A close-up photo captures a skilled technician gently removing acrylic nails at a nail salon, showcasing their expertise and the meticulous care they offer to clients.

Do Nail Salons Remove Acrylic Nails For Free?

Getting a fresh set of acrylic nails can make your hands look great, but what happens when it’s time to take them off? You may be wondering if nail salons provide free acrylic removal services. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed look at acrylic nail removal costs and policies at salons.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Most nail salons do not remove acrylic nails for free. They typically charge a fee for soak-off services, which is generally $10-$20. Some salons include it with a new set or offer discounts if you get a refill set immediately after.

We’ll explore whether major nail salon chains like Happy Nails, Regal Nails, and Pro-Nails offer free removal. We’ll also go over DIY removal option, how to remove acrylics properly to avoid damage, tips to reduce costs, and what to expect from the removal process overall.

Do Major Nail Salon Chains Provide Free Acrylic Removal?

Happy Nails

Happy Nails is one of the most popular nail salon chains in the United States, with over 150 locations across the country. Unfortunately, they do not offer free acrylic removal services. According to their website, acrylic removal costs around $5-10 depending on the salon location.

Some customers have reported being charged as much as $15 for acrylic removal at certain Happy Nails. While affordable, this can add up quickly if you get acrylics filled frequently. Considering a basic manicure costs $10-15 at Happy Nails, paying extra for removal each time can really increase the overall cost of acrylic nails.

A few customers said they were able to get free removal when combining it with a new set, but this doesn’t seem to be a consistent policy across all locations.

Regal Nails

Regal Nails is another large nail salon chain with over 200 locations nationwide. Their acrylic removal policy is similar to Happy Nails – not free but fairly inexpensive. The average price for acrylic removal at Regal Nails is $5-10. Some customers have been charged $15 or more at certain locations.

While not free, this price is on the lower end compared to many independently owned salons that charge $15-25 for acrylic removal. One advantage of Regal Nails is that their acrylic removal service is very quick and painless, taking 10 minutes or less.

The technicians are highly skilled at safely removing acrylics without damaging the natural nails underneath. While not free, Regal Nails provides an affordable and efficient acrylic removal service.


With 70+ salon locations across the country, Pro-Nails is a smaller nail salon chain compared to the others on this list. Unfortunately, acrylic removal does not seem to be included as a complimentary service at any Pro-Nails locations.

According to customer reports, Pro-Nails charges around $15 on average for acrylic removal – more expensive than Happy Nails and Regal Nails. One reason for this higher pricing could be that Pro-Nails focuses more on premium services and products.

An acrylic set at Pro-Nails costs $40-60 on average, higher than the $25-40 range at most chains. So while convenient, getting acrylics removed and redone at Pro-Nails results in higher overall costs for customers.

Trying a DIY Acrylic Removal

Using Acetone

One of the most popular methods for removing acrylic nails at home is using acetone. Acetone is a solvent that essentially dissolves the acrylic, allowing you to gently scrape the product off. To try this method, you’ll need a container for soaking your nails, 100% pure acetone (do not use nail polish remover as it contains other ingredients), cotton balls, cuticle oil, and an emery board or nail file.

Start by filling your container with enough acetone to submerge your nails. Dip cotton balls into the acetone and press them against your nails – the cotton helps soak up the acrylic. Leave your nails to soak for 10-15 minutes then gently push back the cuticles.

Slowly scrape off the softened acrylic using an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher. File the remaining product off with a coarse emery board. Remember to moisturize the nail bed with cuticle oil when done!

Soaking Cotton Balls

Another method for DIY acrylic removal is to soak cotton balls in acetone and place them directly on top of each nail. Ensure the cotton is thoroughly saturated – the acetone breaks down the bonds in the acrylic. Leave the cotton balls on for 10-15 minutes, then gently roll them off.

Use an emery board to buff off any remaining acrylic residue. This technique helps concentrate the acetone on each nail. However, you may need to reapply the cotton balls multiple times to fully remove thicker acrylics.

It’s crucial to avoid pulling or picking at the nails as this can damage the natural nail underneath. Be patient and take your time with this process.

Filing Off Acrylics

Filing off acrylic nails is certainly possible, but it takes patience and care. Start by using a coarse 100/180 grit file to thin down the acrylic, applying gentle yet firm pressure. Do not aggressively saw back and forth. Work from the free edge to the cuticle area in one direction.

Once thinner, switch to a finer grit 240/280 file. Buff the natural nail surface in light strokes until smooth. This filing method is safer than using clippers or scissors which can crack the actual nail plate.

However, filing acrylics off does create a lot of dust so protect your skin and eyes.完成后记得用护甲油润肤。You may find wrapping your nails in acetone-soaked cotton for 10 minutes first helps soften the product for easier removal. But filing alone could take 30-60 minutes per hand.

How to Remove Acrylics Properly Without Damage

Removing acrylic nails properly is important to avoid damaging the natural nails underneath. Here are some tips for safe acrylic removal:

Soak Off the Acrylics

Acrylic nails are adhered using a liquid monomer and polymer powder. To remove them, you’ll need to break down the bonds between the artificial and natural nail. The best way is to soak them off:

  • Fill a bowl with pure acetone nail polish remover. Acetone-free removers won’t work as well.
  • Submerge your hands and let the acrylics soak for 10-15 minutes. This allows the acetone to penetrate the acrylic and lift if off.
  • Never try to peel or pull off acrylics. The soaking method prevents you from ripping off layers of your natural nails.

