Nail Length: How Long is Too Long with Japanese Gel?

Nail Length: How Long is Too Long with Japanese Gel?

Paola PonceJuly 07, 2022

Hey there and welcome back, if you are new here. My name is Paola of, back hosting another episode for Kokoist USA. Kokoist gel nail products are soak-off, soft gel nail products made in Japan.

So today, we are talking about nail length, and we will particularly be answering the question of, How long is too long of a nail length when using Japanese Gel? 

We’ll also be talking about what adjustments you can make, should you or your client want an extreme length.

First, let’s understand and interpret nail length in these sizing terms:

#1 Short Length

#2 Medium Length

#3 Long Length

and …

#4 Extreme Length.

And to answer our initial question of “How long is too long of a nail length with Japanese Gel?”, the short answer is up to a #3, a long nail but not extreme.

Natural nail lengths are variable from person to person. My short nail length may be your long nail length. It all depends on what the person’s fingernails look like.

When  a client wants length to their nails, they are referring to how much free-edge they want.

The free-edge is the area of the nail plate that is free standing, meaning, not attached to the nail bed, the portion of skin underneath the hard part of keratin cells we call nail plate.

And nail length begins from the smile line forward.

Let’s define #1 a short nail length.

In my experience most clients will opt-in for a short or medium nail length when getting gel nails done.

A short length can range from no free-edge. So this means that all the person wants is their nails tapered to the smile line. A lot of restaurant and medical professionals, as well as new moms will opt in for these really short nail lengths.

After that, a short nail length can be up to ⅓ of the way of the amount of nail plate attached to the nail bed.

Now let’s define #2 a medium nail length.

A medium nail length as I mentioned earlier is also popular.

It is often the nail length of choice with office professionals, and just really anyone that does not have duties requiring a super short nail length, and a long length is just not manageable for them.

A medium length is defined as anything from the smile line out to ⅔ of the length of the nail plate attached to the nail bed.

A very popular length indeed.

Let’s define #3 a long nail length.

With natural nails, the length can be however long those natural nails hold without breaking, or particularly tearing at the sides.

That is why, maintaining the integrity of the natural nail underneath a gel enhancement is critical. And this is where premium soak-off gel formulas stand out.

Because they do not require harsh prep for application, as in a rough grit on the natural nail, followed by a bonder, you are able to preserve the integrity of the natural nails better, than say if you were using hard products, like acrylic or hard gel.

And so you and your client, when it comes to natural nail length, go as long as the natural nails will go, before they start becoming problematic with breaks and tears.

You can totally see how this requires a 50/50 effort between you (if you are a technician giving the service) and the client. You as the technician must take diligent care not to over prep the natural nails, and also apply the gel with long wear technique. 

The client on the other hand, must take extra precaution not to treat her nails as tools, but rather as jewels. She must wear gloves when washing dishes, and moisturize with cuticle oil at least once per day preferably before going to bed.

If all of these boxes are checked you would achieve a very long nail length, without having to artificially extend the natural nails.

So let’s now talk about artificial nail length. How long can you go?

The rule of thumb to stay away from premature breaking, is to extend the artificial free edge up to the total length of the nail plate that is attached to the nail bed.

This is the max length to extend using Kokoist Excel Builder with forms or traditional half-tips. 

And you may think this is not a very long nail length at all, but it truly is. 

Ok so, this long length debrief was a bit long, so let’s recap it.

Natural nails can be overlaid to however long the natural nails will allow.

But when extending them with forms or traditional half-tips, you’ll extend up to the full length of the nail plate attached to the nail bed.

And by the way, for this length, these are the products you’ll want to overlay with:

Natural nails can be overlaid with Platinum Bond Duo, Excel Builder, or any of the Nail Thoughts Bases.

Artificially extended long nails should be overlaid with Excel Builder.

If your free-edge extension is only up to half of the attached nail plate, you can use Excel Builder or Platinum Bond Duo to extend and overlay.

Finally, let us define a #4 extreme length.

An extreme length classifies as anything artificially extended beyond the amount of the entire nail plate attached to the nail bed.

Most of the time extreme nail lengths will also consist of extreme nail shapes. These are nail shapes that require technique in filing like a coffin or stiletto nail shape.

Extreme lengths are not recommended with Japanese Gel, as you may max out the strength of the soft gel.

But here’s the work around.

Should you or your client want extreme lengths, they can be achieved using Kokoist Japanese Gel and Gelips. Gelips are Kokoist’s Brand of full coverage tips.

They are offered in 4 shapes (Oval, Square, Almond, and Coffin) and there are 7 total sizes among these shapes.

And as of most recently Kokoist has released the Extra Long Coffin Length, which would definitely be categorized as an extreme length.

You can attach Gelips using Mega Stick Base or the Nail Thoughts Clear Builder Base. After attaching them to the natural nail you thinly overlay them with Platinum Bond Duo or Nail Thoughts Clear Base.

For a full step-by-step tutorial of Gelip application, do make sure to check out our past video uploads. (Watch Here

As you can see, you can achieve any nail length using Kokoist Japanese Gel. The trick to an extreme nail length is to nurture your natural nails to the desired nail length and shape, or to use Gelips (Kokoist’s Full Coverage Tips).

Thank you for joining us in another video, do check out the description below for this video's information as well as any active promo codes that may be available to you.

Thanks again, and we’ll see you in the next one.


Paola Ponce is an independent nail educator helping the Japanese gel nail niche and its nail stylists grow! You can follow more of her work at and @paolaponcenails on Instagram. Save 10% on your Kokoist Products & support Paola’s work with affiliate code PPN10.


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