Because of all the different gel nail options, gel nails are one of the most popular types of manicures out there. Another reason people love gel nail products is that they last a long time. You can wear your gel nail polish (or your gel extensions) for 2-3 weeks without worrying about them chipping.
In fact, most of the time you’ll need to get them redone simply because your nail bed will begin to grow out and there will be a noticeable gap between your cuticles and where the gel begins.
So if you have any kind of gel nail polish or gel extensions, you should plan to get your nails done every 2-3 weeks to keep them looking fresh.
Shellac is a brand name for a type of nail polish that is like a hybrid between regular nail polish and gel nail polish.
Shellac is less damaging than gel nail polish, but the application process is almost exactly the same. Just like gel polish, shellac doesn’t dry until it’s cured under UV light.
Shellac is not used to add extensions to your nails because it has the consistency of a “soft gel” meaning you can’t build it up to add any extra length to your nail.
However, it gives your nails a great coat of color and adds a lot of strength to your nails, preventing them from breakage. It also comes in a lot of beautiful colors and textures.
Once it is cured, it becomes very strong and solid. It can last for about 3 weeks without any chipping. It could probably stay on your nails even longer, but your own nail typically grows out significantly after three weeks.
So if you choose to opt for a shellac manicure, expect to get your nails done every 3 weeks.
Dip powder is another type of manicure that has been gaining popularity in the last few years. Instead of using a liquid polish, it comes in a pigmented powder form.
Your nail tech will prep your nails, apply a base coat to your nail, then dip your nail into a tub of powder. Your nail picks up a thin layer of powder, and then your nail tech will cover it with a coat of clear sealant.
The sealant then dries on your nail with the powder blending into it and creating a strong solid coat of color. Your nail tech can repeat the process for additional layers and higher pigmentation.
The benefits of dip powder are that they are incredibly strong. Some of the components of this type of manicure are similar to those used in acrylic nails, so dip powder nails can last as long as 4 weeks!
Dip powder cannot be used to add much length to your nails, so if you’re looking for extensions, look elsewhere. However, dip nails are super strong and make a great choice for people whose nails are naturally soft and weak.
Dip powder manicure can help you grow out your own nails long and strong because the layer of dip keeps them protected.
Acrylic nails are nail extensions that a nail tech creates out of a blend of a polymer and a monomer.
This type of manicure is long-lasting and sturdy. Many people who get extensions choose to go for acrylic over other types.
Your acrylic extensions are typically covered with regular nail polish or gel polish to add a colorful glaze to them.
Acrylic nails can last 3-4 weeks, although the nail polish on them may start chipping sooner, depending on the type of nail polish used. You can always remove the polish and paint your acrylics with a fresh coat if you want to prolong the color.
Acrylic nails themselves don’t need to be redone for 3-4 weeks. After about 3 weeks your own nail might start growing out enough to create a visible gap between your cuticle and the acrylic nail.
You can get that area filled in by your nail tech and keep the same acrylics for another few weeks. Eventually, you’ll need to replace the whole set.
Because of how long-lasting acrylics are, it’s hard to tell how often you’ll need to get them redone. However, it’s a safe bet that you’ll need to visit the salon after 3-4 weeks to either fill them in or get a brand-new set.
Polygel manicure is like a cross between gel nails and acrylics. Polygel is a great option for those who want nail extensions but don’t want the heavy and bulky feel of acrylics.
Like gel, Polygel requires the use of UV light to harden the substance. This allows your nail tech to take their time shaping and molding your Polygel nail until it’s just right.
The nails usually come out thinner and lighter than acrylics, but almost just as strong. They are slightly softer and more bendable than acrylics, which gives them a more natural appearance.
Polygel comes in a lot of different colors, so you can pick the color you want the extension to be, without needing to put any additional nail polish on it. However, if you can’t find a Polygel that’s the color you want, you can always add regular gel polish on top.
Polygel nails can last 3-4 weeks, so that’s how often you can expect to get them redone.
How Often Should You Get Your Pedicure Done?
The nails on your toes tend to take longer to grow out. They are also exposed to fewer impacts that can make them break or chip. So if you’re wondering how often you should get your pedicure done, you can usually go longer between pedi appointments than you can between mani appointments.
Just as with manicures, the type of nail product will determine the time between applications. Many pedicures are done using regular nail polish. While regular nail polish lasts around 1 week on your fingernails, it can last up to 2 weeks on your toes.
Some people opt for gel nail polish on their toes. Gel nail polish lasts far longer – up to 4 weeks. So you could potentially wait 4 weeks between your pedicure appointments, although you might need to go see your nail tech sooner if your toenails start to grow out too much.
Since extensions are not typical for pedicures, you probably won’t see acrylics or Polygel options for your toenails.
How Often Is Too Often To Do Your Nails?
As you can see, depending on the type of nail product used, you can expect to have to get your nails done every 2-3 weeks on average. With some products, you’ll be able to go a little longer, and with others – a little shorter.
But is there such a thing as getting your nails done too often? Yes and no.
Going to the salon more frequently than 2-3 weeks is sometimes necessary. If you’re someone who often exposes your nails to water or chemicals (for example, if your line of work requires it), you might need to get your nails done on a weekly basis to keep them looking fresh.
But going too often can also be damaging to your nails, so don’t do it unless you actually need to. Getting your nails done more frequently than necessary can lead to thinning of the nail bed, damage to the cuticles, and weakening of the nail.
Especially with certain nail applications, like gel or acrylics, your nails go through a bit of damage every time the nail product is removed and replaced. Think about all the times that your nail tech has to soak your nails in acetone or use a mechanical buffer to buff the surface of your nail.
These things are not damaging when done in moderation. But if they’re done too often and too regularly, they can harm your nails and the skin around them.
Additionally, the light from UV lamps used in gel, shellac, and Polygel applications can increase your risk of skin cancer after repeated exposure.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that getting your nails done is dangerous, it just means that you should be mindful of how often you go. A normal schedule is considered safe but doing anything excessively can be harmful.
If you want to make sure you are not exposing your nails to unnecessary damage, try to stick to a minimum of 2-3 weeks between appointments.
How often you get your nails done ultimately depends on your personal lifestyle and the type of nail application you have.
Your lifestyle determines how much damage your nails incur on a daily basis – someone who works in construction will most likely have to visit the salon more frequently than someone who works at a desk for a living.
The nail products you use will determine how long they last before they start to chip, peel, and look worn. Regular nail polish will always need more frequent applications than gel nail polish.
If you’re not sure how long you should be going, we hope that this guide was helpful. You could always ask your nail tech for advice.
You can also pay attention to your nails and how quickly they start showing signs of wear and tear – cracks, chips, peeling, breakage, or a visible gap between your nail color and your cuticles. This can help you gauge how long you can usually go between appointments.
Lastly, if you want to extend the life of your manicure, try to keep your nails protected from excessive water, chemicals, and heat. Wear gloves anytime you’re doing something that can be damaging. You can also opt for lighter color nail polish that does a better job of hiding grow-out.
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