Gently File the Acrylics

After soaking for 10-15 minutes, the acrylics should be loose enough to file off. Here’s how to safely file them away:

  • Use a coarse 100/180 grit file and gently buff off the softened acrylic coating.
  • Work slowly and carefully. Don’t aggressively scrape or you may damage the natural nail bed.
  • Switch to a finer 240/280 grit file for the final smoothing. buffing.
  • Rinse nails in water to remove filing dust and residue.

Moisturize Nails After Removal

Removing acrylics can leave nails feeling dry and brittle. It’s important to nourish them after the process:

  • Apply cuticle oil or moisturizing lotion after removal. This helps rehydrate the nails.
  • Avoid harsh soaps or cleaning products which can strip moisture.
  • Use a hydrating nail strengthener or treatment for 2-3 weeks while nails recover.

Following these proper acrylic removal steps helps prevent excessive damage or breakage. Give nails some time to heal before considering any new acrylic or gel manicure.

Tips to Reduce Acrylic Removal Costs

Add It On to a New Set

One of the best ways to save money on acrylic removal is to get it done when you’re already paying for a new set. Most nail salons will include acrylic removal as part of the new set price or only charge a small fee, like $5-10.

This can save you paying the full removal price, which can be $15-30 on its own. When booking your appointment, ask if removal is included or can be added on at a discount rate. This lets you kill two birds with one stone and maximize savings!

Time It Before a Refill

Since acrylics grow out and need filled every 2-3 weeks, timing your removal right before a refill is due can cut costs. Salons typically charge less for acrylic removal when it’s part of a refill service. The products and process are similar, so they offer a bundle price.

For example, removal may be $10 instead of $20-30 on its own. Ask the salon about combo pricing for a fill and removal – you could pay just a little more but get both done. It’s a handy way to save some dough!

Look for Coupons and Discounts

Keep an eye out for coupons and discounts to reduce your removal costs. Many salons run weekly or monthly specials on services to draw in customers. For example, they may offer acrylic removal for just $10 or 20% off. You may find deals like these:

  • On the salon’s website or social media pages
  • In mailers or ads in your local paper
  • Texted to you if you join their rewards program

It only takes a minute to search “ coupons” and find current promotions. This allows you to take advantage of lower prices and maximize your savings. Don’t be shy – ask the receptionist if any deals can be applied to your removal service!

Tip Average Savings
Add-on to New Set $10-20
Time Before Refill $10-15
Coupons & Discounts 20-50% Off

Using strategies like these can help you save big on acrylic removal costs. A few smart moves let you take advantage of discounts, bundled pricing, and monthly specials. So you can treat yourself to gorgeous nails without blowing your budget!

What to Expect During Acrylic Removal


The first step in removing acrylic nails is to soak them in acetone, which helps break down the acrylic polymer. This usually takes 10-15 minutes, but can take longer if the nails are very thick. The nail technician will have you soak your fingers in a bowl or tray filled with pure acetone.

Often, they’ll wrap your nails in aluminum foil to help the acetone penetrate the acrylic quicker. You may feel some slight tingling or stinging during this process as the acetone gets under your nail bed, but it shouldn’t be painful. Just relax during the soak and let the acetone do its work!


After soaking, your nail tech will likely wrap each nail in cotton balls soaked in acetone. This keeps the acetone pressed against the nail surface and helps further break down the acrylic. The cotton balls may be held in place with foil.

Depending on how thick your acrylics are, you may need 10-30 minutes of wrapping. The acrylic should start feeling softer and looser. Don’t try prying it off yet – keep letting the acetone penetrate fully. The wrapping stage ensures a thorough removal process.

Filing and Buffing

Once the acrylic is ready to come off, your nail tech will gently file and buff away the remaining product, being careful around your natural nails. This removes any blobs or rough edges of acrylic left behind after the soaking and wrapping stages.

The filing and buffing shouldn’t damage your natural nail beds if done properly. It just cleans up the surface for a smooth finish. Your nails may feel a little weak or sensitive after the removal process, so request gentler filing if needed.

Some light buffing leaves your natural nails smooth and polished looking.

Acrylic removal doesn’t have to be a lengthy or painful process with the right technique. A good nail salon will take the time needed to soak, wrap and gently file away your acrylics. While it takes a little while for the acetone to fully break down the acrylic polymers, the result is a safe removal without damage to your natural nails.

Expect the complete acrylic removal process to take 30-45 minutes depending on your tech’s pace and how long your nails are. Sit back and relax – you’ll have your bare, natural nails back in no time!


While most nail salons charge for removing acrylic nails, the fees are usually pretty affordable. To reduce the costs, time your removal right before your next fill or take advantage of any coupons or deals they offer.

With some handy DIY tricks, you may also be able to soak off acrylics safely at home using acetone. Just be very gentle, take your time, and moisturize after to avoid nail damage.

Hopefully now you’ve got all the details on what to expect from the acrylic removal process and costs. With this handy guide, your next soak-off service can go smoothly.

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