How to Put on Nail Wraps | 11 Easy Steps

Nail wraps are your best bet if you’re always on the go as these give you artistic and colourful manicures in just minutes. Plus, they are also very cheap, which adds to the reason why you need to have them as your “alternative manicure” when you don’t have time to go to the salon. So, if you’re interested in trying this trendy nail decoration or you simply want to know how to put on nail wraps, we are here to show you how!

First and foremost, it’s important to prepare your nails before applying nail wraps. You might need to do a basic manicure to ensure your nails are clean and ready. So, without further ado, let’s discuss the 11 easy steps of putting on nail wraps and some other important information you need to know about this nail decoration.

What are Nail Wraps?

Nail wraps are super thin polish strips that come in a sheet of 16 or more pieces in different sizes. Each strip is self-adhesive, allowing it to stick to the nail surface securely. Nail wraps also come in different colours, designs, prints and patterns you can choose from.

How to Put On Nail Wraps in 11 Steps

1. Choose Your Nail Wraps

Before you perform any nail procedure, you must first choose your nail wraps. The strips come in different designs, so you can go plain or pick those with fun designs. If you want to have an interesting look on your nails, you can pick wraps in various prints and patterns. You can even match the design on the occasion you’ll attend in a few days.

One important thing to remember, however, is to choose a print that matches the size of your nails. If you have short nails, go for small designs as larger designs may not show on your nails. You can also choose wraps with repetitive patterns, such as stripes or polka dots.

2. Read the Instructions Written on the Packaging of the Nail Wraps

You might be thinking that all nail wraps have the same instructions, but they don’t. Various brands have specific instructions on the application and removal of their products. Always read the instructions on the packaging to make sure you understand how the product works.

Some nail wraps can be removed by peeling off using a cuticle pusher, while others need the help of acetone-based polish removers. Also, in terms of application, some brands require heating the strips before applying them to the nails, while others don’t.

3. Prepare Your Nails

This is where you need to start doing some action with your nails. Preparing your nails for nail wraps only requires basic cleaning to ensure that the adhesive sticks to the nails securely. What you can do first is to remove the nail polish you’re wearing. Even if you are not wearing any, it’s still crucial to apply some acetone or nail polish remover on your nails to get rid of any product residue. Dip a cotton ball with acetone or nail polish remover and swipe it on your nails.

Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water to ensure dirt and grease are removed. Dry your hands with a towel before proceeding to the next step.

4. Cut and Buff Your Nails

Here, you will be working on shaping your nails based on the length or shape you want. Trim your nails and buff them to get the shape you desire. Make sure the edges are smooth and even. If you have brittle nails, apply one to two layers of strengthening top coat to protect your nails from the potential damage caused by the strips’ adhesive.

5. Choose a Strip That Fits the Size of Your Nail

You can quickly pick the best match by holding the strip up next to your nail. Each nail wrap sheet typically has 16-24 pieces you can check out, so choose carefully. Pick a strip that covers your entire nail and lines up with your cuticle. There may not be a perfect match, but there is always the best one.

6. Heat the Strip (If Required)

Again, some strips need heating before application. You can use your blow dryer and set it to warm. Then, pick a strip and heat it with the blow dryer for 3-5 seconds. Make sure to apply the strip immediately after you heat it, so it strongly sticks to the nail.

7. Apply Each Strip to Each of Your Nails

To help with the application, use a cuticle pusher. The tool helps you to easily smoothen out the nail wrap on the surface of your nail. Make sure the wrap goes all the way to the corners and edges and all sides are lined up with the cuticles. Also, don’t touch the adhesive on the part where you’ll put the wrap on the nail as it may come off.

8. Use a Blow Dryer to Smoothen Out Nail Wraps Even More

Whether the strips require heating during application or not, you can use a blow dryer to smoothen out each nail wrap. Blow dry each nail for 3-5 seconds and then smoothen it out even more using a cuticle pusher.

9. Cut the Strip Based on the Shape of Your Nail

Each strip is quite long, so you need to cut off the excess material. Use a sharp nail scissor to trim the excess material. Don’t worry if there is still a small amount of nail wrap hanging after you cut the excess material. You will still buff the edges to smoothen them out. If you really have short nails, you can cut a significant amount of the strip before applying it.

10. Buff the Edges

Any excess material hanging over the edges of your nails will be smoothed out in this step. You can use an emery board or glass file. Make sure to file from underneath each nail and not the top to avoid rough edges.

11. Apply a Clear Nail Polish

To finish your nail wrap application, apply a layer of clear nail polish to give your nails a shine. Apply more layers if you want to achieve an extra shiny look. You have the option to skip this step, but your nails will have a matte look.

How Long Does a Nail Wrap Last?

Nail wraps vary in lifespan depending on the quality of the product and some other factors. Improper application, for example, makes the wraps come off quickly. Aside from that, repetitive activities like typing a computer keyboard, washing dishes and cleaning can also contribute to the longevity of the nail wraps.

On average, nail wraps can last from 5 to 7 days, which is not very long. This is the reason why you need to pick high-quality nail wraps as these can last up to 10 days.

Are Nail Stickers the Same as Nail Wraps?

Nail stickers are actually another name for nail wraps and are used interchangeably with nail wraps. Some brands market their nail stickers that have the same properties and lifespan as nail wraps. But some nail stickers don’t cover the entire nails, which is why they are not technically a “wrap”. In most cases, however, they cover the whole nail.

Are Gel Nail Strips the Same as Nail Wraps?

Gel nail strips are slightly different from nail wraps, but they share the same concept as nail wraps. They are also applied like nail wraps but need to be cured under an LED lamp. Their lifespan is longer than the traditional nail wraps as they can last up to 2 weeks. They have great resistance to peeling and chipping and are popular because of their durability.

Tips to Make Nail Wraps Last Longer

Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Water

Prolonged contact with water and exposure to harsh chemicals can weaken the nail wraps’ adhesive, leading to chipping and peeling. Hand washing, however, is okay for the nail wraps. When doing the dishes or cleaning, make sure to use hand gloves to protect your nails from harsh chemicals.

Apply a Top Coat

Although we highlighted above that applying a top coat can add shine to your nails, it also has another purpose. The top coat serves as a protective barrier to the nail wraps from peeling, chipping and other types of damage. Also, it can block moisture from weakening the adhesive.

Use Nail Glue

To add extra strength to your adhesive, you can apply nail glue to your nails before putting on the nail wraps. Apply a thin layer only as this is enough to help the adhesive stay secure on the nails. Just remember that nail glue may not work for all nail wraps as some adhesives may be formulated differently. It’s best to use high-quality nail glue formulated to protect your nails from damage.

Apply Each Nail Wrap with a Strong Press

Although you will be using a cuticle pusher to help with the application, your other hand will do the basic pressing. A strong press is recommended to ensure that most of the nail wrap is securely applied to the nail. Press down the wrap carefully to allow it to bond to the nail.

Apply a Top Coat Every Other Day

This tip allows you to keep the strength of your nail wrap barrier. The top coat that you put on during application may weaken or start to get damaged from your everyday activities. That’s why it’s important to re-apply this coating every other day.

Also, ensure that each layer of the top coat is applied thinly to avoid ridges on the cuticles. These ridges can introduce early snagging or lifting.

Wrap Up

Applying nail wraps is one of the easiest nail procedures. However, it’s still crucial to be precise in every step of the application to ensure high-quality results. With our guide on how to put on nail wraps, you can always wear trendy and colourful manicures quickly. If unsure about the procedure, visiting a nail salon is always recommended.