Nail Pros Say Dip Powder Nails Should Be Your Next Stop

Flawless nails are divine. The diva touch they add to your personal style is undeniable. And, women love to have their nails tidied up; and of course, admired by all.

If you will have beautifully manicured nails, you should be ready to make a lot of sacrifices, like time.  

Before now, acrylic extensions and gel nails have had the spotlight. Now, TikTokers and Instagram feed reveal a wonder. And, with the look of things, it’s not done yet. 

I hope I have your appetite watered already. This wonder is the revamped glue nails, Dip powder nails.

Dip powder nails are a hybrid between gel nail polish and acrylic extensions. LeChat nails educator, Syreeta Aaron says, “dip powder nails give you the flexibility of gel nails”.

Dip powder nails are also known as dip or SNS which is a popular brand of dip powder. Dip uses a combination of colored acrylic powder and nail glue to create a durable beauty that can last up to three weeks or more.

I must also say it is fascinating that clients are migrating from gel nails to dip. This is because dip saves them from the harm of the UV light that is required to get gel nails done.

Another lovable feature of dip powder nails is that it allows nail techs to add nail extensions to short nails.

How to Get Dip Powder Nails Done

how to apply dip powder nails

Just like getting any nail done, the process of getting dip nails installed requires special care and attention. 

Basically, the list of supplies for the dip powder nails include:

  • Nail file and buffer
  • Tips and nail glue
  • Dip powder color, base coats, and top coats
  • Cotton pads
  • Acetone
  • Brushes

Dip nails installation technique varies with salons. But, generally, it follows the following process:

Nails prepping

The first step has the nail techs prepping your nails by cleaning and freeing the nail plates of any dirt or oil. Then, your cuticles are pushed back to clip off hangnails. 

After that, a 99% alcohol dehydrating product is used to buff the surface of your nail plate. This dehydration is important because dip nails powder best adheres to dehydrated nails.


The bonding product is a clear adhesive, usually a nail resin, that is applied to your nail plates to hold the powder. This adhesive helps the products to adhere firmly and lessen the chance of lifting.

Adding base coat and pigment powder

The nail tech brushes on the base coat like regular nail polish. Before now, you must have selected your desired color. So, the finely-milled powder of your selected color is brushed onto the base coat; this powder creates the pigment. 

Your preferred opacity and color intensity will determine whether more powder will be brushed onto your nails about two or three times more. In between each brush-on, the excess powder is brushed off. 

Adding top coat

Top coat doesn’t follow immediately. The new dip nails are left to dry and harden for a few minutes. As soon as they are dry and hard enough, an activator is applied before it is sharpened and filed to your desired look. After this, the top coat is applied.

brown dip nails

Dip powder nails no longer follow the dipping process after which it was named. The process was stopped for the sake of hygiene concerns over different clients’ nails being dipped into the same pot.

See Also: Nail Colors For Dark Skin: 21 Colors That Will Stand Out

How to Remove Dip Powder Nails 

Dip powder nails can be removed at home without wrecking your nails. You should know that the removal process requires a great deal of patience.

Here’s what you need to get the polish off: 

  • Nail clippers
  • Two nail files
  • Nail buffer and cotton balls
  • Acetone
  • Metallic cuticle pusher (optional)
  • A bowl

Before you get to work, you should cover the work area with a towel to prevent stains and scratches.

Also, you should set up near a window or fan because of the strong acetone fumes.

Cut and file dip nails

The extra length of dip powder nails can be cut off with a pair of nail clippers. Nail artist, Ashlie Johnson says, “this hack speeds up the entire process”. After that, use the coarse side of your nail file to remove the top coat.

Soak dip nails in acetone

Ashlie Johnson further explains that the thinner the layers, the less time you’ll have to soak your fingers in acetone.

Amy Le advises that you rub petroleum jelly on your fingertips and into your cuticles, avoiding the nail bed, before soaking. “This will help prevent the skin around your nails from drying out”, she says.

After that, fully submerge all fingertips into acetone for at least 10 minutes. This will help loosen the dip powder. When the dip has loosened well, it should flake off easily.

