Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails?

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Discover whether you can get acrylics short nails

Getting acrylic nails is a common thing; not only do they create an appealing manicure, but it is an easy way to add some length to your nails. There are many reasons why people may want to add length to their nails, whether it’s because they struggle to grow their nails or if they like the look of longer nails.

Most of the time, people with shorter nails tend to get acrylic nails to add length; however, the idea of getting acrylic nails on short nails can cause some concerns. One thing many wonders is, can you get acrylics on short nails? 

The answer is yes; you can get acrylics on short nails. In fact, the length of your natural nails doesn’t really affect whether you can get acrylics or not; the nail technician will just tailor their method to suit your natural nails.

In this post, I’ll be sharing more detail on if you can get acrylics on short nails, how acrylics are done on short nails and whether it’s better to have long or short nails for acrylics.

Can you get acrylics on short nails?

If you have short nails but want to enjoy the benefits of acrylic nails, this may be something that you’ve wondered about before, but, yes, you can get acrylics on short nails. As long as your nails are healthy and in good condition, there should be no reason why a technician can’t apply acrylic to them.

In all honesty, applying acrylic nails are easier on nails with longer length as it provides a bigger surface area for the tip to be applied to and then for the acrylic to adhere to. However, everyone can’t have long nails, and that’s ok too. Lucky for you, there is no required length for acrylic application; with the right technician, they will be able to cater how they apply the artificial tip and acrylic to suit your nails.

In fact, getting acrylic on short nails is sometimes better. Acrylics on shorter nails can often give a cleaner finish as there is less natural nail to blend with an artificial tip, so once the acrylic is applied on top, it has a smoother finish. Acrylics on shorter nails have benefits for you, too; if you struggle to grow your nails because you bite them or they are weak and break easily, acrylics can help.

Putting acrylic on your nails means that you can bite them, and it’s also hard for them to break. If you maintain and treat your acrylics with care, very little damage is caused to your natural nails. So, this is a nice way to give your nails a chance to grow out and may even help you get out of the habit of biting them.

How acrylics are done on short nails

As mentioned earlier, a nail technician may have to alter how they would normally apply acrylic nails to suit the length of your nails. This shouldn’t be an issue for any technician as the changes are small, and you may not even notice them. However, as a customer, it would be nice to understand the process of applying acrylics to short nails as it may be a concern or worry to you.

Acrylic nails are applied to short nails in a few steps:

  1. Firstly, they would start by prepping the nail; this involves pushing your cuticles back. Pushing the cuticles back will add a little more of a surface for the acrylic, and it’ll also give your nails a much more groomed look. Once they’ve finished with the cuticles, they will buff the nail bed. Buffing the nail bed gives the nails a rougher surface, allowing the acrylic to have a stronger adhesion.
  2. Once the nails are ready, the tips will be applied. If your nails are short, artificial tips are applied to your nails to add some length. Usually, the tips will be applied on the tip of your natural nail; however, if you have shorter nails, the nail technician will glue the tip lower down on the nail bed. This ensures it is stuck down properly and gives it a stronger hold than it would have on the tip.
  3. Next, the nail technician will apply a dehydrator and primer. A dehydrator strips the oil from the nail to allow the acrylic to adhere better, so it lasts longer. The primer is used to help prevent acrylic from lifting. Prepping the nail is key to making the acrylics last longer in good condition.
  4. Now the nail is completely prepped, the acrylic is applied. A small bead of acrylic is placed in the middle of the nail to support the area where the tip and natural nail meet. Another bead is then used to cover the rest of the nail. The nail technician will make sure the acrylic is clean, smooth, and lined up precisely.
  5. The nail technician will file and buff the nails when all the acrylic has been applied, and the desired shape is met. This cleans up the nails’ edges and makes sure the shape is defined. They will then buff the nail to roughen the surface so that the nail polish has a better surface to stick to.
  6. Finally, now the acrylic nails are ready, they’ll be painted. Whether you choose normal nail polish or gel polish, the nail technician will paint the nails. A top coat is then applied once the nail polish is semi-dry or nearly cured.
  7. Cuticle oil is then applied once your nails are fully dried to help restore and rehydrate your hands and nails.

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

There’s no better length for acrylic nails as it is possible to apply acrylics to both; however, both long and short nails have their own benefits. Longer nails are easier to apply acrylic to as there’s a larger area for the acrylic to adhere to, and artificial tips aren’t needed for the acrylic application. However, when your nails are longer, they can show through underneath the acrylic and can make them look slightly tacky as it doesn’t have a smooth, clean finish.

On the other hand, shorter nails allow more room to play around with as you can add artificial tips and try many different lengths and shapes. Even though you could do this with long nails, you’re more likely to stick to your natural nails to avoid damaging them, so short nails allow more creativity. However, short nails are slightly more challenging to apply acrylic to and can cause some issues during application.

Overall both long and short nails have their benefits and downfalls when it comes to getting acrylic nails, so there’s no need for you to try and change your natural nails. It is more important to find a nail technician who can work with your natural nails and provide what you want.


I hope this has been helpful and cleared a few things up for you. Acrylics are absolutely possible on short nails; you shouldn’t be turned away because your nails are too short. The only reason why you wouldn’t be able to get acrylics done is because of your nail or the skin surrounding your nail being damaged or swollen. The nail technician should be able to work with any length nails and give you good results at the end, the same if your nails were longer.

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