Our Best Advice For Managing Long Nails For Every Situation, Because We Know The Struggle Is Real

Long nails can be a fashionista's best friend. Not only can they make fingers look more slender and elegant, they can also be a great source of self-expression and confidence with many shapes, colors, and patterns to experiment with, bringing a whole look together. However, before you book your full-set appointment, there are some things you may want to consider when it comes to maintenance. It's no secret that these fun adornments can make navigating day-to-day tasks a little trickier, especially if you're working or on the go. But don't fret, as not all hope is lost. There are many ways you can work around the obstacles that long nails present on a regular basis. Pretty soon, you'll become so accustomed to them that you won't even notice the challenges they caused when you got your first set. Whether you have acrylics, dip, or press-ons, here are the five best tips for managing long nails throughout your day.


Shower strategically

It's basic science — water and long, artificial nails aren't exactly friends. Too much water exposure, especially hot water, can cause the glue to weaken. So if you want to make your manicure last longer, it's best to keep them as dry as possible.


However, there are certain situations where getting your hands wet is unavoidable. Most people (ideally) shower on a regular basis, and many probably aren't particularly keen on showering with gloves on. That's why it's important to follow certain steps in the showering process to preserve your long nails. Firstly, if you just got your nails applied that day, it is best to wait 12 hours before jumping in the shower. Also, be sure to avoid scrubbing your scalp too vigorously when applying shampoo and conditioner (even though it may feel good). When you step out of the shower, dry your nails off immediately and wait at least half an hour before resuming activities that involve your fingers.

Cuticle care is key

While you may be admiring your long, elegant nails, it's easy to forget about maintenance as they start to grow out. To keep your nails in tip-top shape, they need to be as healthy as possible so you can maneuver tasks with ease. That means making sure you take care of the root of the nail: the often-overlooked cuticle. Nail artist Sarah Nguyen told Bustle that long nail owners should invest in a trusty cuticle oil, applying it every day. But how exactly does it work? Cosmetic chemist Doug Schoon told Hooked on Nails that adding certain oils to nail enhancements can penetrate the adhesion materials and actually cause them to strengthen. However, this only occurs once all the bonding chemicals have been applied and have completely dried. While there are many types of oils out there, Schoon also says that you can't go wrong with classic jojoba oil.


Avoid too much pressure

Long nails can certainly be an adjustment, especially when it comes to picking up items. One thing to consider when sporting long nails is that you may not be able to casually handle certain objects in the same way you would before you got them. Treat your nails as gently as possible, and avoid using them to lift heavy objects so you can avoid breakage and damage (via Nest Nail Wellness). According to Easy Nail Tech, too much strain on your nails is one of the primary reasons they start to lift, even if they were applied perfectly. (They're sturdy — but not that sturdy).


Similarly, while it may be tempting to use your long nails as handy little tools to do things such as opening cans, this is strongly cautioned against. It is better to utilize small objects such as tweezers, keys, or credit cards in situations like these. You can also often switch to using your knuckles and the sides of your fingers instead.

Don't be intimidated to type

In 2023, typing is a large, inevitable part of most people's daily lives. While long nails may get in the way of typing at first, don't let the learning curve scare you. Typing on a computer keyboard with long nails is simple — all you need to do is press the keys with the center of your fingers instead of the tips, as using the tips can damage the nail (via Nail Boo).


However, typing with the same speed on a touchscreen phone with long nails is a different story, as the letters are much smaller, affecting accuracy. To work around this, Long Nails QnA recommended changing your positioning by holding your phone in one hand and pressing the keys with your pointer finger. This may slow down your typing speed a bit, but will help get rid of those pesky typos. If you really want to get serious about typing with long nails, you could always invest in a handy stylus as well.

Preserve your precious clothes

When you first get your long nails, be extra mindful if wearing clothes that are prone to snagging. This is especially true when it comes to pointer shapes like stiletto or coffin, which can poke a hole through thin materials quite easily. If you're into sheer tights, you may want to hang them up for a while when you're getting used to your new nails. Other materials that are prone to this are anything chiffon, mesh, lace, silk, and knit (via Stylecaster and Bustle).


But if you can't seem to part from your tights, there are some ways around this if you're willing to take some extra steps. After you put gloves on to protect your tights, one hack is to spray the tights lightly with hairspray so they'll stiffen and make the material harder to break (via WikiHow). Next, you can use a specific technique where you sit at the edge of your bed and carefully roll up the tights on your legs with your palms. It may sound like a hassle, but if you're committed to the long nail life, it'll be worth it.