How to Cut PolyGel Nails

How to Cut PolyGel Nails

PolyGel is a fun type of nail treatment that’s different from typical manicures. The product is a lot softer than regular gels and acrylics, and typically spread over natural nails as an elegant manicure option.[1] X Research source Since this is a type of hard nail manicure, don’t cut your PolyGel nails until you’re ready to remove the gel completely. Thankfully, this process is really simple and can take less than an hour if you have basic nail equipment.

Part 1 of 2:
Clipping and Filing Your PolyGel Nails

Image titled Use Nail Clippers Step 6
1
Trim off any excess PolyGel from each nail with a clipper. Slide your PolyGel nails into a nail trimmer, then cut away the excess gel. Try to keep your nails less than 5 mm (0.20 in) long so they’re easier to manage and file down. Double-check to make sure you aren’t trimming off your natural nails with the PolyGel. [2] X Research source PolyGel is pretty thick, so you’ll have to apply a decent amount of pressure when you trim. It may help to clip the sides of your nails into a point and then trim the PolyGel straight across.[3] X Research source
2
Grab an E-file or 150-grit emery board to file down the PolyGel. Find a clean area to remove your nails, like a bathroom sink. Plug in an E-file or set aside a 150-grit emery board to get the job done. Many emery boards are labeled with the grit number, so you can double-check your file before you start using it. [4] X Research source Emery boards and other buffing products are numbered like traditional sandpaper. The lower the grit number, the more coarse the surface is. Visit a beauty store or check online if you don’t have the exact emery board grit that you need. An E-file is an electric tool that sands the gel from your nails, and is a much quicker option than an emery board. You can find one online or in a store that sells nail supplies.
3
Move the file from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Work your emery board or E-file from the bottom, cuticle area of your PolyGel nail to the trimmed tip. Work in careful, buffing motions, applying a light amount of pressure as you go. Focus only on filing down the PolyGel product, and not your natural nail. [5] X Research source Always use a gentle, light amount of pressure when you file your PolyGel nails. If you apply too much pressure, you may damage your natural nails.
4
Leave 1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in) of PolyGel left on the nail. Stop filing once you’ve reduced your PolyGel to a really thin layer. Since there isn’t much product left, you don’t want to use a rough emery board or E-file to buff away the rest of the PolyGel, or else you could risk damaging your natural nails. [6] X Research source
5
File away the rest of the PolyGel with a 180-grit emery board. Grab a fine nail file and buff over the surface. Work from the bottom, cuticle area of the nail to the tip, focusing on areas where there’s still a lot of PolyGel build-up. Continue buffing the surface until there’s no more gel product left on your nails. [7] X Research source Your nail file may start grabbing a lot of build-up, which is totally normal. If there’s a lot of gunk on your nail file, clean it off with a manicure brush.[8] X Research source

Tip: If you’re really having trouble getting the PolyGel off, dip a cotton pad in acetone and place it on top of your nail. Wrap the tip of your finger in foil to cover the pad, then wait 5 minutes for the acetone to soak in. After this, you can pry away any leftover product with a cuticle pusher.[9] X Research source

Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Restoring Your Natural Nails

Image titled Help Your Nails Recover After Acrylics Step 8
1
Buff away any leftover scratches with a 240-grit buffing block. Examine the surface of your nails for any deep scratches caused by the E-file or emery board. Take your buffing block and swipe across the nail surface in short, horizontal motions. Apply a light amount of pressure so you don’t risk hurting your nails. [10] X Research source You can find buffing blocks online, or at most places that sell nail supplies.
2
Work away smaller scratches with a polishing board. Rub the board over your nail in gentle, side-to-side motions. Focus on rubbing and buffing away any small scratches that the buffing block couldn’t quite get out. [11] X Research source Some polishing boards have 2 sides—one for buffing away scratches, and a smoother side for polishing the surface. If your board is like this, use the rougher side first, than the polishing side.
Image titled Apply Cuticle Oil Step 5
3
Nourish your nails with a swipe of cuticle oil. Rub the cuticle oil along the base of your nail, which helps your natural nails get rehydrated after the PolyGel. Repeat this process on all of your natural nails so they can look and feel healthier. [12] X Research source
Advertisement

