Nail Shape Trends: What’S Hot And What’S Not

Nail shapes have gone in and out of style over the decades. While some classic shapes like almond and square have remained popular, new shapes emerge while others fade away. Tracing the evolution of nail shapes provides insight into beauty trends and cultural shifts. As we will explore in this article, nail shapes often reflect the aesthetics and values of the time period.

In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion in unique nail art and shapes shared on social media. Nail trends now evolve rapidly, with new unconventional shapes gaining popularity. Let’s take a walk through history to see how nail shapes have transformed.

The Classic Almond

The almond nail shape is a classic, versatile look that flatters most nail beds. This elegant nail shape is wider at the base and tapers slightly to a point at the tip, resembling an almond. Almond-shaped nails are one of the most popular nail trends, as they elongate the fingers and look great with any nail length or color.

The almond shape is ideal for those who want a polished look without anything too extreme. It offers a happy medium between the square and coffin shapes, making it suitable for work, special events, or everyday wear. Unlike some other pointed shapes like stilettos, almond nails are unlikely to break or snag on things. The gentler tip allows for a range of nail art options too.

To achieve the almond look, the nail tip is filed diagonally on the sides, creating the signature tapered point. The key is keeping the taper subtle so the nail still has some surface area at the end. For nail novices, almond nails are fairly easy to maintain with regular upkeep. Overall, almond nails are a fashionable yet versatile shape that makes hands look striking and elegant.

Coffin Nails

Coffin nails, also known as ballerina nails, are elongated nails with straight sides and a flat tip, giving them a coffin-like appearance. They are longer than typical nail shapes, extending just beyond the fingertip with a blunt end rather than coming to a point.

This dramatic nail lengthening became popular within the last decade, originating from the creative runway designs of high fashion designers. The stark geometric shape makes a bold style statement and elongates the fingers for a dramatic and elegant look.

Coffin nails allow for artistic creativity through nail art. The long flat tip provides ample “canvas” space for intricate designs, ranging from bold colors and patterns to complex hand-painted artwork.

The extra length does make them prone to snagging and breaking. They require more careful handling and maintenance. Acrylics or other nail extensions are often needed to achieve the exaggerated length.

Overall, coffin nails are a trendy modern nail shape for those looking to make a fashion-forward statement and showcase creative embellishments.

Square Nails

Square nails, as the name suggests, have a straight, square-shaped tip that creates a box-like look on the nails. This 90-degree angle on the tip and sides gives square nails a bold, blunt look compared to rounded shapes.

The square shape has been trending in recent years for its sleek, modern aesthetic. It creates the illusion of longer, more slender nail beds. Square nails also allow for more creativity with nail art, as the straight edges provide a perfect canvas.

While coffin and almond nails are softer, square nails make more of a statement. The severity of the straight lines and angles create an edgy, structured look. This makes square more popular for creating a high-fashion or editorial appearance.

To get square nails, ask your nail tech to file the sides straight across rather than in a curve. Be sure to get squared corners that are 90 degrees. The length can range from short to long, depending on your preference. Many people opt for a medium length that extends just past the fingertips for the full effect.

Overall, square nails are a chic, contemporary choice. Their graphic lines and sharp corners make them one of the most avant-garde, runway-inspired nail shapes. This bold, high-fashion look is predicted to remain on-trend this year and beyond.


Round Nails

Round nails, as the name suggests, are shaped like a rounded curve or circular edge on the tip of the nail. This shape creates a soft and feminine look, resembling an upside-down “u” shape or a half moon shape. The rounded edge avoids any harsh points or sharp corners. Round nails tend to look shorter and more understated compared to pointed shapes like stilettos or coffins.

Round nails are one of the most classic and versatile nail shapes. They draw more attention to the cuticle area and can make nails appear wider or fuller. This shape works well on most nail lengths and is easy to maintain compared to more dramatic shapes. Round nails are ideal for those who prefer a delicate, natural style.

image of round nail shape

Some key characteristics of round nails:

  • Circular, curved tip
  • No sharp corners or angles
  • Soft, subtle look
  • Versatile for any nail length
  • Easy maintenance

While trends come and go, the round nail remains a timeless choice to complement any look.

