What Is Nail Dipping? Learn This Before You Get Dip Powder Nails

Nail dipping is a fake nails installation technique that involves dipping your nails into a pigmented powder. Nail dipping produces the new nails trend called dip powder nails. Before now, different fake nails like gel and acrylic nails have had their time on beauty trends.

Emerging now is nail dipping. TikTokers and influencers are talking about a safe and long-lasting manicure that features the beauty of its contemporaries. Dip powder nails are also referred to as SNS nails, a popular brand.

If you understand the rules and are very familiar with the know-how, you can do nail dipping at home. Otherwise, book an appointment with your nail technician and get your manicure in a salon. Ahead, see every detail you should know about nail dipping and why you should give it a try.

What Is Nail Dipping?

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Nail dipping is the art of dip powder nails manicure. Nail pros reveal it’s not so new a trend, the technique has been around since the ‘80s. But, today, it doesn’t look anything like that. This manicure installation technique does not fall too far from its name.

Nail dipping incorporates dipping each nail into a pigmented powder to form a cast of nail polish. Gel nails use UV light to set the polish in place. On the other hand, nail dipping only uses a top and base coat for its durability. This is the safety that’s got the attention of clients.

If you are looking to protect your nails from being brittle and eventual damage, nail dipping is just what you’re looking for. This nail dip style has made home manicure possible with different types and brands of easy-to-use dip nail kits.

You’ll need your dip nails powder (your choice color), top coat, base coat, activator, a bonder, nail file, and buffer.

How Does Nail Dipping Work?

Nail dipping follows a process whereby your natural nails are coated with acrylic powder to have the flexibility of acrylics and last longer than gel nails. The step-by-step process is easy. However, you need to be careful during installation. When you’re set to get dip nails, locate a clean and quiet environment with a flat surface.

One nail at a time, follow these steps to safely get dip powder nails at home:

  • Begin with prepping your nails with a nail file or buffer to create a clean and smooth canvas for work
  • Also, you should push back your cuticles or trim them a little
  • Follow up with a bonder. You only need a thin layer of quality bonder to get the powder to adhere to the surface of your nails
  • Do not allow the bonder to dry before you move on to the next step
  • Then, apply your base coat over the bonder making a thin coat. The thinness allows for even coverage and smooth nail dipping
  • Dip the nail with the base coat into the pigmented powder. Make sure you dip in the whole nail for full coverage
  • You can dip the nail into the powder as many times as you like depending on the thickness you want
  • In between each nail dipping, carefully brush off the excess powder with a loose brush. You can tap the side of your finger before you brush
  • Allow it to dry in the air
  • Go ahead to file your nail into your desired shape
  • Apply the activator making sure you reach the edges and fully coat the tips. The dip powder should become darker and opaque
  • Finish it off with a topcoat. The topcoat sets the powder in and makes it last as long as four weeks

Is Nail Dipping Safe for My Nails?

The rave of nail dipping trend has got some people wondering if it is safe at all. Nail dipping manicure can last anywhere from four to six weeks and even more. However, you should keep it chip-free. During this period, your natural nails are protected, and they grow naturally too.

Moreover, this fake nail installation technique does not use UV light which is required to set gel nails.

To be frank, nail dipping is not without its buts. Dip powder nails removal is a handful on its own despite the simple installation process. Removing dip nails require that your put your fingers in acetone for up to 20 minutes. And, this could be drying your nail beds and lead to brittle nails.

Additionally, if you’re getting it done at a salon, the fact that you will have to put your nail in the same powder pot as tens of clients could put you off.

But, putting the safety and seemingly hazards on a scale, nail dipping isn’t so much a bad idea. After the removal, you can treat your hands and nails to good hand cream and restore hydration. Also, you can get them taken off at the salon at a fair charge.

Technically, you do not stand so much a chance of getting your nails ruined if you do not make nail dipping a now and then thing. If you take breaks between each procedure, it is very possible to have strong, healthy nails after all.

Also, you can enjoy the exclusiveness of using a pot of powder alone to avoid being exposed to the risk of nail fungus infection.

SEE: From Simple to Eccentric: Alluring Nail Shapes People Can Spot a Mile Away

Benefits of Nail Dipping

Nail dipping sure has its rewards and strengths. These are the features that have made acrylic and gel nails loyalists have a second thought and made a U-turn. Here are some reasons why you’ll give this beauty a thought too.

You can enjoy a DIY at home with nail dipping

It is hard to reject a trend that saves you time and money. You can do your nail dipping at home and save time for a trip to the salon and the technician charge. Furthermore, you will enjoy the exclusiveness of using your powder alone.

