The Style Bible - Genetic Nail Shape Guide

I have been writing about fashion, beauty, personal styling and nails for over 7 years now and something that occurred to me is that I have never really seen any articles with a genetic nail shape guide and what you need to understand when it comes to either growing your nails or having gels or extensions applied. Or why your nails don't look the way you want them to!

 Winchester Nail technician Sarah bacchus

Each and every persons nails are very unique, their lifestyle choices, their daily routine and the shape of their nails depict if their nails will look phenomenal or not.

When I see a new client I always run through all they need to know about their own nail shape, the way their nails grow and what should and shouldn't happen in a nails salon.

But I havent ever written it down in an article to cover the shape of real nails. you see all kinds of articles mentioning the shape of the latest trends within the nail industry, like the almond, the coffin shape or the must requested stiletto. But nowhere have I ever seen the practice advice about REAL genetic nail shapes. What you can and can't accomplish from your nails, whats possible and what you need to know about certain natural shapes.

There are primarily 6 nail bed types and this will determine how long your nails will be able to grow or your gels and extensions will last. 

 Winchester Nail Technician Sarah Bacchus, World Elite Nail Artist, Gel nails Winchester, Shellac nails, The Style Bible - Natural Nail Shape Guide

The Style Bible - Natural Nail Shape Guide

  1. Vertically long and Almond nails are the most desired and long lasting of the bunch. They have long straight side walls and a beautiful arch. The perfect amount of strength and natural support. Just like an self supporting bridge. Many ladies with this shape nails can go for weeks and weeks without their nails looking any different. Nail treatments, polish, gels or nail extensions will just grow out with no distortion. They are generally the most desired shape and if your lucky enough to own nails like you will be admired!
  2. Broad sideways nails tend to be flat along the top and have a curve at the side walls. These nails are generally seen on male customers or ladies with shorter fingers. They tend to be a bit thicker and gels will lift at the corners in various cases. This type of nail will need to have a regular rebalance to help keep them from chipping. Nail treatments will also benefit this shape nail as it will help keep the nails from splitting vertically. 
  3. Rounded nails that have gels or extensions grow out supper fast. They don't have much or any side wall to keep the shape. The best way to visualise this is to grab 2 cotton pads and place on top of each other and slide the top pad away from the other as if it was a gel polish growing out on a real nail plate. You will see the round circle exposes the side walls really quickly. Nails like this will most certainly need to see a technician every 2 weeks to keep the gels from lifting. Also they should invest in a good nail treatment to help keep their nails from splitting at the very edge where the nail tip grows out. 
  4. Egg shaped nails are fairly similar to a round nail but they are generally harder to grow without the ends curving over. So the client will need to have regular natural nail shortening with rebalances or new sets of sculptured nails done every so often if they are wanting longer nails. 
  5. Squarish nails are fairly easy to keep looking neat. They have a shorter side wall and they have the same characteristics of a vertically long nail but they will grow out faster meaning more regular visits to a salon.
  6. Triangular nails are possibly the most difficult nails to look after for an individual and a tech. These nails grow out very easily so they need to be serviced every 2 weeks without fail. they have no side walls whatsoever so this means that they are prone to problem's. As long as you are aware of this and make regular appointments you will have stunning nails. But they will need to have the free edge sculptured every month to get the look of a vertically long nail. 
  7. Inverted Triangle nails are usually seen with a ski jump edge or they have a tendency to grow out and alter shape meaning they can get snagged easily. These types of nails will need to be filed and reshaped every 3 weeks or so. And most certainly need help with gels, oils and treatments as they have a huge tendency to split horizontally. 
  8. Sword shaped nails are fairly easy to maintain but they have a tendency to split at the sides or straight down the middle due to their genetic shape. These nails will also be prone to peeling as their shape can easily get caught. The perfect option for these nails is to have a gel overlay and use treatments on a regular basis.

The main thing I tell my clients is that they should never see damage, after visiting a salon, they shouldn't feel pain, have their skin cut and above all utter the words "Having my nails done ruined them" when returning home or chatting to a friend. These are all phrases I hear when I have conversations about being a nail technician and its totally irritating to a passionate well educated nail artist. Unfortunately the good tech's get tarnished with these labels, that only really apply to those nail bars you see on the corners of the high street or those where you see countless techs using drills, wearing masks, applying false plastic tips and using very cheap products to keep the cost down. 

Each and every client I see gets a total consultation about nail health, product application, treatments they can use, aftercare and why their nails will last a certain time compared to their friends. If you are looking for advice about caring for your nails please don't hesitate in contacting me! Head over to the nail page for more advice about the services I offer.