4 Low-Maintenance Nail Shapes for Clients

The comparison of square nail shapes and almond nail shapes

Image source: Natural Nails Pinterest and Round Nail Pinterest


What are the go-to nail shapes that require minimal maintenance? Most people want to avoid breaking nails or ruining the design from hands-on work, whether it is at home, in the office, or at the gym. Choosing the nail length is just as important as choosing the correct shape for your clients' fingers and lifestyle. 

The longer the nail is, the more likely it will break or tear. Applying gel polish can help reinforce the nails, protecting them from external force while giving the natural nails underneath a chance to grow. Curing the nails in between gel layers with a UV/LED nail lamp will strengthen and protect the nails even more. Some nail shapes are sturdier than others and can last at longer lengths. Here are the top four common low-maintenance nail shapes.


Natural-Looking Shape

Image Source: @the_gelbottle_inc

The natural-looking shape is a low-maintenance option for clients as it follows their natural nail in a short length. This nail form is as close as possible to your client's regular shape, making it one of the strongest nail shapes. It requires minimal filing, just enough to make each nail uniform. 


Square Nail Shape

Image source: @the_gelbottle_inc

Square nails are one of the most low-maintenance shapes for clients to have when they are short. It is also perfect for those with long and narrow nail beds and enjoy shorter lengths. The square nail shape is sturdier, making it less likely to break with overlays or tip extensions. This type of nail shaping is easy to do with minimal filing while creating a clean and professional look. For natural-looking nail extensions, consider trying ProForm™, an acrylic alternative that will provide diamond-like strength. If you want to strengthen and build the natural nail, try the cult classic BIAB™.


Squoval Nail Shape

Image source: @_by_shelley

The squoval nail shape is a rectangle with rounded edges. It combines the stability of the square shape and the soft corners of round nails. The squoval nails are low maintenance due to their durable shape, recommended for those who have weaker nails; “the straighter edge across the top reinforces the nail,” while the curved edges reduce the chance the nail tips will catch on something and break. 


Round Nail Shape

Image Source: @the_gelbottle_inc

Round nails typically align with your client’s natural nail shape, serving as another low-maintenance option that offers a subtle appeal and works on all nail lengths. This nail-shaping method does require minimal to moderate filing, depending on your client's nail length.


Are Nail Shape and Size the Key to Low Maintenance?

Yes! Overall, the low-maintenance nail shapes are often the shorter, wider ones, without a narrow point like a coffin or stiletto. Having a longer or narrower point increases the chances of your client catching their nails on something and breaking it. The wider edges in square or natural-looking shapes offer more support for the nail, and rounded nails create a softer edge that is less likely to scratch and tear while doing everyday tasks. With gel polish, a base coat like Rubber Base, and proper curing under a UV/LED nail lamp, more nail stability and strength are possible. When you review your client’s fingertip length, hand proportions, and how long they want their nails, consider one of these four shapes for low-maintenance nails.