How to Type With Long Nails: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Type With Long Nails: A Beginner’s Guide

From buttoning blouses and opening your car door to popping open soda cans, some things can be easier said than done with long nails. But don’t let that stop you. There’s a hack for that. 

It’s true that some things in your daily life may be a little more challenging now that you have long tips on your nails. One that gets us, especially for the boss ladies working from home on their laptops, is the long nail typing struggle. In an effort not to sacrifice beauty for function and efficiency, here are some tricks on how to type when you have long nails. 

Nail Shapes and How They Affect Your Typing

Round Nails: If you’re an acrylic beginner who also spends a lot of time typing on keys, round nails are a great option to ease yourself into this new adjustment. Round nails are the most similar to our natural nail shape, so it is a good start to become more accustomed to typing with acrylics. Start with shorter ones and build up your length once you’ve conquered the keyboard. 

Stiletto Nails: Since stiletto nails are not especially wide, being significantly tapered to a point at the tip, this narrow nail shape may actually be on your side when you type. Their narrow shape doesn’t get in the way, and you likely won’t find yourself typing the wrong keys. 

Square Nails: This is where you may encounter a problem. Their width is the issue when it comes to typo-free typing since you may find yourself hitting multiple keys at once. This is when you should simply slow down and focus on accuracy. 

Coffin Nails: Oof. We hope you are up for a challenge. Since they are wider than stilettos and usually fairly long, maybe save this style for once you've got some acrylic nail typing practice under your belt. 

Precision Over Speed

You’ve heard it many times before. Practice makes perfect. In order to get used to typing with nails, you’ll simply just have to take it slow. After a while, muscle memory starts to catch on, and you’ll be able to type faster and faster at a gradually building pace. 

When starting to tackle this new life challenge, be more concerned about accuracy as opposed to how fast you are typing. Pay close attention and take your time to accurately hit the correct keys before you try to pick up speed. This will cause fewer errors and typos, and eventually, you’ll get used to it and be able to pick up the pace. 

Form Follows Function

OK—if we were living by this belief, would we really be in this situation? The answer is no. But we’re not going to let our productivity lag behind our bold styles—nor are we giving up our bold style. So the solution: before removing your acrylics in a fit of frustration, try changing up your form. 

Good Posture

Sitting up straight in your chair at your desk and being able to rest your hands somewhere flat on the keyboard should help. This will reduce stress and strain on your wrist, arms, and fingers. 

Imitate a Pianist

Visualize how a musician’s fingers float over the piano keys with minimal reach and movement. Their hands don't move that much, and it is more so about reach and flexibility in their fingers—they stay pretty still and only move when absolutely necessary. 

Type With the Pads of Your Fingers

As opposed to typing with the tips of your nails, try to flatten your fingers, so the pads of your fingers are smacking the keys instead of the tips of your nails. Imagine every keystroke getting a perfect fingerprint in the center of each key. 

Brush Up on the Basics

Chances are good that the habits you practiced in typing class in elementary school have not exactly stuck with you. It's likely you’ve made some personal changes in your typing style over time and maybe consider going back to the basics and seeing what the suggested protocol for hand placement actually is. 

Shop Around for New Keyboard Options

They make keyboards for all types of people and their preferences. If you have long fingernails, you may benefit from getting a keyboard that has raised keys leaving more room for your nails to go when you're typing as opposed to the flat keyboard you may be using. 

There’s also the option of a padded rest for your wrists to chill on so they don’t tense up and feel strained, allowing for a more comfortable and relaxing typing experience. 

What to Look for in a New Keyboard

Shallow Scissor Switch keys: Look for keyboards that have keys that are advertised as being easy to press. This way, if you are typing with your nails, you won't have to press so hard, inadvertently causing possible damage to your precious nail enhancements. 

Round-edged keys: Keys that have rounded edges as opposed to square mimic the shape of your fingertips, making it easier for you to use the pads of your fingers to press them. 

Arched keyboard: Instead of a flat keyboard that may cause discomfort to your hands and wrist when arching to type, an arched keyboard is reminiscent of the natural shape of your hands, making it a bit more comfortable typing. 

Wrist Padded keyboard: This little pillow for under your wrists can make a big difference in your comfort level. If you find yourself experiencing sore or tense wrists from having them constantly arched, some wrist padding can relieve that pressure, and you can comfortably relax your hands on it. 

Additional Nail Life Hacks

We know typing with long nail enhancements isn’t the only obstacle you may face daily. Living a glamorous lifestyle with long, beautiful nails can sometimes be not so glamorous. 

  • Use your nails as scoops when applying products like skincare, leave-in conditioner, or lotion. Use the top part of your nail to scoop out the product and spread it on the top of your hand, as opposed to scooping it out with the underside of your nail where all the product will get stuck. 
  • Open soda or beer cans with a credit card, a pen, or a butter knife. Don’t, please, we beg you, ever use your nail for popping tabs. You and your nail tech will both be pissed when you break a nail. 
  • Text with the sides of your thumbs instead of your fingertips when on your phone. You will make much fewer mistakes and say what you really want. And we all know it’s not “ducking.” 
  • Avoid stud earrings or clasp bracelets unless you have a trusted friend, mom, or lover to assist you in putting them on. Instead, opt for hoops or elastic band jewelry that won’t put up a fight against your acrylics. 
  • Put on gloves when dealing with delicate clothing like sheer stockings or other super delicate fabric that can easily tear. 
  • If you wear contacts, ask your nail tech to make your index and thumb fingers on the dominant hand you’d use to put contacts in a little shorter than the rest of your nails. Nobody’s going to notice, and it’s more than worth it, so you don’t take any chances in scratching your cornea. 

In Conclusion

Although typing with long nails may be difficult at first, it is definitely not impossible. Practice makes perfect as long as you’re patient and take your time. Give these tips to some of your nail clients who have long nail dreams but have some reservations about some daily life challenges! 


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