X
Popular Searches

Tired of Breaking Nails? Try This Nail Shape

a woman's hands with pink fingernails against a pink wool sweater
woodpencil/Shutterstock

If you love the look of long nails, you’re probably also well-familiar with the struggle of trying to grow them out.

Unless you can afford to act like a princess and never use your hands for anything, broken nails can seem like a way of life. You’ll be making great progress with your nail growth, but all it takes is a single mishap while you’re cooking or doing yard work, and you’re back to square one.

However, the shape of your nails plays an important role in how likely they are to break. A pretty almond, coffin, or tapered square fits with modern trends, but these shapes are also much more prone to breakage.

Want to grow your nails out successfully without babying your hands? A squared oval or “squoval” shape is your best bet for strong, unbroken nails. This shape is also flattering to any nail bed and hand type—it’s the most universal nail shape of all. (Ovals are also very flattering, and fairly strong, but squovals tend to be a bit more durable.)

This shape doesn’t have any sharp corners that can easily get caught on something, and the squarish design gives the whole nail more strength. This will allow your nails to grow longer without breaking. If you do your own nails, cut them straight, and then use a file to gently round the edges. If you go to a salon, you can ask for a “squoval” or bring a picture of the shape.

If your nails aren’t healthy yet, keep them short and use this shape until they get stronger. Then, you can grow them out without breakage, and choose the shape you really want once they’ve grown healthy and long.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a Seattle-based writer and editor with a Master's in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph's University. Her work has appeared in publications like Racked, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Rum Punch Press. She was awarded a 2017 Writing Between the Vines residency.  Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support LifeSavvy.


LifeSavvy is where you learn new skills for a better life. Whether you’re looking for tips on organization, travel, parenting, fitness, relationships, school, or your career, our team of expert writers is here to help. Want to know more?