Part 1 of 2:
Clipping and Filing Your PolyGel Nails

Image titled Use Nail Clippers Step 6
1
Trim off any excess PolyGel from each nail with a clipper. Slide your PolyGel nails into a nail trimmer, then cut away the excess gel. Try to keep your nails less than 5 mm (0.20 in) long so they’re easier to manage and file down. Double-check to make sure you aren’t trimming off your natural nails with the PolyGel. [2] X Research source PolyGel is pretty thick, so you’ll have to apply a decent amount of pressure when you trim. It may help to clip the sides of your nails into a point and then trim the PolyGel straight across.[3] X Research source
2
Grab an E-file or 150-grit emery board to file down the PolyGel. Find a clean area to remove your nails, like a bathroom sink. Plug in an E-file or set aside a 150-grit emery board to get the job done. Many emery boards are labeled with the grit number, so you can double-check your file before you start using it. [4] X Research source Emery boards and other buffing products are numbered like traditional sandpaper. The lower the grit number, the more coarse the surface is. Visit a beauty store or check online if you don’t have the exact emery board grit that you need. An E-file is an electric tool that sands the gel from your nails, and is a much quicker option than an emery board. You can find one online or in a store that sells nail supplies.
3
Move the file from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Work your emery board or E-file from the bottom, cuticle area of your PolyGel nail to the trimmed tip. Work in careful, buffing motions, applying a light amount of pressure as you go. Focus only on filing down the PolyGel product, and not your natural nail. [5] X Research source Always use a gentle, light amount of pressure when you file your PolyGel nails. If you apply too much pressure, you may damage your natural nails.
4
Leave 1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in) of PolyGel left on the nail. Stop filing once you’ve reduced your PolyGel to a really thin layer. Since there isn’t much product left, you don’t want to use a rough emery board or E-file to buff away the rest of the PolyGel, or else you could risk damaging your natural nails. [6] X Research source
5
File away the rest of the PolyGel with a 180-grit emery board. Grab a fine nail file and buff over the surface. Work from the bottom, cuticle area of the nail to the tip, focusing on areas where there’s still a lot of PolyGel build-up. Continue buffing the surface until there’s no more gel product left on your nails. [7] X Research source Your nail file may start grabbing a lot of build-up, which is totally normal. If there’s a lot of gunk on your nail file, clean it off with a manicure brush.[8] X Research source

Tip: If you’re really having trouble getting the PolyGel off, dip a cotton pad in acetone and place it on top of your nail. Wrap the tip of your finger in foil to cover the pad, then wait 5 minutes for the acetone to soak in. After this, you can pry away any leftover product with a cuticle pusher.[9] X Research source

Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Restoring Your Natural Nails

Image titled Help Your Nails Recover After Acrylics Step 8
1
Buff away any leftover scratches with a 240-grit buffing block. Examine the surface of your nails for any deep scratches caused by the E-file or emery board. Take your buffing block and swipe across the nail surface in short, horizontal motions. Apply a light amount of pressure so you don’t risk hurting your nails. [10] X Research source You can find buffing blocks online, or at most places that sell nail supplies.
2
Work away smaller scratches with a polishing board. Rub the board over your nail in gentle, side-to-side motions. Focus on rubbing and buffing away any small scratches that the buffing block couldn’t quite get out. [11] X Research source Some polishing boards have 2 sides—one for buffing away scratches, and a smoother side for polishing the surface. If your board is like this, use the rougher side first, than the polishing side.
Image titled Apply Cuticle Oil Step 5
3
Nourish your nails with a swipe of cuticle oil. Rub the cuticle oil along the base of your nail, which helps your natural nails get rehydrated after the PolyGel. Repeat this process on all of your natural nails so they can look and feel healthier. [12] X Research source
Advertisement