Taking off the dip

Once the dip begins to flake, use the cuticle pusher to lightly scrape off the polish. 

You should note that scraping begins from the cuticle area to the end of the nail.

Buff and shape

Gently rub buffer to clean off tiny pieces of the remaining polish. Buffing evens out your nail texture and creates a smooth finish. 

And, if your nails are jagged and uneven, use your nail file to create your ideal shape. Ashlie, says it is best to keep your nail length on the shorter side to prevent weak nails from breaking or splitting.

Hydrate and massage

The dip nails removal process is quite dehydrating because of the acetone soaking and filing. As a result, you should get a hand cream and oil to restore moisture to your hands.

You can follow the step-by-step guide in this tutorial video to safely take off your dip nails at home.

Pros of Dip Powder Nails

It doesn’t require UV lights

After the topcoat finish, you do not have to do a final touch with UV lights. These harmful lights can put you at risk of skin cancer. So, dip nails have that concern covered.

Easy to do at home

Nail pros say a variety of complete DIY dip nail kits are available for home use. If you follow YouTube tutorial videos, you’re on your way to being a part of this trend.


Dip nails are very durable. They can last up to a month if done by a professional. But, when you DIY at home, you can expect it to last for 2-3 weeks.

Limitless color choices

Just like the traditional nail polish,  you can have any color on dip nails. You have nothing to miss out on with colors.

It is odor-free

The dip powder is absolutely odorless. So, you can comfortably do this at home without getting any irritations.

Little or no mess

For ladies who cannot flawlessly paint their nails, dip nails should be your next stop. Getting dip powder onto your nails doesn’t involve using swabs or pads to tidy up anything at all.

Dip nails is time-saving

Unlike other nails, like acrylics, dip powder nails require less time to be installed. The fact that you can easily learn it as a DIY means you get to save the time of a trip to and from the salon.

Cons of Dip Powder Nails

Quite bulky 

Dip nails can be bulkier than regular polish if too much powder goes onto the nail.

Hygiene concern

If you go to a salon that doesn’t use the brush-on method, it could be a little repulsive knowing that you’re about to dip your nail into the same bowl as everyone else. This can also predispose you to an infection.

Dehydrating effect

The dehydrating effect it has on the nails can lead to brittle nails. This can eventually result in weak or damaged nails.

Removal can damage nails

This is one of the main issues of dip you’ll hear almost anyone say. If dip nails are not carefully removed, your nails may get damaged. So, the long removal process must be patiently followed; no rush, no shortcuts.

Soaking nails in acetone can make dip flake off; but, if dip doesn’t come off as expected, filing will be necessary. And, this filling process is quite rigorous and can damage the nail.

colored dip nails

FAQs on Dip Powder Nails

Do you need long nails for dip nails?

No, you do not need long nails to get dip nails. 

Experts actually recommend that you apply dip powder on short natural nails. Short nails have greater chances to be protected from breakage and getting weak. 

How long can dip nails last?

Dip nails can last up to a month if done by a professional and carefully maintained. If you follow DIY videos and have it done at home, you can wear your dip nails for about three weeks. 

The powder consistency of dip nails makes it hard to break or chip off while doing the dishes or any chore.

Why are my dip nails rough and clumpy?

Dip nails can get too thick or clumpy when there is too much base or top coat on your nails. You should file and buff your nail in between applying the base coat and activator to avoid this clumping.

Can I take off my dip nails at home?

Yes, you can take off your dip nails at home. There are tutorial videos online that show you a step-by-step guide on how to safely take off dip nails at home.


There is no harm in trying out new things and you won’t know until you have tried it out. Every trend comes with its pros and cons. You’ll agree with me that, on a scale, the cons do not outweigh the pros.

Like every other nail that came into the spotlight, dip powder nails are here. Though, reports say dip nails are not new. They have been around since the ‘80s and were called glue nails.

But, if it’s got the attention of TikTokers and it’s all over your Instagram feed; nail pros have given their two cents’ worth, it has to be worth giving a try.

Africana Fashion keeps you updated on beauty trends. Thanks for reading.