Can Acrylic Nails Dry Without UV Light?

You’ve probably heard that in order to dry your acrylic nails properly, you need to use a UV light. But what if I told you that this isn’t true? If you’ve been using UV lights or LED lights for drying acrylic nails after application, you have been wasting your time.


Do I Need UV Light for Acrylic Nails?

No! Acrylic nails can dry without UV lights.

So, if you’re thinking about how to cure acrylic nails without UV light, you’ve come to the right place.

Acrylic nail types are a mixture of chemical compounds known as monomers and polymers. These chemicals react naturally and quickly harden with exposure to air. Under natural conditions, acrylic nails will dry in 12-15 minutes.

Because many nail salons make the mistake of using UV lights to dry acrylic nails, it’s easy to assume it’s the correct procedure. Here, we’ll explain in-depth why acrylic nails can dry without using UV lights.


Why You Don’t Need UV Lights for Acrylic Nails

Acrylic Nail Process

The process of applying acrylic nails is the primary reason you don’t need UV lights. Acrylic nails form with a powder in a solvent that increases the nail length.

Acrylic powder is a polymer. The solvent your nail salon uses during the application process is the monomer. Monomers and polymers can be incredibly reactive.

That’s why it’s best to store them in separate containers. Nail specialists only start to mix the powder and the solvent when they’re ready to begin installing the nails. The result of the mixture forms a bead-like structure.

The bead-like structure of the mixture is why nail experts file your nails before installing acrylics. The rough surface of recently filed nails is ideal for adhesion with the bead-like construction of the mix.

As soon as your nail tech mixes the acrylic powder with the monomer (solvent), the mixture starts to dry immediately. Natural factors like temperature and airflow can act as catalysts, increasing the drying or curing rate. That’s why fixing acrylic nails is a matter of precision and urgency.

The nail tech will place the mixture on your nails and shape them quickly. Then, they’ll add the design and colors that we all love!


How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Nails to Dry Without UV Light?

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Nails to Dry Without UV Light?

First off, we have explained that UV lights do not affect the acrylic nail drying process. The process of drying acrylics starts when the mixture forms a mold.

If you’re trying to apply acrylic nails yourself, you have to be super fast while shaping the mold on each finger. If you’re not fast enough, you may not get to fix the acrylic nails in the proper shape.

You can quickly examine the acrylic nails to see if it’s dry with a stick or hush. Try not to hit the nail too hard while checking, or you risk damaging it.

Acrylic nails should dry entirely in 15 minutes, even without using UV lights. If the nails are wet to touch, then there’s a problem somewhere. It can be that your acrylic powder and liquid monomer components were too cold before mixing. In this scenario, you’ll need to wait a little longer for the acrylic nails to dry.

Acrylic nails can also take too long to dry if the mixture of powder and solvent isn’t in the proper proportions. In this case, you may need a total reapplication of the acrylic nails. These factors can affect how long to dry acrylic nails, with or without UV lights.

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How to Quicken the Drying Process for Acrylic Nails

Quickening the process is another option if you don’t have the patience to wait 15 minutes for acrylic nails to dry.

Since acrylic nail polymerization (drying) is a chemical process, you can catalyze the chemical reaction. An excellent catalyst for chemical reactions is increasing the temperature!

The Storage Room

How to Quicken the Drying Process for Acrylic Nails - Store Them in Warm Temperature

The warmer acrylic products are, the faster they’ll cure. You can achieve increased temperature by storing the powder and solvents in a warm room. By doing so, they’ll be sufficiently warm before the application of the acrylic starts.


Heating the Products

You can get acrylic nails to dry faster without UV lights by heating the products themselves. One way to warm them is to heat the individual components by placing a dampen dish in hot water.

You do have to exercise caution while using the method. If the powder and solvent are too hot, the mixture will dry before you even have a chance to shape the acrylics.


Warming the Hands

How to Quicken the Drying Process for Acrylic Nails - Warming Hands

Another option is to heat your hands before you apply the acrylic mixture. You can achieve this by placing a moderately hot towel on your nails for a few minutes.

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Final Words

Acrylic nails don’t need UV light for the drying process. Turning on UV or LED lights while curing acrylic nails adds nothing to the procedure. Heat and increased airflow are the factors that can quicken the drying process.

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to achieve salon-quality nails, consider trying acrylic nails. But don’t worry – you don’t need a UV light to dry them.

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