One of the most important elements in a nail technician's toolbox is a good quality acrylic nailbrush. The better the quality of the brush, the better the finished sculptured acrylic nail will be. The nail industry standard for the best quality acrylic nailbrush is one made with pure Kolinsky sable hair. However, the size, shape and price of these brushes vary greatly.
Nail professionals vary in opinion when it comes to what handle length is best for an acrylic nailbrush. Some prefer a shorter handle, which may allow the technician to work closer to the nail for greater precision. When choosing the diameter of the bristles in the brush, remember the more hair a brush has the more liquid it holds. Therefore, the best brush for applying new full sets of nails is one with a large belly. The smaller diameter brushes come in handy for very short sculptured acrylic nails or retouches.
Nail technicians commonly choose round-tipped acrylic brushes to apply acrylic nail products. The round size is most versatile, since a technician can use it to flatten acrylic on the nail plate using the broadest part of the brush. Later she can use the fine tip of the same brush to work round the hard-to-reach cuticle area. A less experienced nail technician may prefer a contour-shaped brush, which takes the guesswork out of forming a naturally curved arch of a nail. Flat or slightly oval-tipped brushes work best for applying small amounts of acrylic near the cuticle. When doing intricate sculptured artwork, technicians often prefer using a small pointed acrylic brush. For applying white powder to the tips of a nail, a brush with an oval-shaped tip makes it easier to create the natural-shaped smile line of a French manicure-style acrylic nail.
The least expensive acrylic nail brush may run less than $10, while the more expensive brushes can cost upward of $50. Since the larger brushes have more hair, they cost more. The higher priced brushes often feature superior construction, meaning that the brushes are less likely to shed hair and that the ferrule is more secure. Although it can be tempting to buy a cheap brush, a trained professional may opt to get the best brush he can afford and take care of it so that it will last for many years to come.
Proper care is essential to keeping the best acrylic nail brush in tip-top shape. Technicians typically use a nailbrush cleaning solution to remove excess acrylic buildup from the bristles. Not bending the hairs too much when cleaning a nailbrush prevents the hairs of the brush from breaking. After cleaning, a careful technician reshapes the brush with clean fingertips.