Need some nail care tips on how to strengthen nails naturally while you’re at home? Are you having painful moments with your nails which is brittle, splitting, cracked and weak? If this is what you’re facing, then I’m sure you have tried countless remedies from various drugstore which is still ineffective and is looking for a more long term solution. Taking care of your nails is a long term commitment and habit. By just simply purchasing chemical hardeners or some fancy treatment from the drugstore, it will not work, and in fact may cause your nails more harm than good. Just by practicing a few simple a good habit in your everyday routine, you can have strong and healthy nails.
Upkeep your nails and apply correct nail styling method
Aviod buffing your nails
Most people usually buff their nails to get rid of the ridges and jagged edges. However, what is little know is that ridges are the thickest part of our nails, and are actually the healthy part of our fingers. The healthiest part are the thickest, while those parts which has less thickness like the dips are not that strong. Therefore, when you’re buffing your nails, you’re actually getting rid of the thickest and strongest part of your nail. If you really do not like the ridges, use a high quality top coat to fill the dips in your nails. This will make your fingernails smooth without harming them.
Apply the correct filing technique
Filing is important to get your nails in shape. It is even more important to apply the right filing technique so as not to damage your nails. To start filing, bring your file flat against your nail edges and file the length off until your desired amount. A note here however, filing is for shaping your nails only. If you need to file off a considerable amount of length, clip them. After that, make use of the emery board and file your nails at a 45 degree angle. Filing at 45 degree angle will protect the hard surface of the nails. It will also smoothen the nail edges and helps to prevent sagging and hangnails. Never file your nails in a “sawing” motion, always work the filing from the outside and then move inwards. It is always a good point to file with your nail polish on to pretect them from cracking. When choosing your nail file, choose the one with fine grit. The ones with coarse grit are meant for artificial nails and may damage your natural nails if used.
Always clip off the hangnails
Typical causes of hangnails are incorrect nail cutting method or splitting nails. Once your nails are torn away, the nail bed and skin is left damaged and exposed to bacteria, which may cause infection. To prevent your nails from ripping off and tears your skin, clip off those hangnails. Never ever chew the hangnails, because when you chew them, you are also ripping the skin and then transferring the bacteria from your mouth to your skin.
Never cut your cuticles
Cuticles play an important role in protecting the nail bed as it seals off that area at the base. So, when the cuticle is cut or removed, the layer of protection is also torn, and will expose your nail bed to bacteria and infection. Only professional manicurist only knows the proper way of cutting cuticles, so consult them if you really need to. It is also a good idea to apply moisturizer such as essential oil or hand cream to your cuticles to soften them and to promote nail growth. To keep your cuticles neat and tidy and clean, use cuticle removal cream. Gently massage the cream into your cuticles, and then gently push back the cuticles using a soft tipped cuticle wand.
Always moisturize your nails
You can use any kind of combination of oils as your nail soak. All combinations of natural and nutrient rich oils such as coconut oil, argan oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, almond oil, avaocado oil or vitamin E oil is recommended. Use a cotton bud and apply a generous amount of oil to your nails. Leave them soaking in it to moisturize your nails. Use vitamin E oil for nails that splits easily and are soft. To keep your nails clean and free of fungus, use tea tree oil. Sometimes, for a quick fix, lip balm can also be used.
Practice good habit for healthy and strong nails
Eat the correct diet and add in some supplement
Just like your skin, face and body, fingernails health is also very dependant on what you take in as food. Fingernails are actually made up of protein known as keratin, and they need the proper nutrients to grow stong and healthy. Take high quality supplements for hair, skin and nails which consists of vitamin A, B, C, D and E. These supplements usually also contains calcium, folic acid, biotin and zinc. Occasional multivitamin to supplement your diet is also useful in promoting nail health. If you often experience weak and brittle nails, then you are not taking in enough nutrients. Omega 3 oils, otherwise known as fish oil which can be found in eggs, nuts, dairy and olive oil fats, can also help to prevent weak and brittle nails.
