One simple way to look put together without much effort is having a set of well kept nails. Having your nails looking immaculate is quite a task due to the fact that we need to use our hands basically 99% of the day. They become weak and brittle which leads to cracking and splitting.
You might find yourself spending top dollar on special nail treatments that are sworn to make your nails healthier and resistant to breakage. While these work for some people, others might begin to get frustrated when they don’t see their desired results. The reason for not seeing favourable results could lie within the way you treat your own nails on a daily basis. There are certain habits that you have that cause damage to your nails.
To achieve your goal of having healthier nails, you need to get rid of these detrimental habits and replace them with beneficial ones. Below I have created a list of ten tips that will result in you having stronger nails.
Ten Tips for Stronger Nails
1. Keeping Fingernails Clean
Underneath the fingernails is like a Petri dish for bacteria. You might not even be conscious of the amount of things you touch throughout the day and all that bacteria that you pick up sits under your nails. Whenever you wash your hands always remember to get under those nails. You can even use a little manicure brush to make sure you clean them properly. Dirt and bacteria can lead to infections.
2. Wearing Gloves
If you spend a lot of time with your hands in water, try to wear gloves. Prolonged contact with water causes nails to become soft and brittle which means they’re more prone to cracking and breaking.
3. File Your Nails Properly
If you want to shorten your nails, it’s recommend to use a fine-grit nail file and move in one direction. You’d want to use 180 grit or 240 grit on natural nails because they are not very coarse. Start filing from one outer corner going inwards to the centre then do the same on the other side until you get your desired shape and length. Your nails are composed of a protein called keratin and they grow in layers. If you file your nails from side to side or snip them off with clippers, you can end up splitting the nail. This leads to weakening and breakage.
4. Having the Correct Nail Shape
The two nail shapes that are recommended are squoval (filed straight across and slightly rounded at the edges) or the almond shape. This is because there are no sharp edges that can get caught in hair or fabric that can result in the nail breaking.
5. Always Use a Base Coat
It’s something so simple yet so important and something that most people overlook. Base coats are more than just clear nail polish. They protect your nails and increase the longevity of your polish.
Related : Why You Should Always Use A Base Coat
6. Not Biting Your Fingernails
Just like with nail clippers or incorrect filing, biting your nails disturbs the many layers of keratin that they’re made of. This leads to breakage and weakening. Also, some people bite their nails until their finger starts bleeding. Bacteria can enter these wounds and cause infections.
7. Avoid Cutting Off the Eponychium
Whether you’re doing your own nails or you get them done at a nail salon, DON’T cut off your eponychium. This seals the skin to the nail plate and without it you leave an open door for bacteria and fungus to enter. Gently push back the cuticles with a cuticle pusher and buff the surface of the nail. If you’re at a salon and the manicurist/nail tech insists on cutting off the eponychium, don’t be afraid to tell them not to.
8. Avoid Harsh Nail Treatments
It can be the regular use of acetone to remove your nail polish or the improper preparation for acrylic/gel extensions (and improper removal methods). All these malpractices will weaken your nails and can even permanently damage them.
9. Don’t Use Your Nails As Tools
We’re all guilty of using our nails to open up a can of fizzy drink, trying to rip a package open or peeling a sticker off of something. These things put pressure on your nails which can make them crack or split thus weakening them.
10. Drink Sufficient Water
Water is the liquid of life! If you want healthy hair and skin you need to stay hydrated. Nails are no exception to this. Drinking sufficient water helps your body retain adequate moisture that will make its way down to your finger tips to nourish your nails and cuticles.
During this pandemic it is ever so imperative to use your alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but this can be very drying to your skin as well as your nails. While you must still apply hand sanitizer as frequently as needed, remember to use hand lotion and cuticle oil to prevent over drying.
A girl should have two things. Beautiful nails and fabulous toesTammy Taylor
Simple little life changes can make a big difference. Beautiful nails will make you feel 10x more confident and will boost your overall appearance.
Featured photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels