What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out?

What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out? We all adore the beauty of gel nails, but as they start to grow out, it’s natural to wonder what to do next. In this guide, I’ll explore some simple and creative ways to manage grown-out gel nails, helping you extend that fresh manicure look without immediately heading back to the salon. Whether you’re a gel nail veteran or new to the game, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Nail Growth

Fingernail Growth

Average Nail Growth Rate

Natural nails typically grow at an average rate of about 3 millimeters per month or approximately 0.1 millimeters per day. This equates to around one-tenth of a millimeter daily. This steady, albeit gradual, growth is responsible for the visible gap that emerges between your natural nail and the gel layer as your gel manicure starts to grow out.

Factors Affecting Nail Growth

Nail growth is influenced by various factors, including age, health, diet, and hormonal fluctuations. These variables can lead to variations in the speed of nail growth among individuals.

For instance, younger individuals often experience faster nail growth compared to older adults.

Individual Variations

While the average growth rate provides a general guideline, it’s important to recognize that there are exceptions. Some people may experience faster nail growth, while others might notice their nails growing at a slower pace. Like natural nail growth, the rate at which gel nails grow out can vary significantly from person to person.

Various factors, such as age, health conditions, nutrition, and even climate, can contribute to these variations. Younger individuals often experience faster nail growth compared to older adults.

These individual differences can impact when you’ll notice significant changes in the appearance of your gel manicure as your natural nails extend.

Timeframe for Noticeable Changes in Gel Manicure Appearance (2-3 Weeks)

As your natural nails gradually grow, you’ll begin to observe noticeable changes in the appearance of your gel manicure.

On average, it takes approximately two to three weeks before the gap between the nail bed and the gel layer becomes prominent enough to be clearly visible.

During this period, your manicure evolves, and you may start considering strategies to manage or refresh your nail look.

What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out?

What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out?

When your gel nails start to grow out, it’s time to consider your options. Here, we’ll explore various strategies and approaches for managing grown-out gel nails, ensuring that your manicure continues to look fabulous. Here are the details:

Camouflaging the Gap

One of the creative ways to address grown-out gel nails is by camouflaging the gap between the natural nail and the gel layer. This approach allows you to save time and money while maintaining a beautiful manicure.

Nail art offers a range of possibilities: you can use gems, rhinestones, or intricate designs strategically placed over the gap. Alternatively, you can create a playful look with polka dots using different shades of polish.

The goal is to cover the visible gap while enhancing the overall appearance of your nails. With creativity, no one will be able to tell you’re concealing anything underneath.

Glitter and Metallic Polish

For a fun and festive solution, consider using glitter nail polish or metallic polish to hide the gap in your grown-out gel nails.

When using glitter polish, focus on applying it primarily along the base of your nail where the gap is most visible. The dense concentration of sparkles will effectively mask any unevenness.

Metallic polish reflects light off its shiny surface, making it harder for anyone to notice the telltale growth line.

French Manicures:

Embrace the elegance of French manicures as a sophisticated makeover for your grown-out gel nails.

Start by applying a sheer pink or nude polish over your entire nail. This step helps blend the existing color with your natural nail.

Then, paint a white tip along the edge of your nail where the gap is most prominent. This clever technique draws attention away from the grown-out area, highlighting the elongated appearance of your nails.

How Often Should You Get a New Gel Manicure?

How Often Should You Get a New Gel Manicure?

To maintain a fresh and flawless look, it’s generally recommended to schedule a new gel manicure every two to three weeks.

Adhering to this timeframe not only keeps your nails looking pristine but also reduces the risk of damage or weakening due to prolonged wear. It minimizes the awkward gap between your cuticles and the polish as your natural nail grows out.

Can I Safely Remove Gel Nails at Home When They Grow Out?

Yes, you can safely remove gel nails at home with the right tools and techniques. This process involves some patience and care but is entirely manageable.

To safely remove your gel nails, you’ll need: acetone nail polish remover, cotton balls or pads, aluminum foil, an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher, a buffer block, and a file.

Step-by-Step Removal Process

  1. Start by gently filing down the surface of your gel nails to break their seal. This step makes the removal process more effective.
  2. Next, soak a cotton ball or pad in acetone and place it on top of each nail. Wrap your nails securely with aluminum foil to hold the acetone-soaked cotton in place.
  3. Allow your nails to soak for around 15 to 20 minutes. This gives the acetone time to soften and loosen the gel polish.
  4. After soaking, use the orangewood stick or cuticle pusher to gently push off any remaining gel. Be cautious not to force or scrape it off, as this could damage your natural nails.
  5. Once the gel is removed, use a buffer block to smooth the nail surface and eliminate any residue.
  6. Finish by applying some nourishing cuticle oil to replenish moisture and keep your nails healthy.

Safety Precautions

  • During the removal process, it’s essential to exercise caution and avoid rushing. Rushing can lead to unnecessary damage to your natural nails.
  • If you encounter any stubborn areas, it’s better to be patient and continue soaking rather than forcefully scraping or peeling the gel.
  • Remember that regular, gentle filing and minimal pressure are the keys to safe and effective gel nail removal.

FAQs: What To Do When Gel Nails Grow Out?

Do Gel Nails Damage Your Natural Nails When They Grow Out?

Gel nails can potentially weaken your natural nails as they grow out. The bonding process between the gel and your nail plate may lead to increased fragility and potential breakage.

Are There Any Nail Care Tips to Keep My Natural Nails Healthy While They Grow Out with Gel Nails?

To maintain the health of your natural nails while growing out gel nails, apply cuticle oil regularly, avoid prolonged exposure to water and harsh chemicals, and take breaks between gel applications.

Can I Apply Regular Nail Polish Over My Grown-Out Gel Nails to Make Them Look Better?

Yes, you can apply regular nail polish over your grown-out gel nails to refresh their appearance. Lightly buff the gel surface before applying the polish for better adherence and a polished look.


When your gel nails start to grow out, it doesn’t have to signal the end of your fabulous manicure. Understanding the growth process, creative solutions, safe removal methods, and nail care tips can help you manage and maintain your nails effectively. Whether you choose to camouflage the gap, add some sparkle, opt for French manicures, or safely remove and start fresh, the key is to embrace your nail journey. For more tips and in-depth information, visit the Villa Nails blog.

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