How Long Should Fingernails Be?

Woman jand with long finger nails
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Do you want to know what the proper nail length is for women? How long should fingernails be?

Ideally, the minimum length of your fingernails should be a little bit beyond the fingertips. The exact length of your fingernails will depend on each person’s preferences. You won’t find a universal rule that dictates how long a person’s fingernails should be.

We understand that your nails are as unique as the rest of you. We also know that not every person has the same nail length preferences. We want to help you know the best and most appropriate nail length for many modern women.

What Is the Ideal Nail Length?

Should you have long nails or short nails? What is the best nail length for the average working woman? As we mentioned above, the answer depends on the person. Preference is the main factor that influences a person’s nail length.

However, there are also other factors you need to consider when discussing the ideal nail length. These factors include:

·         Occupation or work

·         Lifestyle and hobbies

·         Nail health and hygiene

·         Finger length

·         Habits like nail biting

The kind of work you do affects how you grow your nails. For example, if you work in the kitchen, hotels, or some customer service areas, you need to have short nails. 

Many companies require their employees to trim their nails for formal appearances and hygiene purposes.

Do you play sports or do martial arts? Do your hobbies include hiking, wall climbing, or diving? If you do, you most likely keep your nails trimmed short, too. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself, others, and your nails at risk if you keep them long while you do your hobbies.

The next factor is hygiene and nail health.

If you have weak and brittle nails, it’ll be difficult for you to grow them. You may also want to keep your nails short if you want to avoid housing viruses, germs, and bacteria under them. After all, short nails are easier to clean and maintain.

The length of your fingers can influence you to grow your nails. Women with short, stubby fingers can make their hands look more appealing by growing their nails. 

Having longer nails can also make your fingers look longer and slender.

Last but not least is bad habits. Do you bite your nails when you’re anxious or nervous? If you do, you’re most likely keeping them short without intention.

While short nails are more hygienic, nail-biting isn’t always good. Sometimes, growing your nails and getting a beautiful manicure can help you curb your nail-biting habit.

How Should Fingernails Be Cut?

Have your fingernails grown too long already? Here is the best and proper way to cut your fingernails:

1.       Prepare your nails by softening them.

Cutting your fingernails without softening them is okay, but it’ll be better if you can soften them up first. Start by placing warm water in a bowl and then soaking your fingertips. Wait five to ten minutes until the nails soften. You can skip this step if you will shower before you trim your nails.

2.       Use a fingernail clipper or nail scissors.

Get a clean fingernail clipper or nail scissors. Compared to toenail clippers, fingernail clippers are smaller and are more rounded.

You can buy them in manicure/pedicure sets or get them separately in some beauty care stores. If you don’t have access to nail scissors or fingernail clippers, toe clippers will work, too.

3.       File your nails.

Next, use a nail file or emery board to round the nails at the corners. Doing this keeps the freshly cut nails from catching on clothes and things. Filing your nail edges also keeps them strong.

4.       Apply moisturizer.

Moisturizing after trimming fingernails keeps them from drying up, which can lead to cracks and breakage. Let the moisturizer air dry. With that, you’re ready to take on the world with your freshly cut nails.

What Not to Do When Cutting Nails

You now know the dos of nail trimming. Let’s talk about the don’ts.

Never use tools with rusty edges. Also, never use nail trimming tools if you aren’t sure they’ve been disinfected. Ideally, you should disinfect your tools monthly.

Disinfecting tools is easy and quick. 

Take a small scrub brush and soak it in 70-90% isopropyl alcohol. Use the brush to scrub the nail clippers or nail scissors. Rinse the tools in hot water and dry them thoroughly before putting them away.

Don’t push back or cut your cuticles. 

If possible, leave them alone as much as you can. Trimming your cuticles makes it easier for bacteria and germs to enter your body. Nail infections can take a long while to go away.

Should You Cut or File Nails?

There are proper times when you should cut or file your nails.

On average, our nails grow around 0.6 mm per week. If you only want to remove a small portion of your nail edges, you can file them. 

However, filing nails is not a good option for women with brittle nails.

Are your nails too long, and do you want to cut them short? Don’t waste time filing away millimeter by millimeter. 

Get a pair of nail clippers and cut them. However, don’t forget to file each nail after you cut them to maintain their strength.

The choice of filing or cutting nails will depend on the person. Try to experiment with what method of nail length maintenance works best for you.

How Should I Shape My Nails?

You can shape your nails however you like, be it:

·         Square

·         Almond-shaped

·         Stiletto

·         Lipstick

·         Rounded

·         Oval

·         Arrow head

·         Mountain peak

·         Squoval or square-ova

·         Short

·         Coffin-shaped or ballerina

What Nail Shape Lasts the Longest?

The best nail shape for durability and strength is the “squoval.” It’s a square cut with rounded edges. 

The squoval is one of the most natural-looking and strongest shapes for nails. It also looks good because it echoes the shape of your cuticle.

Also, as we mentioned, shorter nails are stronger and cleaner. Thus, the best nail shape and length is the squoval nail cut short.

Avoid long and pointy fingernail shapes. 

Long lengths and pointy or pointed shapes can compromise the durability of your nails. After all, they tend to catch onto things or bend more than the ideal nail shape and length.

How Do You Know If Your Fingernails Are Weak?

Are you unsure if you have weak nails? You won’t be able to take care of your nails properly, especially if you don’t know you need to give them extra attention. 

For example, you won’t know that you need to keep your nails short or give them rest.

Having brittle nails means your nails easily split, peel, crack, or chip.

The causes of brittleness in the nails vary, including:

·         Aging

·         Long-term exposure to water and moist conditions (like frequent swimming or handwashing)

·         Long-term use of nail polish and gel polish

·         Specific diseases (like hypothyroidism)

·         Trauma

·         Exposure to chemicals or toxins

·         Malnutrition

·         Nail-Patella Syndrome

How to Strengthen Your Nails

Do you have weak fingernails? It’ll be tricky to make your fingernails look good if they’re brittle. 

They can become sensitive, too, which may mean you need to change something in your lifestyle.

If you have weak nails, consider the following methods of strengthening them below:

­   Keep your nails short

­   Apply moisturizer after cutting them

­   Avoid artificial nails and gel polish if possible

­   Follow one direction only when filing, don’t file your nails in a side-to-side direction

­   Take biotin supplements and other vitamins