How To Remove Dipping/SNS Nails At Home Like A Pro

SNS (Signature Nail Systems) is a popular salon manicure treatment that involves dipping nails into a powdered colour, dry with sealer/activator and seal them off with a top coat. They’ve become popular for many reasons – namely because the system does not involve nails light curing which harms your nails’ health in a long run. Moreover, the salon-like results such as super long-lasting, chipped-free and brilliant-looking manicure which can stick around without peeling off for weeks sound appealing and irresistable for us not to check it out at least once.

There are certain times that we get bored or stressed looking at the manicure you have had for weeks regrow obviously; and you don’t even want to live with them on for a second longer. Not until do the uneven and traumatised nails start to peel around the edges that it is hard to resist picking or pulling those bloody things off your nails. We FEEL you and we understand that even more during the COVID situation where your regular appointments with your favourite nail salon are cancelled.

No matter how annoying the regrowth looks, you don’t want to mess around with it. Since the main ingredient of SNS adhesion is the same ingredient in super glue, pulling them off nails can cause a lot of damages to your natural nails, not to mention the pain if you accidentally break them.

How about being in self-isolation and cannot make it to nail salons? There are ways to remove them at home without potentially damaging your nails. Let us guide you through the easy, quick and simple SNS removal process that you can do right at home to take those scratchy, gross-looking fake nails off and eventually revive your natural healthy nail look.

What you need:

  1. Coarse Nail File (if you have e-file) or 100/180 nail file (if you do it manually or you don’t know how to e-file).
  2. Nail Buffer.
  3. Large nail clipper.
  4. Cotton Wool.
  5. Acetone (a non-toxic solvent to break down and remove nail polish from the nail plate surface).
  6. A bowl of warm water/ remover wrap foils.

Now let’s get started!

Step 1: Cut off the length.

You will need to cut off the length of SNS nails before starting the removal process. It will be quicker with less product usages than leaving the original length. A large clipper will be a better choice than a smaller one due to the thickness of SNS nails comparing to normal shellac or nail polish.

Start cutting of each side diagonally then cut off the tip where your natural nails end. Cutting in a few stages rather than straight across will make it easier and less painful.

Step 2: File off the top coat.

Reduce the thickness of SNS nails by using the drill file or manual file to file off the top coat – a protective and glossy layer on top of SNS nails to prevent nail damages from daily routines. Getting rid of this top coat before soaking your SNS mani in Acetone will allow Acetone to penetrate through the product underneath for quicker and easier removal.

Step 3: Soak cotton wool into Acetone.

In nail salons, the nail tech will use aluminium foil to wrap each of your finger placed with Acetone-soaked cotton wool on top. This method is ideal to avoid breathing too much in the Acetone which has an unpleasant fragrance. You can also do this at home by soaking the cotton wool in Acetone (1), placing them directly on each nail and wrapping it with the foil. By twisting the end of aluminium foil tightly, you will keep the cotton wool close to your nails and prevent the Acetone from leaking out. Then you will have to wait at least 20 minutes for the acetone to dissolve the hardened SNS powder.

Alternatively, for a more effective and quicker removal method without using foil wraps, you can also try dissolving the SNS powder by placing the (1) in a bowl, then putting the bowl into a larger bowl filled with warm water. The heat from the warm water will act as an accelerator for the acetone to remove the SNS product from the nails more quickly. Make sure that your fingers are fully covered by the acetone-soaked cotton wool, and wriggle your fingers around to aid the SNS removal process. You can do this with one hand and it can also avoid the Acetone spillage. This method also requires at least 20 minutes of waiting time for the powder to be dissolved.

With this step, you have two options depending on your preference. However, both methods require soaked cotton wool in Acetone.

Step 3: Remove the polish.

Remove each wrap (if you use foils) and you’d rather remove one nail to check if the polish has been dissolved than removing all of the wraps and realise that they are not ready. After being soaked in the Acetone, the SNS hardened powder will become mushy, gooey, and you can easily wipe them off by rubbing the nails with soaked cotton wool. Repeat with the rest of the nails and for any stubborn bit until you see your natural nails. Now the removal process is complete.

Finally, file and buff your nails to gently create the shape you want, soften any sharp edges and smoothen the ridges. Use the buffer to buff the entire nails for a smooth and shiny finish.

Step 4: Wash your hands and nail care.

This step is essential, rinse your hands when you’re done and towel dry as acetone can stain clothing. After exposing your nails to chemicals and solvents, you can leave your nails look unhealthy. Therefore, this is the time to take care of your natural nails. Apply cuticle oil and hand lotion as a part of your daily routine to hydrate and revitalise your natural nails. You can also give your nails some strengtheners to harden and protect your nails in the break before moving on with a new manicure set.

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