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Nail Ideas Perfect For Teens And What You Should Consider Before Letting Them Get Acrylic Nails

Something about the semi-permanent nature of acrylic nails gives people the confidence to be creative with all kinds of fun designs. 

The time may have come when your teen begs you to let them get their nails done. This may have you reaching for your wallet in despair, and worrying about them returning from the nail salon with claws resembling talons! 

Nail Ideas Perfect For Teens And What You Should Consider Before Letting Them Get Acrylic Nails

Do not fear, because we’ve compiled a list of some fun and trendy nail ideas that are teen-friendly, and we’re also going to discuss acrylic nails. 

1. Neutrals

Neutral nails look classy and elegant and work well with the shortest of nails, which means your teen won’t even need to have acrylics done. 

There’s also no need to worry about certain jewelry clashes, as neutral goes with just about anything!

You also get to choose between going matte or having some shine added in, as well as all kinds of shades, from brighter, to more brown nudes. 

2. Bright Color Blocks

Your teen may want something bolder, besides, they say that your nails are a reflection of your personality, so why not opt for some vibrant colors that will definitely get noticed? 

These can also be done on short nails, as there are no intricate designs involved, so there’s no need for acrylic nail extensions. 

They can have all nails painted in the same vibrant shade, or opt for having each nail a different color. 

3. Daisy Nails

While many believe that daisies should only be painted on nails during the Spring and Summer, we believe that these flowers look beautiful on nails all year round! 

Depending on the kind of daisies your teen would like, they may be able to be painted on short nails. 

If not, some short acrylics should do the trick, just to extend the natural nail that bit further. 

The color choices are endless with this nail design, making it a great option for teens. 

4. French Manicure

Nail Ideas Perfect For Teens And What You Should Consider Before Letting Them Get Acrylic Nails

Nothing beats a classic French Manicure. This nail design never goes out of style and makes a person’s hands look put together and neat. 

While this design can be achieved on short nails, having some acrylic extensions put in will give the nail technician more to work with, leading to a better result. 

5. Colored Tips

Colored tips are a nail trend that has really become popular recently. It is a funky twist on the classic French manicure, and instead of having white tips at the end of the nail, you would have colored tips. 

We really love the mint green tips seen in the link above, but you can choose any color you like, from pale pastels to something more eye-catching, like neon!

6. Speckled Nails

Speckled nails are a very popular nail design, and there are endless options when it comes to color and design. 

You can opt for having your regular nails with some black specks, or choose a color to go beneath the black specks. 

This adds some texture to the nail, and it can also be done on the shortest of nails, without the need for any acrylic extensions. 

7. Plaid Nails

Plaid nails are super adorable, and the one shown in the link above resembles the design and color scheme of the Burberry brand! 

These are simple, cute, and can be done in all kinds of colors. Try some bright colors, or pastels when it comes to the summer, or opt for some deep maroons or a wine color for the winter. 

They can also be done on very short nails, but if you’ve got that extra length from the acrylics, the design will really shine through. 

8. Swirls

Swirls on nails have really been making an appearance lately, and it isn’t hard to see why. You can play around with all kinds of colors, and patterns! 

For best results, we recommend having some acrylic extensions put in if you opt for this design, as the nail technician will need more surface area to work with in order to achieve the desired result. 

9. Cherries

These cherries painted over a classic French manicure are perfect for teens who are looking for a cute and sweet trend for their nails. 

You can also experiment with block colors here, and paint a few nails red, leaving a couple of them natural with a cute little cherry painted on top. 

These are perfect for the spring and summer months! 

10. Ombre

Nail Ideas Perfect For Teens And What You Should Consider Before Letting Them Get Acrylic Nails

While you do need acrylic nails (or very long natural nails) to complete an ombre design, the result is well and truly worth it. 

Ombre involves a fade from pale pink to white, beginning at the bottom of the nail and ending at the top. You can think of it like a slow, faded version of a French manicure. 

These nails are truly beautiful and look very elegant on anyone who has them. 

11. Animal Print

For something a little funkier, animal print is a good way to go! You can experiment with all kinds of colors and designs, and still be left with a good result. 

These can be done on both long and short nails, so there’s no need for acrylic extensions if you’d rather avoid them. 

12. Chrome

For an ultra-glamorous look, chrome nails are a good option. In order to achieve them, your nail technician will rub a powder that is made from fine metals, glass, and pigment over a nail polish of your choice. 

This results in a shiny, almost mirror-like look. The above link showcases a beautiful pearly white, but you can choose any color you fancy. Try a pastel purple for a mermaid feel, or dark green for more of an intense look. 

What Are Acrylics? 

As you’ve probably noticed from this list, some of the options feature long, perfect nails. These kinds of nails change the entire appearance of your hand, adding a level of sophistication and beauty. 

A lot of the time, these nails are acrylic nails. They are a combination of a powder and liquid polymer that forms a paste. This paste is added directly to the natural nail and given a shape that then hardens in place. 

This adds length, strength, and thickness to the nail, giving your nail technician a whole new canvas to work with when it comes to adding some funky nail art. 

However, as beautiful as these nails look, there are a few things to consider when it comes to allowing your teen to have them done. 


When it comes to playing sports, having acrylic nails is not ideal. Sports such as basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer aren’t activities where acrylic nails should be worn. 

They pose a risk for both the wearer and those around them, especially if they are particularly pointy nails. 

If an acrylic nail cracks, it may take the entire natural nail with it, causing a lot of pain, and leaving room for infections to occur. 

Therefore, if your teen is involved in sports, then acrylic nails should be avoided. 


Playing musical instruments is another extracurricular activity that your teen may be a part of. 

Many instruments are incredibly difficult to play with long nails. Guitars are at the top of the list, along with any other stringed instruments.

It is also difficult to play the piano with long nails, and you’ll constantly hear an extra tapping from the nails hitting the keys. 

Cost Of UpKeep 

Acrylic nails are not a cheap form of beauty treatment. While the initial appointment is the most expensive, you’ll need to keep visiting your nail technician to get them filled in as they grow out. 

This means attending appointments at least every three weeks, which normally costs a third of the initial appointment. 

Therefore, maintaining acrylic nails, as lovely as they are, really does build up when it comes to cost. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to nail-design ideas for teens, the list is endless! There are styles out there to suit the needs of everyone, from more classical and sophisticated looks to funkier, bolder designs. 

While your teen may be reaching the age where she wants long, luscious nails created by acrylics, these are costly to maintain and can interfere with other aspects of their life, such as sports and musical instruments. 

While your child is still a teen, it may be best to get them to stick to their natural nails and use what they’ve got. When they reach an age where they can pay for it themselves, they can get acrylics! 

Simon Lewis