Squoval Nails

Squoval nails are a popular hybrid shape that combines the square and oval nail shapes. As the name suggests, squoval nails have a slightly rounded square tip that creates an elegant, classic look. The squared-off edges provide structure while the rounded corners soften the overall shape.

The squoval is considered a universally flattering nail shape that works on most nail beds. It creates the illusion of longer, wider nail beds while still allowing you to comfortably complete daily tasks. Unlike stiletto or coffin shapes, the squoval does not drastically extend the nail length.

This versatile shape suits any nail length or color. It works well with nail art, glitter polishes, French manicures, chrome powders, and more. The extra length at the tips allows for small designs without overcrowding the nail.

Many nail salon clients request squoval nails because they allow you to play with length and polish without going to the extremes. The shape is fashionable yet subtle enough for a professional setting. For these reasons, the squoval nail reigns as one of today’s most popular nail shapes. []

Stiletto Nails

Stiletto nails are known for their super-long, pointy shape that resembles the stiletto high heel. The nail is filed straight across the top with sharply angled corners that extend well past the fingertips to create an extreme, dagger-like point.

This dramatic elongated shape became popular in the 2010s and continues to have a strong following today (InStyle). While the classic stiletto is very long, ranging from 2-4 inches in length, shorter variations have emerged recently that offer the same edgy look in a more practical length for everyday wear (Pinterest).

Stiletto nails make a bold fashion statement and require skill to apply and maintain. They are eye-catching, but the sharp point can make them challenging for tasks like typing or texting. Some file the tip slightly round for ease of wear.

Ballerina/Oval Nails

The ballerina or oval nail shape is characterized by a rounded tip that tapers in slightly on the sides to create an oval silhouette. This elegant, understated shape is having a major moment right now according to nail artists and experts. Unlike more dramatic coffin or stiletto shapes, ballerina nails offer a subtle curve that flatters most fingers.

According to celebrity nail artist Jenna Hipp, quoted in an article on, “Ballerina is a timeless shape that is never going out of style.” The rounded oval tip helps extend the look of the nail bed for a lengthening effect. For those looking for a stylish but understated nail shape that elongates the fingers, the ballerina is predicted to continue trending in popularity.

Trend Forecast

As we look ahead to 2024, certain nail shapes are expected to surge in popularity while others may fall out of favor. According to industry experts, the top nail shapes predicted to be hot in 2024 include:

Coffin nails. With their elongated, tapered shape, coffin nails are forecast to remain a top trend through 2024. Their sleek, elegant look works for all occasions. According to POPSUGAR, coffin nails allow for creative embellishments at the tip while keeping most of the nail clean and modern.

Short square nails. The squared off edges of short square nails are predicted to rise in popularity. Their classic yet playful shape flatters fingers of all lengths. HONA predicts short square nails will dominate in 2024 as people move away from longer styles.

Ballerina/oval nails. These graceful, rounded nail shapes are poised for a comeback. Their softer curves offer a feminine and romantic look. Ballerina nails are versatile enough for casual or dressy occasions.


Nail shapes have come a long way and evolved drastically over the years. What was once only the classic almond and square has expanded into a variety of stylish shapes like coffin, squoval, stiletto and more. Each nail shape has its own aesthetic and suits different nail lengths and nail art.

While classics like the almond and square remain popular for their clean, proportional look, edgier shapes like the coffin and stiletto have emerged for those who want to make more of a statement. Soft squoval and oval shapes are ideal for shorter nails. Ultimately there is a perfect nail shape for everyone.

Nail shape trends tend to come and go, but it’s likely that coffin and square shapes are here to stay. More dramatic stiletto nails may eventually fall out of favor again. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what shape will be hot next. No matter what, having neat, well-shaped nails will always be in style.

Similar Posts