Ever wonder what the difference is between the various shapes of nails? Or which shape is right for you and your lifestyle? Here’s your guide to nail shapes, with the pro’s and con’s of each.
Straight with an Oval Tip
This shape is by far the easiest to maintain between visits and the ideal shape for those with active lifestyles that find themselves chipping or breaking a nail in between visits. The shape gets strength from the straight sides and can easily be reshaped if damaged by filing the corners of the tips into a slightly oval shape. This works for short or long nails.
The perfect oval shape is more tapered than the straight with an oval tip and thus is slightly weaker, making it only suitable for nails that are thicker and sturdier. If you have a wide nail bed, it also adds a delicate touch to your nails.
Square with Rounded Corners
Similar to the straight with an oval tip, but with a squared or straight tip. This is a sturdier version as the square tip gives it more strength. One of the more common nail shapes, it is suitable for a variety of nail types and less likely to catch on clothing, etc. than the standard square shape.
While this is one of the strongest nail shapes, it isn’t the most flattering shape especially for wide or short hands but it balances out if you have longer nails and is especially nice on acrylic nails that can maintain the length easily. This shape is created by allowing the sides to grow long and filing the nails straight across the top to create right angles.
Perfect for shorter nails as the tips are filed into a round shape and the sides only extend out very short distance. This is also an easy style to maintain as it is less likely to break being shorter and it can be easily filed back into shape in between visits.
The almond shape is somewhere in between the pointed shape and the oval shape. It’s fairly fragile and harder to maintain as it begins to taper at the tip of the finger up to the point and if it is damaged between visits, a bit of length has to be filed off to reshape leaving an uneven set.
These are tapered from the edges to a sharp point at the center, which is the weakest nail shape, which is exasperated as it snags on clothing and once it is damaged the majority of the nail must be filed down to regain the shape.