Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails?

Anyone with short nails often stays confused about whether they can get acrylics on short nails or not. The primary function of nail extensions is to extend the length of the nails and beautify them. Then why should short nailers be kept away from the glamour?

Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails

There can be different reasons behind having short nails, you can naturally have your nails short (which is the most common reason) or there is some special medical reason. But both these reasons don’t restrict the application of acrylic.

Let’s dive deep into this topic and understand who should get acrylics on short nails, and under what conditions. 

Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails?

To keep the answer short, yes you can get acrylics on short nails (provided you don’t have an injury or permanent disease). Even if your nails are very small, you can get acrylics. Acrylic needs a healthy nail bed to stick on, if you have it, you are good to go.

Following are the cases you should keep in mind and take a decision accordingly to proceed with getting your acrylic nails done.

Case – 1: Permanent/temporary disease/injury.

If you have a disease and the dermatologist has prescribed you not to get chemicals on the skin, you should avoid getting acrylic nails.

If you have a temporary injury that has affected your nail bed or cuticle area, in this case, you must wait for a few days so that the nail repairs itself. After that, you can get an acrylic manicure. 

Case – 2: Small nail bed.

According to ResearchGate, the average nail bed length for men is 12.8 mm and 12.2 for women. If your nails are too small naturally than the standard length, and the nail technician has told you that the nails are too small for extensions, then you should avoid them. 

Case – 3: Allergic to monomer.

If you are allergic to monomer or acrylic then you should step away from getting acrylic nails done. Though it is a rare condition but must be kept in mind.

In all cases other than these, getting an acrylic manicure is perfectly fine. Getting acrylics on short nails is a little difficult if you are a beginner, but any professional would easily do it for you. 

Can You Get Gel Nail Extensions With Short Nails?

To get the gel nail extensions, you must have some area to which the manicure product will stick. For gel nails, you don’t have to have really large nail beds, 7 to 8 mm of nail length will work. Provided, you don’t have any injury.

The only thing you take care of while getting gel nail extensions with short nails is that the gel doesn’t stick to your skin or cuticle area, otherwise, it will become very difficult and painful to take it off. 

The best way to get gel nail extensions is by using dual forms to build the nail. Using a nail tip increases the risk of contacting the skin with nail glue. If a professional is building the nails with a tip, then it’s fine, but beginners shouldn’t try it.

As we all know, there is a shock that is experienced while curing the nail gel. If your short natural nails are swollen or bitten, then this minor shock can hurt you.

Pro Tip: If you have short nails, use a dual form, and build the nail layer-by-layer. First, build one layer, cure it, and build the second one. Repeat the process to avoid shocks. 

Is It Better to Have Long or Short Nails for Acrylics?

Acrylic will stick to both lengths of the nails, however, having long nail beds will be better than having short nail beds because the acrylic will have more area to stick to. The only problem with short nails is that acrylic nails may not last that long (they easily come off) as compared to long nail beds.

Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails

But the question remains, how long does your natural nail need to be to get acrylic nails? If you have very short nails, then don’t go for too-long nail tips, as their chances of coming off will be much higher. If you wish to have long nails, then use gel or other lighter nail-building products (or press-on nails) to add length to the natural nails. 

Having long nails will have an advantage because you can experiment with them a lot. You can effortlessly get different sizes, shapes, and lengths. If you are a fan of Cardi-B nails, then having naturally long free-edge will be a huge advantage. 

These are some ways, you can make the acrylic manicure easy on your short natural nails:

  • Use dual forms instead of nail tips for extending the length of your nails. Nail tips add extra unnecessary weight to your delicate nails.
  • Avoid using a lot of builder gel on the nail if the cuticle area is swollen or injured to avoid heat shock.
  • Go for overlay nails. Acrylic/Gel overlay nails can be a great choice here.

These are some points that you can keep in mind while doing acrylics on short nails.

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How to Do Acrylic Nails on Short Nails? Step-by-Step

These are the simplest steps that you can follow to build acrylic nails on short-bitten or lightly swollen natural nails. You must keep in mind that all the products you are using are toxin-free, and if you have some specific allergy then you must avoid or eliminate some products. 

Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails

Step – 1: Prep the nails.

In many cases, it is observed that the cuticle skin covers a major part of the nails which makes the nails look smaller. Make sure you push the cuticles back safely using a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick. You can also do this after soaking your hands in lukewarm water for some time.

Lightly buff the surface of the nail using a gentle nail buffer, followed by the application of dehydrator and primer

Step – 2: Select the shape and stick the dual forms.

The easiest way to shape a nail form is to pre-decide the shape you want. If you want square nails, then avoid pinching the nail form. If you are going for shapes like almond, oval, and stiletto, then pinch the nail form from the end to acrylic on short nails. 

Hold the form from both sides with both hands and make a perfect curve. Then stick the nail form. If you don’t get the right shape on the first attempt, try until you get the perfect shape.

Step – 3: Grab the essentials.

To carry out the process smoothly, keep the following things ready on your desk:

  • A towel, to soak the excess monomer from the brush.
  • A good quality acrylic brush. A Kolinsky brush will work best.
  • Damping dish, for the monomer.
  • Acrylic containers with bottles open.
  • Paper towels to clean the brush.

Keep all of this organized to avoid confusion or mess. Must keep your meds around you in case you hurt yourself while pushing the cuticles back before applying acrylics on short nail beds.

Step – 4: Start building the nail.

Picking up a perfect bead of acrylic is an art, the bead shouldn’t be too dry or wet. The best way to pick up a bead is:

  • Dip the brush into the monomer and clean the excess.
  • Take the wet brush and place it in the acrylic powder for 1-2 seconds, then lift it, and repeat the process one more time.
  • Wait for a couple of seconds, this bead will turn into a fluffy one.

Once you have a perfect bead, place it on the nail. Keep in mind to keep the acrylic nails short. Start building the middle part of the nail first, followed by the free edge and cuticle area. Short acrylic nails must be thin. 

PS: The thickness should be minimum on the cuticle area, and maximum on the part connecting the natural nail and acrylic tip.

Step – 5: Filling, Shaping, and Buffing.

Once you have completed building the nail, it’s time to give it a shape. For short nails, square acrylic nails will look the best. You can start to fill a nail drill to roughly shape the nail you have built.

It is the time when you can correct the mistakes that you might have done while building the nail. Focus on blending the acrylic perfectly near the cuticle area.

Check these few boxes to complete these steps:

  • Blend the acrylic near the cuticle area.
  • Build a nice and round apex.
  • Create a desired shape.
  • Buff the surface with the finest nail file you have.

The final step is the application of nail color and top coat as well as adding embellishments, glitters, or 3-D nail art stickers.

Can You Get Acrylics on Short Nails? – FAQs

How short is too short for acrylic nails?

If your nails are not damaged and are perfectly healthy, the size doesn’t matter. Make sure you push back the cuticle skin before the application.

Can you get acrylics on short-bitten nails?

Yes! Using a nail form for building the nail for short-bitten nails is a very good option. Acrylics for building nails are always better than builder gel because the cost of acrylic nails is lower with higher durability.

How long do nails have to be for acrylics?

A nail length of 7 to 9 mm will be sufficient for building an acrylic nail. The entire purpose of acrylics is to extend short natural nails.

How long do acrylics last on short nails?

If the process of acrylic application is perfect, then acrylic nails on short nails will last as long as long nails, on the other hand, long acrylics on short nails may fall off much earlier if you pay less attention to your nails. 

Wrapping up:

Getting acrylics for short nails is the simplest way to lift your confidence that might have been lost because of short, swollen, or bitten nails. It is the safest and most effective way to extend short natural nails. 

All the products that you are using for applying acrylics on short nails must be clinically tested and safe. If you doing acrylics on short nails for the first time then you should make sure you don’t add excess weight in the form of 3-D nail art. Apply cuticle oil, and hand and nail cream to take care of acrylic nails.


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