Are Long Nails Really Out? Why Short Nails Are The New Low Maintenance Trend

Long nails are an enduring trend. Part of their popularity stems from the fact that longer lengths give your fingers a slimmer, elongated appearance. In addition, long nails also have a major claim to fame. An array of long, colorful nail looks is consistently on display at red-carpet events and on social media. Celebrities like Cardi B, Kylie Jenner, and Dua Lipa are well known for their eye-catching long nails. 

Lipa even caused a stir by posting a photo of her unadorned nails to demonstrate that she grew them out to their long length. Of course, for people who prefer artificial nails rather than waiting for their own nails to grow, they can choose from numerous options like acrylic, gel, and BIAB nails to achieve the desired length. However, even though long nails seem to stick around season after season, not everyone is a fan. 

Some of these looks can be incredibly time-consuming, and expensive, and they typically require the assistance of talented nail artists, like the one who created Cardi's iconic manicures, for instance. Jenner, meanwhile, gets her nails done weekly, spending more time and money than is feasible for mere mortals. So, if long nails just aren't for you, or you want to try something new, feel free to embrace the short nail trend. 

Short nails are healthier and more user-friendly

As you go about your day, you'll immediately notice that short nails have some notable advantages over lengthy talons. For one thing, long nails make everyday tasks like getting dressed and preparing a meal significantly more difficult. Sure, there are plenty of hacks available, like using your knuckles when applying styling products to your hair and making sure you always carry tweezers. But if you like to keep things simple and save strategizing for tasks bigger than putting on your jeans, short nails will exponentially simplify your life.

Then there's the ick factor. As expert dermatologist Dr. Soma told Glamour UK, "Long nails are a perfect hideout for pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, that get trapped under there." It's tough to clear away all those germs, even with the most conscientious hand-washing routine. Additionally, longer nails provide more room for these unwelcome inhabitants. "Studies have found 32 different bacteria and 28 different fungi underneath fingernails," Jeffrey Kaplan, a biology professor at American University, warned USA Today

This is a major contrast to ancient times when people believed that longer nails were a sign of good health. Besides the risk of falling ill or developing a nail infection, some of the procedures utilized to achieve long nails can be detrimental to your nails' general health. For example, when your natural nails are filed to apply acrylic nails during an appointment, it can weaken them, leading to the nails breaking more easily.

Get creative with imaginative short nail styles

Short nails are a win-win since they're easier to live with, safer, and you can still rock all the new styles. Extra length is not a requirement when you experiment with the latest nail designs. "The size of the canvas does not matter," celebrity nail artist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough confirmed with The Zoe Report. "Short nails or long nails, you could still have beautiful trendy looks."

In fact, some designs are better suited to shorter nails, like flowers, or patterns with a cute vibe. "Negative space, abstract design, dramatic metallics, glitter and chrome, and bright colors are all perfect for shorties," nail tech Shani Evens explained to Ipsy. Certain designs also work well regardless of length. So if you've had long nails in the past, you can test out a shorter length along with a classic nail design like a French manicure, stripes, or rainbow-hued nails. 

In addition, many styles offer the illusion of length with the benefits of short nails. The Italian manicure makes nails look longer because it doesn't extend completely to the sides. After the color is applied, a nail polish remover is used to create a defined border. This technique can also be used just on the tips. Speaking to Vogue, nail artist Alex Teleki clarified that in this case, the tip color, "Starts around halfway up the nail on both the left and right sides to form more of a 'U' shape."