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How to Trim Acrylic Nails

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

We all love long nails, isn’t it? That long, pretty, and exotic acrylic nail is what we all want. So for the look and feel of it, we get long-length acrylic nails but sometimes regret it later as it becomes difficult taking care of them and doing daily activities also become pretty hard.

Long acrylic nails keep getting stuck in clothes and other places and are easier to chip than the short ones.

So to eliminate this problem, we wonder whether we can cut them ourselves at home without booking an appointment in the nail salon. As who will not want to save their money if possible, right? Don’t worry; we have got you covered. 

Here we have shared all the possible ways to how you can trim acrylic nails at home without breaking them. You must follow the proper procedure to cut acrylic nails at home and be sorted.

 Can I Trim My Acrylic Nails?

Well, you just need an e-file or a course file, and you will be sorted. ?Isn’t it amazing? But you cannot use nail clippers to trim them. Nail clippers can cause acrylics to break and will not cut off your acrylic nails evenly.

Use an e-file first to shorten their length, and then go for the final touches with the help of a course file. If you are wondering which can be a good e-file and course file, then_and_ are good choices.

Do I Need to File My Acrylic Nails?

Yes, before you learn how to do your own acrylic nails at home, it would be best to keep filing your acrylic nails from time to time because of your natural nail growth. Filing is extremely important if you always want to maintain the perfect look of your acrylics.

You just have to be cautious while filing them because if you fill them too much, you won’t be able to get back the length. The acrylic is not your natural nail; it will not grow back again. So carefully file acrylic nails down little by little to reach the length and nail shape you want.

How to Shorten Acrylic Nails Without Breaking Them?

Long acrylic nails can be quite problematic. But the good news is you can cut your acrylics at home between your salon appointments and thus save so much of your money and time. Isn’t it great?

The only thing to ensure is to follow the proper steps and procedures to avoid damaging them. Here is what you have to do.

Nail Trimming

Figure out the nail length you desire:

The first thing to decide is how much you want to get rid of before you start to cut. There is no need to use a nail clipper if you don’t wish to reduce the length much. Filing your nails down will also do the job.

To get better results, use a coarse nail file instead of a regular nail file, as acrylics are quite tough.

Cut towards the center after placing the nail clippers on the outside:

Make a small cut to the center by placing the nail clipper edge on your nail edge. To make a small point in the center, diagonally angle the nail clippers to the middle upwards. 

Please avoid scissors as they create unequal pressure on various nail parts. Toenail clippers work better than the usual nail clippers as they give better coverage because of their larger size comparatively.

On the different side, cut to the center of your acrylic nails:

Make the same cut on the other side of the nails with the help of the nail clippers. Following this process of two steps will prevent your fake nails from breaking. When you reach the center of your acrylic nails from both sides, the chances of them breaking are minimal.

Pull out the cut tip with your fingers:

When the acrylic nail has been cut, it does not come out independently; it must be pulled off. Safely remove the cut nails very gently by bending and pulling them.

If you feel that your nail has started to crack, don’t remove acrylic nails then; instead, immediately visit the nail technician for a proper manicure.

Acrylic Adjustments:

Use a nail grinder or a nail file to make the cut acrylic nails thin:

Acrylic nails become thick after you cut them. If you have a motorized nail grinder, then it will work best to cut them off. If you want to shorten long nails quickly then, CGBE Electric Nail Drill Kit is a good option to invest in.

You can even use a nail file if you don’t have a nail grinder. They will also give you the same results. Thin out the nail from the top, not from underneath, to reach the desired shape.

Smoothen the rough and uneven edges with the help of a nail file:

Begin filing from the sides towards the middle. Don’t hesitate to move faster at first, as acrylic nails are more challenging than your natural nails. When it’s time for shaping, you will have to slow down and be a little cautious to get the desired length and shape.

Since acrylics are thicker, filing them down will take some time, so be patient. Using a course nail file will be the best if you want quicker results.

Get to the shape of your wish by filing the tips:

When it comes to shaping the tips, it is best to use a medium or a fine nail file. The most common shapes which people go for are squoval, oval, classic round, square, stiletto, or everyone’s favorite, the almond shape.

Choose the shape for yourself as per the shape of your cuticles.

Finishing Touches:

Wash and dry out your hands to get rid of all the acrylic nail dust:

You will notice fine dust on your acrylics after filing them down. So nicely wash your hands with warm water. It is important to get rid of this dust before putting nail polish on your nails; otherwise, you will have an uneven-looking manicure.

Before putting on nail polish, make sure to dry out your nails properly. If even a little bit of moisture stays between your nail polish and the nails, it can make your acrylics chip or lift.

Apply a coat of nail polish color that matches your acrylics:

Give strength to your brittle nails by putting on an even single coat. This coat will help to hide any little imperfections if present because of the shaping and trimming of the acrylics you did earlier.

You can even apply a transparent color if you cannot find a color matching your acrylics. If you apply nail polish to your cuticles, then you will get longer looking beautiful nails.

Reduce the chances of dents and smudges by letting the nail polish completely dry out:

At least give your nail polish 20 minutes to dry completely. Use new bottles of nail polishes as older ones take longer to dry out. You can even use a hair dryer if you want to dry them out sooner.

How Else Can I Care for My Acrylics?

Except for timely fill-ins and salon visits, the next important thing you can do to take care of your acrylics is to clean underneath your acrylic nails and take care of your natural nails and the area around them

Keep your real nails hydrated by applying hand cream. Also, apply cuticle oil regularly. Dry nails can cause your acrylics to chip, break and lift quite easily. Even your nail polish will peel off quite soon if your nails are dry.

Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your acrylics by doing activities like typing on a computer, texting, or doing regular household chores. There is no denying that acrylics are durable, but they cannot compete with your natural nails.

You must stay cautious if you want to extend their lives and keep them in perfect shape.


I Accidentally Got My Acrylic Nails Too Long?

You don’t have to worry if you accidentally get your acrylics too long. You can easily get them fixed and reach your desired length. You can either trim them off at home with the help of a nail file or book an appointment with your nail technician at your nail salon if you want a professional-looking acrylic shape. If you want to save extra cost on the nail tech, then it is best to cut your own nails.

Can you cut acrylics shorter at home?

Yes, definitely you can. If you have a nail file or clippers, you can easily cut your acrylic shorter at home. You just need to start filing little by little to get the manicure you want.

Can You Cut Acrylic Nails With Scissors?

No, it is not a good idea to use scissors as scissors apply pressure unevenly on different sections of your nails, thus causing your acrylic nails to break.

Nail clippers and nail files are a better option. When it comes to using clippers, then, toenail clippers work more effectively as they are larger and thus provide better leverage.


Thus, after reading this entire article, you would have been clear on how you can easily cut down your acrylic nails just like your natural ones.

The only thing to be careful about is cutting them little by little, as your acrylics will not grow back again as your natural nails grow.

So it is wise to cut a little first and, if required, go ahead. You will need a course e-file or nail clippers, and you will be all sorted. 

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