Square Nails Are The Best Choice For A Low-Maintenance Manicure. Here's Why

Square nails have officially made a comeback. During the '80s and 90s, long square nails were the shape to get, and by the time the 2000s rolled around, short square nails were "it." Now there are a bunch of shapes to choose from, but square is the way to go if you're looking for an easy-breezy option. 


If you keep your nails short and square, they make for great functionality and won't break easily. So not only are you less likely to leave the salon upset about the shape, you can go about your day without feeling hindered by longer nails if you are not used to them. But while square nails are having a resurgence, know these aren't your mother's square nails, although that's an option too. Now there are different types of square nails to choose from. This way, you can be inspired by the past, still feel of-the-moment, and pick a square shape that best suits your nail bed. Here are some square shapes to try.

Classic Square

This is likely the nail shape you think of when you hear square. It has straight lines and sharp edges. And according to psychologists, straight, angular lines tend to feel exciting and energizing. This may be why square nails, particularly longer ones, are associated with fearlessness and sass. So if you are looking for a little pick-me up, the classic square nail may be the shape you've been seeking.


Short square nails look particularly chic if you have long nail beds, as your nails are substantial enough to show off your nail color. And if your nail beds are smaller, you may want longer square nails for a more elongated feel. Of course, it also depends on what color you choose. Darker colors absorb light and appear to advance, making your nail bed seem smaller. Conversely, lighter colors reflect light and appear to recede, making your nail bed seem bigger.


As you can guess, the squoval shape is a type of square that combines a square and oval shape. It's a square nail shape with curved edges. You may have also heard a closely related term "square round," which refers to a similar, or the same shape depending on the source. But be careful about using the terms interchangeably as oval and round can be interpreted differently, and may get very different results at the salon.


Most importantly, the squoval shape is a good option if you feel like the classic square doesn't quite suit your fingers, and you want to soften it a bit with more of a natural curve. The squoval tends to follow the lines of your fingers and feels very easy-going. Unlike angular lines, curved lines tend to feel calm and relaxing, and are great for a more laid-back look. But if you are asking your manicurist for the squoval shape, it may not be as easy to do as the classic square. So it's best to bring a picture; otherwise, you risk leaving the salon with nails that are too narrow or too square for your liking.

Tapered Square

The tapered square feels like an updated version of the classic square shape. And if you are a high self-monitor, you may be particularly drawn to this shape for that reason. High self-monitors are what psychologists call those of us who put a lot of effort into our appearance and the image we present to others. And nails are a very big part of appearance. In fact, a study in Fashion Style & Popular Culture claims that people used nail fashion to "negotiate their daily identities." So if we are able to modernize a classic, it helps to project a worldly, in-the-know image.


Basically, the tapered square is like an oval shape on the sides but with a straight tip; pretty simple for your manicurist, although like the squoval, you'll want to bring a picture to make sure it's exactly how you want it. The tapered square looks good long or short. It has all the benefits of the oval as the width of the nail can be adjusted to complement the shape of your fingers; and the functional benefits of the square, depending on how long or short you go.