You think about getting acrylic nails, but your natural nails are on the short side, and you want to know how long your nails have to be to get acrylics.

Acrylics are an artificial nail enhancement product that must adhere to natural nails to stay on, and as long as there is some nail on a finger, acrylic nails can be applied. However, the longer the nail beds, the more area for acrylic nails to attach to; they will last longer.

When people ask how long your nails have to be to get acrylics, they refer to the natural nail plate, the hard part you see at the end of your fingers. The longer the nail plate, the bigger the area for acrylics to stick to create a stronger adhesive bond.

Now let us look into how the length of your nail plate affects the size of your acrylic nails that you should have.

How long do your nails have to be to get acrylics?

Acrylics on long nails:

If you have long nails for acrylics, you are lucky than most.

More acrylics on long nails make a stronger adhesive bond. You can safely wear longer acrylic nails without worrying about them lifting off your nails too soon with a stronger bond.

Two good things about having longer acrylic nails are they make your fingers appear nice and long, and you can also have better designs or nail art.

The opposite is true for short and small nails.

Acrylics on short nails:

If you have short nails for acrylics, there will be less area for acrylics to stick on and a weaker adhesive bond between the nails and acrylics.

If this is the case, then you should have short acrylic nails.

Short acrylic nails will exert less stress on the bond, making them last longer.

If you get longer acrylic nails on your short nails, these long fake nails will act as a long lever and exert a strong force on the weak bonds. If you do not take good care of them or know how to work with long acrylic nails, they will separate, lift, and detach from your nails prematurely.

If you want some nail designs or nail art, opt for those small enough to fit inside these short acrylic nails.

People who ask this question are more likely to have shorter nails and want to wear acrylics. If you do, read the next section to know what kind of acrylic nail length you should get and how you should work with them to make them last longer.

Can you get acrylics on short nails?

Now you know that even that you have short nails, you can still get acrylics. However, there are two things you should take into account when you put acrylics on them.

Wear short acrylic nails:

How can you tell if acrylic nails are short enough for you?

For customers whose nails are on the shorter side, I have a simple test for them.

After the nail tips are glued on and trimmed to a length they think they like, I ask them to make a soft fist.

A soft fist is when you fold your fingers toward the palm of your hand until they touch. After they do it, I ask them how they would feel if that would be the final length of their acrylic nails and think hard about how well they will function with them for the next two weeks.

More often than not, they ask me to trim the nail tips a little bit shorter.

Everybody wants long nails because they show better. However, they get a little shorter when asked how well these nails will fit in with their daily uses.

There is nothing wrong with having shorter acrylic nails. The main thing here you should have acrylic nails that you like, and they should last for at least two weeks until the next fill-in.

What is the point of having long acrylic nails that you have to keep replacing, or repairing, dampening your enjoyment?

What is the point of having long acrylic nails that keep getting in your way and slow down your work?

Do not use them as tools:

Everybody who has acrylic nails does it, one time or another, and it is easier said than done.

If you have acrylic nails on your short nails, you should remind yourself not to do this too much.

After all, you have acrylic nails to make your nails look better and want to keep all ten on the nails as long as possible.

If you use one of your acrylic nails as a screwdriver or a beer can opener, they will break off sooner than the rest. When one or two are missing, you will give up on the idea of taking care of them. And off you pull the rest of your nails.

You end up going back to your nail salon to put a new set of acrylic nails sooner than you should have.

You end up spending extra time and money on your acrylic nails, and they should not be that expensive.

Is it better to have long or short nails for acrylics?

If your answer is short, you are right.

Better acrylic nails, or good acrylic nails mean two things:

  • Having pretty nails makes you feel good about yourself and boosts your confidence.
  • Long-lasting nails will result in minimal time and money invested.

What is the point of having the prettiest, longest acrylic nails, but you have to spend a lot of your waking hours taking care of them?

Unless you are a nail celebrity, you have better things to do.


As long as there are some nails, you can get acrylics. Nails do not have to be a certain length to get acrylics as long as they are not too long for your daily use and work.

In short, you know that you can get acrylic on short nails. So your question of:

“How long do nails have to be to get acrylics”?

It should be rephrased as

“How long acrylic nails should you have on your short nails to make them last longer”?

As long as you are happy with your acrylic nails and they last without any issueOpens in a new tab., you have nailed it.

Who worries about acrylic nails on other people’s nails? Certainly not you.

Enjoy your nails, whether they are short or long.

Recent Posts