Protect your hands (and thus fingernails) at all times
You might be surprised to know that the items which you used for your hands and nails such as hand sanitizer, nail polish remover and other cleaning products are actually damaging your nails and can also age your hands. To avoid this, opt for more gentle options. Hand santizer are typically alcohol based, which can dehydrate your skin and nails, leaving them brittle and easy to break, while also leaving your skin dry. Instead, use antibacterial soap instead of hand sanitizer. Do not use nail polish remover which is acetone based, as this will weaken your nails. Choose the nail polish remover which does not contain acetone. Always wear gloves whenever you’re cleaning with chemicals, doing gardening or anything that involves getting your hands wet or dirty. Rubber golves, vinyl gloves, nitrile or plastic gloves with a cotton liner is the preferred options. Also, always wear gloves or mitten during cold or chilly weather as the harsh wind and cold can make your hand dry, flaky and scaly.
Don’t treat your nails as a multipurpose tool
For convenience, people typically use their tip of the fingernails to open cans, peel stickers, scrap some stuffs off a surface or counter, and generally use the nails as a multipurpose tool. The thinnest and weakest part of you nail is the tips. Using the tips will put stress on this weak part and will pull the nail away from your finger, weakening the nails.
Give your nails a break
Your nails need time to rest and recuperate from all those drying and dehydrating nail polish you apply on them. Applying strong nail color polish consecutively without giving a break to your nails will cause them to turn yellow and make them dry, weakening them over time. Repair and strenghten them over the weekends with a layer of clear gloss.
Reduce acrylic or gel nail treatments
Acrylic and gel nail manicures have always been the top choices due to its durability and convenience. But using them often on your nails may cause damage to you natural nails. This is due to the UV rays exposure that is needed for the curing process in gel manicures, which can cause damage to your skin around the nail area, and also expose you to the risk of cancer. If you really need this type of manicures, use sunscreen with SPF 30 to SPF 50 before the process to help reduce and filter the UV rays. You can also wear gloves which covers everything, except the nails.
Always apply the top coat
Whether you have applied any nail polish or not, it is always a good habit to apply the top coat to your nails every few days. Apart from making your nails shine and look gloriously glossy, and also protects the layer of nail polish which you have spent hours working on, the top coat protects your nails from chipping and damage and strenghtens it.
Always apply the base coat
Do not be lazy and skip this step. Applying base coat before any nail polish is applied pretects your natural nail from being stained by the nail polish, As an added bonus, applying base coat will also makes your nail polish color looks more opaque and saturated. Applying base coat after every layer is the best to add extra protection.
Purchase safe nail polish
Similarly like every other product on the market, not all nail polish are good for you. Some nail polish contains harmful chemicals which can damage your hands and nails. When shopping for nail polish, avoid products which has ingredients like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene as these chemicals can add to nail cracking, brittleness and splitting.
Keep you hands and tools clean
Cleanliness is always a priority when it comes to anything related to health and skincare. Same goes with your nails – it is important that you keep your hands, nails and also the skin around the nail area clean and free of dirt. Always remove all traces of nail polish with an acetone free nail polish remover. To scrub your nails clean, use a toothbrush with some soap applied on it, and then scrub your skin gently. This will be enough to remove the dirt and dead skin without resorting to harsh chemicals. Keep your tools clean too! Make sure to disinfect the tools regularly in between usage to get rid of those bacteria and keep your nails infection free. Metal tools can be washed easily with soap and water and then sterilize them with rubbing alcohol. Dispose the disposable tools like emery boards when it is due.
Choose healthy nails over long nails
For those individuals who are prone to nail breakage and damage, it is recommended to keep them short. Granted, longer nails looks very beautiful, but it is not worth compromising the health of your nails over beauty. Shorter nails are stronger and are not as delicate as long nails – they don’t break or chip easily. Short nails looks neat and can be cute too. Trim your nails regularly too.