12 Tips for Healthy, Strong Nails | Facts About Your Nails That Will Help You Treat Them Better
About 10% of people suffer from nail problems, such as fungal infections, and a large majority of them are over 50. But, that’s not the only issues our nails can suffer from. They can be extremely brittle and weak and it’s usually something we do wrong that makes them this way. So that’s why we gathered a few tips that can help you treat your nails and make them stronger.
Check out our 12 pieces of advice that your nails will love once you incorporate them to your daily routine. And keep an eye out for the bonus at the end!
1. Foods rich in biotin help your nails grow faster.
To make your nails grow faster, it’s essential to consume foods rich in biotin, a type of vitamin B. According to a study, biotin is capable of turning weak nails into strong ones in only a few weeks. Some foods that contain this vitamin are nuts, cauliflower, cooked eggs, bananas, and mushrooms. Include them in your daily diet for healthy nails.
2. Avoid keeping your nails long.
While it’s true that having long nails allows you to experiment with different designs, keeping your fingernails shorter is definitely healthier. Long nails can easily harbor dirt and bacteria, and can potentially spread infections. Fake nail extensions can also damage your own nails. In order for acrylic nails to stick, technicians must file your natural nails, which makes them thin and weak.
3. File regularly, but don’t use nail clippers.
Our nails can get damaged and break if we don’t cut them often. However, it’s important to make a good choice when choosing the right tools for nail care. Clippers are probably the easiest to use but not the best as they can cause cracks and splits. Instead, opt for a file because it doesn’t put that much pressure on your nail.
Pro-tip: Always file your nails in one direction, back and forth movements will fray your nails.
4. Don’t leave your nail polish on for too long.
Although sometimes it feels like you have no time to properly remove chipped nail polish, you risk damaging your nails if you leave it on for weeks. Much like your skin, your nails can absorb substances that are applied to their surface. To give your nails a much-needed break from nail polish, remove it when it starts to chip and go without any nail polish for a few weeks.
5. Cut your nails as much as you can to avoid biting them.
Always keep your nail clipper nearby for better nail care. The moment you notice that your nails have become even just a bit longer, trim them. Even that little chipped nail needs to be clipped and not bitten. So when the urge starts, reach for your nail clipper. When they’re short, they won’t be as satisfying to bite.
6. Massage with coconut oil for extra strength.
Coconut oil can nourish and moisturize your nails and keep your cuticles healthy. Take a few drops of coconut oil and massage your nails with it till it’s absorbed. Doing so will heal your nail beds and make them strong.
7. Don’t use your nails as tools.
We all use our nails to open soda cans or scrape off a price sticker from time to time, but if you’re doing it regularly, you’re putting your nails under more pressure than they can handle. If you’re using your nails to do things they weren’t meant to do, it may lead to mild trauma and even cause your nails to split.
8. Don’t start cleaning until you put your rubber gloves on.
People who work in a lab can confirm that wearing latex or rubber gloves for several hours daily can damage your nails. However, the same thing can happen when you don’t wear them — at least while you’re doing housework. It’s not just that detergents contain harmful chemicals, but long exposure to water can weaken them as well. Therefore, invest in a good pair of rubber gloves and don’t forget to wear them the next time you wash dishes.
9. Be careful when applying hairspray.
If you’re an avid hairspray user, you may be damaging your fingernails without even realizing it. Hairsprays contain up to 50% alcohol, which is quite drying and can make your nails weak and brittle. While hairspray can add the finishing touch to your look, it can also mess up your manicure. Compounds in hairspray break apart the nail polish, so much you can even use it to remove nail polish stains from your clothes.
10. Avoid nail hardeners.
It probably sounds contradictory, but a nail strengthener will not help your nails in the long run. The ingredients in it will indeed initially harden the nail. However, with time, it can dry them out and your nails will become brittle and prone to breaking.
11. Take care of your nails after swimming in a pool.
While chlorine protects you from germs and bacteria in swimming pools, it can leave your nails overly dry and irritate them. If you’re a swimmer and like spending hours in a pool, make sure you apply a nail hardener and a coat of clear nail polish over it to keep them from losing moisture. Using a hand lotion that contains lanolin will also protect your hands and nails from the negative effects of chlorine.
12. Don’t remove your cuticles.
Even though your nail technician might say your cuticle won’t let your manicure look neat and stay fresh for longer, that little bit of skin is actually meant to protect your nails from infections. If you remove the cuticle, your nails become more vulnerable to germs and bacteria, which in turn can lead to nail diseases. Instead of cutting your cuticles, ask your technician to push it back and trim the loose skin.
Bonus: How to prevent ingrown toenails
Even if you don’t have enough time for a pedicure, you still need to cut your toenails. To do this well, don’t round your toenails, just cut them in a straight line. Since round toenails have more of a chance of growing into your skin instead of growing forward as they should, this simple change can potentially save you a lot of trouble.
Have you tried any of these tips and if you have, what differences have you seen in your nails? Would you currently describe your nails as healthy?