How Long Does It Take for Nail Polish to Dry?

Did you know that painting nails dates back to ancient times? Henna was the first item used to paint the nails of mummified pharaohs.

Are you wondering how long does it take for nail polish to dry? In this article, find out the answer to this question and more about the different kinds of nail polish.

From acrylic to gel, there are various options. Read on to explore how long the different types of nail polish take, and if there’s a way to speed up the process.

How Long Does It Take Nail Polish To Dry?

How long nail polish takes to dry depends on different factors such as how many coats, the type of nail polish, and if you use any drying topcoats. Some claim that a fast-drying topcoat can make your nails dry in 10-minutes! But, you’ll need to ensure that the surface of your nail is clean and that the nail polish is thin.

Realistic Dry Time

While you might think that your nails are dry, did you know that it can up to a day for them to completely dry? Did you ever notice that after you get your nails done, they smudge easily? Smudging is due to them not being fully dry.

How To Dry Your Nails Faster

Whether you’re looking for water permeable nail polish or not, you want a nail polish that’ll dry fast. One thing you can try is a topcoat that’s supposed to dry fast. Some of them might even add a glossy shine to your nails.

Cooking Oil

It might sound crazy, but you can dry your nails faster with cooking oil. If you’re fresh out of cooking oil spray, try some hairspray.

To do this, paint your nails, and spray the cooking oil directly onto your nails. Make sure to keep the cooking spray a good distance from your hand. Wait a couple of minutes before you rinse your hands.

Freeze Them

Another option to dry nail polish is to freeze them. First, you’ll need a bowl of cold water and ice cubes.

Before you paint your nails fill up a bowl with cold water. Place a few ice cubes in the bowl as well.

Next, wait about 3 minutes before you place your nails into the cold water. Let them soak for about 3-5 minutes before you remove them. If you see water beading on your nails, that means your nails are dry.


Another option is to use your hairdryer. Place it on a cool air setting before you begin. When you’re done painting your nails, use the cold stream of air on them.

The best option is to paint one hand and use the hairdryer. Then, use it on the other hand. It’s vital to use a cool setting so that you don’t burn your hands.

Drying Drops

Some brands sell what’s called drying drops. Whether online or in a beauty supply store, you can find them easily.

This is a way to avoid adding an additional layer to your nails. Some drying drops are oil-based which means they’ll condition your cuticles as they’re placed.

It usually only works for the top layer of your nail polish. Before you go about your day, give your nails a few minutes to ensure that they’re dry enough.

Drying Acrylics

If you decide to go with acrylics, you might want them done by a professional. For the best results, it’s advised to use a UV lamp for a minute.

How Long Do Gel Nails Take To Dry?

The appeal of gel nails is the fact that they can dry fast. Certain brands claim that their gel nails will dry in as little as 30 seconds. You’ll just need to use an LED or UV light with them.

How To Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer

It’s a good idea to use a strengthener between your nail polishing sessions since it can help the nail polish last longer. Before you begin, use a remover on your nails to ensure that they’re clean.

If you’re looking for longevity, you might want to skip that cold soak. It causes your nails to expand and then when they shrink and dry, your nail polish can crack.

Wear Gloves

Doing housework can cause your nails to chip easier. When you do work around the house, always wear gloves. For example, even washing dishes can cause chipping in the polish.

Embellish It

If you notice a chip in your polish you can place a rhinestone or buff it away. This will save you from having to redo your nails due to one chip.

All About That Base

Before you place nail polish, always apply a base-coat first. This will help your nail polish to stay on for longer. There are also smoothing base coat options as well which will help smooth out your nails.

Avoid Sequins

While sequins and other out of the box thinking might be a fashion trend, keep them to special occasions. These patterns might not last as long as foregoing sequins.

Answering the Question To, How Long Does It Take for Nail Polish To Dry?

Now that you’ve explored the answer to, how long does it take for nail polish to dry, you should have a better idea of the answer to this question. Would you like to read more beauty content? For everything from lifestyle to beauty and fashion, check out our other articles today.

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