How Long Do Your Natural Nails Need To Be For Acrylics?

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If you’re thinking about getting acrylics and your nails are on the short side, you’re probably wondering – how long do your natural nails need to be for acrylics?

The good news is that acrylics can be applied to short nails. However, if you have short nails and are looking to get acrylics with tips to extend the length of your nails, there are some things that you need to know.

In this article, we are going to get into the details of getting acrylics for short nails and how long they have to be if you want to get acrylic tips or extensions.

Do I Have To Get Long Acrylic Nails?

When a lot of people think about acrylic nails, images of 2-inch, coffin-shaped talons adorned with rhinestones and crazy nail art are what often come to mind. Be rest assured that although it’s a thing for some people, acrylics do not have to be long, ornamented, bejewelled, make you look like Morticia Adams, or prevent you from doing simple tasks washing your dishes, using your phone, or washing your hair.

Think of acrylic nails as basically a really durable manicure. You can dress it up or down as much as you want.

In fact, #shortacrylicnails are trending in a big way right now in nude shades and light pastel colors.

They don’t need to be flashy and they definitely don’t need to be long.

On the flip side, an acrylic manicure allows you to have a lot more creative freedom than with a standard manicure because of the ability to do airbrushing and nail art that’s not possible with a regular manicure.

Ombre acrylics, for example, are very popular right now. 


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Can You Get Acrylic Nails If Your Nails Are Short?

The good news is that as long as the natural nail is not damaged and the surrounding skin is healthy, you can get acrylic nails on short nails.

The application of acrylic involves combining a polymer (powder) and a monomer (liquid) to form a paste.

The paste is applied to the nail and then shaped to create a perfectly manicured look that is super durable and will last for weeks.

Your acrylic nails will be as long as your natural nails.

How Long Do Your Natural Nails Need To Be For Acrylics?

As we mentioned, when it comes to how long your nails need to be to get acrylic nails, it does not matter how short your nails are to get acrylics, as long as your nails are healthy.

But if you’re looking to increase the length of your natural nail, then that’s a different story.

Growing long fingernails is much harder for some than others. Short nails can have acrylic nail tips attached to extend the length of the natural fingernail.

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These acrylic nail tip extensions can be applied to short nails, but you do need some growth beyond the nail bed for the extensions to attach to.

As in, if you have a nail that has been trimmed back, bitten, or broken down to the quick, you need to wait until your nail grows a little before you are able to get extensions.

The nail quick is essentially the edge where your nail plate attaches to the nail bed. The part of the nail that grows beyond the quick is called the free ridge.

Acrylic extension tips are glued to the free ridge of the natural nail, then the acrylic paste is applied on top of the whole nail and tip extension. The paste is formed into a natural shape, blending the nail and the extension seamlessly.

As the acrylic dries, the acrylic paste hardens. When it’s completely dry, the tips are strong and durable, and voilà – you have longer nails!

Because the acrylic tips need something to hold onto without damaging the tissue around your nail, you do require a bit of nail growth (a.k.a. free ridge) beyond the nail bed.

If you have nails that are broken or chewed back to the quick, you will have to wait about a week until the nail grows a bit before you will be able to get acrylic tips applied. See our article on acrylic nail prep for more information.

If you still have doubts as to whether your nails are long enough for acrylic tips, the best thing to do is to consult with your local nail technician.

She will be able to advise you as to your options.

Can I Do Acrylics At Home?

Acrylic Nail Kit

If you’ve never had acrylics before, then don’t even think about doing your own the first time around. Let the professionals handle it.

If you have long mastered doing your nails at home with polish, and you’ve had salon acrylic manicures in the past, there are home acrylic kits you can get to do your own nails, like Morovan Acrylic Nail Kit .

Check out our guide on DIY Acrylic Nails for details on how to do it yourself.

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

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