Additionally, you can always do a retouch with your dip powder nails kit. This way, you can enjoy fresh-looking dip nails for as long as you wear them.

Dip nails are long-lasting manicure

Nail dipping results in beautiful, long-lasting nails. You can wear them for up to six weeks if you care for them well. Keep them from getting chipped at the tips and edges. Also, water does not weaken the hold of the nails on your natural nails.

Nail dipping is protective

This class of fake nails lasts the longest. As a result, your nails are protected in the cast for as long as you wear them. Frequent manicures without a break can be damaging to your nail bed. With dip nails, your nails are relieved of the pressure of filing and buffering for up to six weeks.

Nail dipping is healthy

Artificial nails like acrylic and gel nails make use of chemicals like strong adhesives and, also UV light. These things can eventually damage your nails in the long run. Even worse, your skin may bear some of the brunts too.

With all these out of the way, you can enjoy strong and healthy natural nails.

Nail dipping is flexible

There is no limit to dip nails when it comes to designs and colors. Acrylic and gel nails lovers can testify that they also get a long list of nail art ideas when they get dip nails. Dip powder nails kit manufacturers have made a wide range of colors available; from basic colors to alluring pastel shades.

SEE: Simple and Unique Nail Polishes for Your Skin Tone

There is almost no mess with nail dipping

Applying nail polish with its brush can be quite messy. There is a possibility of staining the table, your clothes, and your fingers. The opposite is the case with nail dipping. The mess created is minimal and does not require any scrubbing of surfaces.  

You can remove dip nails at home

Like I earlier mentioned, you can get dip nails at home. You can also remove dip nails at home. On the other hand, you need to go to a salon to take off your acrylic and gel nails because of how fragile the removal process can be. With acetone, cotton balls, and water, you can easily remove dip nails at home.

How to Remove Dip Powder Nails at Home

Dip nails removal is quite easy but requires a lot of care and patience. What you need is a dip nail removal kit. Better still, you can make yours with a biodegradable bowl, cotton balls, nail clippers, nail files, and buffer.

Follow these steps to remove dip nails at home.

  • If you’ve got extra long nails, start with chipping them off with nail clippers
  • Then, file off the topcoat to aid removal
  • Apply petroleum jelly to your fingers, just around the cuticles to protect your skin from acetone
  • Fill the bowl with acetone and submerge all fingertips into it for up to 10 minutes
  • You’ll feel the hold of the nails loosen and then they’ll begin to flake
  • Use a cuticle pusher or any flat instrument that won’t hurt you to scrape off the polish
  • Afterward, use the buffer to clear off any polish residue and shape your nails on the jagged sides
  • When you are done, treat your hands and nails to moisturizing hand cream. This will help to restore moisture to your hands after the dehydrating effect of acetone

Drawbacks of Nail Dipping

Nail dipping can be unsanitary

In a salon, dipping your nails in the same powder pot as other clients could be unhygienic. Consequently, you are at risk of getting a nail fungus infection. However, some salons use the brush-on method.

The bulk

For better coverage and opacity, you may have to dip your nails in powder more than twice. This makes the nails come out bulkier than any other type of nail.

The removal can be quite rigorous

The filing and buffering process can damage your nails if not done carefully. Also, the removal process makes use of acetone which can be dehydrating to your fingers and nails.

SEE: Get Your Ultimate Professional Finish With the Best Nail Lamp


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Is nail dipping better than gel nails?

Yes, it is. Nail dipping is safer for your nails than gel nails. Gel nails require UV rays to set the nail polish. And, over time, these rays can be damaging to your skin and nail beds.

Dip powder nails last anywhere between 4-6 weeks. Gel nails, on the other hand, do not last beyond two weeks and are prone to chipping.

Can I do nail dipping with my natural nails?

Yes, you can. Dip powder is safe for natural nails and allows them to grow naturally. Nail dipping has no permanent damage on your natural nails. Moreover, it protects them from breakage and becoming brittle.  

Is it okay to apply paint over my dip nails?

Yes, it is. You can apply nail polish of any color over your dip nails. It can be the same color as you had or a new one.

When you want to change the polish again, wipe the old one off with a non-acetone nail polish remover.  


Nail trends are what we are certainly not getting tired of. And, the way perfectly cured nails lift your hands cannot be overemphasized. There have been acrylic nails, gel nails, and now a nail installation technique that works with dipping nails in powder.

Although dip powder nails have been around before now, they have been revamped into a class of alluring fake nails. Nail dipping is healthy and protective for your natural nails. They expose your nails and skin to fewer chemicals that can cause damages.

Unlike its contemporaries, you can enjoy a DIY at home and save some time and money. However, you should protect your nails by taking breaks between each dip manicure.

Thanks for reading.

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