NO!!! IT DOES NOT!
Yes, I said what I said and I am talking from personal experience, as well as others'. Here in Nigeria they call Acrylic Overlays, 'Wrapping'. The first time I heard the term 'Wrapping' was when I'd moved back to Nigeria and was getting a mani-pedi at a salon and the nail tech said to me: You should wrap your nails it will make them stronger... I shouldn't have listened.
Getting an Acrylic Overlay will not grow your nails. Will your nails grow, absolutely, they should be growing all the time. But is it because of the acrylic overlay you get? NOPE! It may help retain the length, but it's not the reason why your nails are growing.
I am not a nail professional and I think it's safe to assume that most of our readers aren't either, so I am going to define this in the best layman terms possible. An Acrylic overlay is when the acrylic powder and monomer mix is applied directly unto your natural nail bed, then buffed and filed into shape.
Getting an Acrylic Overlay does NOT strengthen your nails. Protect maybe, but strengthen NOPE.
Not entirely sure where the nail technicians here in Lagos got this notion, but it is rampant. I shared in a previous 'Nail Tips' post here, how when I first moved back to Nigeria I was advised by two different nail techs to get my nails wrapped, and I eventually succumbed. In actual fact, it did the exact OPPOSITE to my nails, it weakened them TERRIBLY. My nails were so weak that it hurt to even just touch my nail bed, it was that bad.
Now, when I talk about Acrylic Overlay, I'm not only referring to the finished product, I'm talking about the entire process; Application, Removal and even the Frequency (how often you get Acrylic Overlays done). Personally, I feel it's the removal process that is the key perpetrator of the damage, if not done correctly. I will share more about this in my next 'Nail Tips' post.
I'm not one to generalise, especially when it comes to beauty, as one person's experience can always differ from the next, but you will do good to heed this advice and steer clear of acrylic overlays unless absolutely necessary.
Please share your experience with me in the comments, let's chat about it!