OPI's Stay at Home Guide #4: How to Safely Remove Dip Nails and Acrylics
If you’ve been following along with our Stay at Home Guide recently, we’ve been taking the time to answer your questions so you can give your nails the best care possible while you’re staying home, and today, we’re talking dip and acrylic.
You asked us how to remove dip nails at home, which can feel scary given salons are temporarily closed. Rest assured, it can be done, so we created a step-by-step guide to walk you through a safe removal all on your own – just make sure you follow the steps accordingly to prevent any damage to your nails, and if you have OPI Nail Envy on hand, that’s a plus.
Bonus! Dipping powders like OPI Powder Perfection are resin-based systems and an acrylic alternative, so these steps can be used to remove acrylic nails too.
- Cotton balls or cotton pads
- Nail polish remover – acetone-based
- Aluminum foil cut into squares
- Nail file
- Buffer block
- Orangewood stick
- Rubbing alcohol to cleanse the nail surface
- Cuticle Oil
- Nail Envy or another type of nail strengthening solution – we strongly recommend you have this on hand before attempting to remove dip/acrylic
NOTE: If you do not have everything at hand, try reaching out to your salon or nail technician via Instagram, phone, or email, and ask if they’re able to put together a small removal rescue kit and get it to you.
Follow the adapted DIY step-by-step below from OPI Educator Galdina Jimenez @nailuscious on Instagram, or check out the full dip nail removal by hand video on our OPI YouTube Channel.
If you don’t have access to foil to create removal wraps at home, you can also check out our DIY Dip Nails Removal video by soak-off in a bowl method below.
Soaking off dip nails can take time, so be sure you have an extra durable nail file to help you! Start by reducing as much of the OPI Powder Perfection as possible without filing down to your natural nail.
ProTip: You should always see some color! If you have it, we suggest a 180 file grit rather than a 240 grit or higher. The higher the grit, the finer the file. That just means it might take you longer to file down the product. But if you have to, use whatever file you have and just make sure not to file down to the natural nail.
Remove filing dust, then fully saturate a cotton ball with an acetone-based nail polish remover, place it on top of the nail, then wrap both the cotton ball and nail in a foil square.
Allow nails to soak for at least 20-25 minutes, and for better penetration, add heat by wrapping hands in a towel. Just make sure you’ve turned on your favorite Netflix show beforehand – working a remote with foil fingers is not easy!
Once 20-25 minutes have passed, it’s time to remove! Start by gently pressing and twisting the foil and cotton off one nail and one nail only. ProTip: Do not remove the foils from all 10 fingers because it will re-harden by the time you get to your last finger.
The cotton ball or pad should have a gummy residue attached to it, but if there’s any residue left on the nail, take your file and gently roll the gummy residue from the dip/acrylic off the nail. Repeat this step on the remaining fingers.
Once all residue is fully removed, lightly cleanse the nail surface with a cotton ball (or pad) soaked in nail polish remover.
Lightly buff nails with a buffer block, and as a final step, add your favorite nail strengthener like OPI Nail Envy and cuticle oil to ensure your nails stay as healthy as possible.
A note to our OPI Professionals:
You can connect with clients by sharing this post to offer them some guidance, and if you still have access to your salon or professional products, OPI educator Julie Le suggests making at-home removal kits and DIY pedi kits for clients (she sold hers for $10) to make a little extra income. If you can’t ship these, look into other non-contact delivery options where available.
Lastly, send us your questions on social @OPI and @opi_professionals. We want to keep in touch! And if you’re looking for more inspiration, you can also head to our OPI YouTube channel, or visit us online at www.opi.com.