How to Shorten or File Nails?


nail filing

Keeping long and dirty nails can make your fingers look ugly and unattractive. Beauty experts emphasize that shortening or filing of nails should take care of three main aspects – the angle, direction and the force applied on the nails. Explore easy and specific steps to shorten or file nails whether finger or toenails by taking a peep into the article below.

The length of the nails should be appropriate to the size of the nail bed and your activity levels. Experts state that the length of your nails should not extend 1/3 the length of your nail bed. Excessive nail filing can also weaken the nails thereby causing nail ridges or chipping. So don’t over-file to shorten the length of your nails.

How to Shorten or File Nails?

Long nails or artificial nails can be effectively shortened with the help of a 240-grit file. Avoid cutting the artificial nail enhancements short as they can cause the enhancement to crack. Never clip your nails to shorten your nails. Instead, use a board to place your fingers on them and file your nails to comfortable lengths.

There are 3 norms to shortening or filing your nails:
  • File in the correct angle which is 45 degrees
  • File in the correct direction that is from the sides to the center one at a time
  • File with light strokes and do not put pressure on your nails

Steps to File Nails Short
Nail filing either for natural nails or artificial nails, should be done only when required. In the process of filing your nails short do not hurt the cuticles on the side. Moisturizing your hands and fingers with cuticle oil or jojoba oil after filing is therefore recommended by experts.

These steps can make nail filing easy:
  • Soak your fingers and toes in warm water to cleanse off the dirt and to soften the nails
  • Dab your fingers and nails completely dry
  • Choose a correct tool as different nail files are available for filing artificial nails and natural nails
  • Start filing your nails at an angle of 45 degrees from the nail tip
  • Do not file your nails in a back and forth motion to hurt the nail edge. Instead, start from one side to the center and then from the other side to the center
  • Do not file the nails too deep on the sides as this will weaken the nails and will also make the nails look shorter than they are
  • For artificial nails, file the areas with lifts. Do not over-file as this would hurt your natural nail plate
  • Do not fetch a coarser file than a 240-grit file. Experts say that lower the number, coarser is the grit)
  • For determining the nail shape, file to give around, oval or square look. Experts say that these shapes prevent nail breakages. The oval or the square shape is considered deal to preventing the nail from chipping or splitting
  • Strokes should be gently. Do not apply too much pressure to the natural or artificial nails while filing them short
  • Use a buffer to smoothen the rough edges at the end of the filing procedure
  • Massage your hands and feet with a moisturizer after filing your nails short

The procedure of filing your nails short should be done patiently and slowly. Do not hurry as it can spoil the shape and texture of nails. Follow the above three norms to file your nails safely and to easy lengths.

nail design art

Tips To File Your Nails Properly

Filing the nails properly gives a clean and smooth look to your nails. There are different kinds of nail files available such as emery board, metal files, and glass files. Whatever nail file you buy, it is important to file your nails with properly.

Filing can also be done to get rid of the broken ends, split, and rough edges of the nail. Most people prefer oval shape or square shape to their fingernails. For filing natural fingernails, fine grit file is recommended.

Tips To File Your Nails Properly:

Here are a few tips to file your nails properly:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly to remove the dirt under the fingernails. You can also use a fingernail brush to remove the dirt underneath the fingernails
  • Firstly, clip bigger portion of fingernails using a nail clipper. Clipping the nails to the basic shape you want will make the filing process easier. It is recommended to clip across the nail tip leaving a square nail edge
  • Hold your nail file at a slight angle
  • Start at one corner of the nail and work towards the center of the nail. File your nails repeatedly to get the shape you want
  • File your nails slowly and use minimum pressure
  • File in one direction to make sure you have a smooth finish. Also make sure your nails are free of rough edges
  • Wash your nails and moisturize

Filing nails is easy and it may save you money. Make sure you clean your nail file after use, as it can spread disease if shared.


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