Frequently Asked Questions

Before Application  |  Application  |  After Application  |  About Ingrown Toenails

Before Application

Q1: My toenail is very short. Can I still use NailLift?

A1: When the white tip of the toenail is too short, the NailLift clips or wire can dig into the skin, causing pain or discomfort. We recommend you grow the nail until the white tip is about 2.5 mm long.

However, you can also attach NailLift in reverse (with the wire on top of the nail, instead of below) on nails with tips at least 1 mm long.

>> How to apply NailLift with very short nails

Q2: Is it painful when you first attach the NailLift brace?

A2: While rare, sometimes the corrective upward force of the wire on curved nails can make it feel as if the nail is being lifted too far from the skin. This pain often resolves itself in a day, so we recommend waiting 24 hours to see how it progresses. If the pain is too much to handle, immediately remove the NailLift. A layer of gel pedicure over the nail applied after attaching NailLift can help minimize this sensation.

Q3: I have allergies to certain types of metal. Can I use NailLift?

A3: NailLift clips are made from extremely safe medical-grade stainless steel. Though the wire itself is metal, it is coated in a tube of resin and does not directly come into contact with the skin.

Q4: What do I do if my nail is too thick, and I can’t file it down properly?

A4. NailLift clips will not attach to nails thicker than 1mm. Many people do have thicker nails, but it can be difficult to file them down with a standard nail file because the grain is often too fine.

We recommend using the Extra-Coarse Nail File provided in every NailLift kit.

You can find detailed instructions on filing down thicker nails with our dedicated nail file here.


Q1. Can I trim the NailLift wire with scissors or nail clippers?

A1. Please only use a wire cutter to trim the wire after you attach the NailLift to your nail.

>> Recommended Wire Cutters

Q2. I tried to attach the clips to my nail but it didn’t go well. Can I still use them?

A2. Once a clip is pried off of the nail, it loses strength and will not have as good a grip. If you have to remove and reapply the NailLift clips, use a pair of tweezers to adjust them as needed. If that does not work, you can glue the clip to your nail with instant-drying super glue.

Q3. My ingrown nail has very pronounced curves. What is the best way to use NailLift in this situation?

A3. NailLift works best when all 4 clips are affixed to the nail. If both ends of the nail are similarly curved, 3 clips can still provide enough correction. However, if only one side of the nail is curved, it is best to affix the last clip as close to the edge of the curved side as possible.

You can find detailed instructions on how to apply NailLift on nails bent at a right angle here.

After Application

Q1. How quickly will I see results?

A1. NailLift raises curved nails immediately after application. The curved wire then slowly straightens the nail over time. Most curved toenails can be corrected in 1-2 weeks.

Q2. How long should I keep the NailLift on?

A2. NailLift corrects most ingrown toe nails in 1-2 weeks. However, ingrown toenails have a high rate of recurrence, though how quickly the curve returns depends on the person. Some see the toenail begin to curve again after three months, while others may not notice any change for a year. To delay curve recurrence, we recommend keeping NailLift on as long as possible, until the nail grows so long it starts interfering with your daily life. Users typically wear NailLift for 1-2 months.

Q3. Can I reuse NailLift braces?

A3. Technically, yes. However, NailLift clips and wires become less rigid and lose strength after one use. It is also very difficult to reapply a wire that has been trimmed to fit your nail, so in many cases it is almost impossible to reuse.

Q4. Can I get a pedicure or gel nails over NailLift?

A4. Yes, you can have any type of pedicure and nail art over NailLift.

Q5. I applied a coat of clear gel pedicure over the NailLift as written in the instructions. How do I take the clips off?

A5. File down the hardened gel until the surfaces of the clips are exposed. Then, pry the clips off from underneath the nail as usual.

For detailed instructions, please refer to our ‘How to Remove NailLift Under Gel Pedicure’ guide.

About Ingrown Toenails

Q1. What is ingrown toenails?

A1. The nail has curved to grow in an arch down into the skin, which can cause pain when wearing tight shoes or when pressure is applied from above.
This is a typical example of a curved toenail, also known as an involuted toenail.

Q1. How can I prevent curved toenails?

A1. Most experts believe making sure to press firmly off your big toe when you walk can help prevent ingrown toenails by providing adequate pressure from below. Tight shoes such as high heels that end in a point can push the big toe to cross over the toe next to it and lose contact with the ground, making it difficult to walk properly. This condition is called ‘Floating Toe’ and can be alleviated by practicing standing on tip-toes while barefoot. Regularly exercising your toes like this can help prevent curved toenails and bunions.