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Top Tips for Healthy and Long Nails
1.) Treat your nails with care
This means not using your nails as tools. This means when you need to unscrew something, untie something, dial something or especially open a ring pull on a drinks can then try and use other parts of your hand or a piece of cutlery, basically anything but your nails.
2.) Wear gloves
No we don’t mean wooly gloves, we mean rubber gloves. As all girls know, we do the washing up and general cleaning quite often, and this can cause stress on our nails, therefor ruining our dreams of long nails. However if you wear rubber gloves you can crush this harsh reality. Detergents and chemicals are particularly harsh on your nails and they cause splitting and peeling. Wearing gloves when cleaning and also gardening can protect nails from splitting, peeling, infection and loss of natural oils.
3.) A little TLC goes a long way
Avoid biting your nails or picking at your cuticles because from the obvious reason of biting being the main cause of shortening your nails, these bad habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your nail can let bacteria or fungi in to the nail bed and cause an infection. And because your nails grow slowly, they will retain the damage for a few months so you definitely want to avoid damage at all costs.
4.) Beautiful cuticle
The cuticle acts as a barrier that stops bacteria from reaching the nail matrix (new cells are generate here), so the cuticle should not be trimmed or cut. On the other hand (no pun intended) you do want to keep cuticles nice and neat, and not overgrown, as this suffocates the nails growth. If your cuticle has grown out on to the nail plate, then there is something you can do without damaging the cuticle itself. After softening your cuticles in warm water for about 5 minutes (try adding lemon juice to the water for added stregnth and whiteness for the nail) very gently and as gracefully as possible, use a cuticle pushing tool (purchased from all boots and major supermarkets and also included in nail sets) to push your cuticles back. As well as keeping your cuticles from becoming overgrown, this will help to remove dead skin and debris that may have been building up. The trick is to hold the tool at an angle, and only use tiny and slow circular movements so that you don’t start damaging anything. And you musn’t forget to moisturise your hands after this procedure to lock in moisture for beautiful nails and hands.
5.) Simply look after your nails
Like you would with your hair, a little neatening every now and again is sufficient to neat and tidy nails. Trim the nail and clean underneath the nail regularly. Don’t use the nails on the other hands to clean underneath nails though, use manicure scissors or clippers and a good quality nail file to smooth nail edges. Personally i have found the 3D nail blocks the best for mainaining neat nails (they have a file on one edge, and then a buffer, a smoother and a shiner on the other edges). Hangnails can be the worst thing for your nails, then can be the difference between one short nail when the rest are long. However, as frustrating as it can they can be, don’t pull off hangnails, clip them off instead. Doing this will prevent you ripping living tissue, when you clip them off leave a slight angle outwards to aid in regrowth.
6.) Keep brittle nails at bay
Trim brittle nails after a 15 minute hand soak in bath oil, and then apply a good quality moisturiser. Try not to use nail polish remover more than twice a month. Instead, try just re-applying the nail polish over the existing polish. If you absolutely have to use nail polish remover, find one that doesn’t have acetone in it as this dries out the nails. Consider using a nail stregnthener (I use Avon Gold Strength) and a growth formula.
7.) Wear coloured nail polish
Using coloured nail polish when growing your nails acts as an alarm and makes you more aware of your hands and how you use them in a way that keeps your nails from getting damaged and keeps your nails protected. It also makes chips easier to spot so you can immediately repair it. If you don’t like bright colours, try a more subtle colour like a pale pink. As long as it is brighter than your natural nail colour then it will do the trick.
8.) Prevent stained nails
To prevent nails from staining or yellowing, always use a good quality base coat before applying nail polish. This will prevent staining to the nail and also extend the life of the nail polish. If your nails are already stained, try soaking nails in a solution of about 1/2 cup of water and the juice of 1 large lemon for about 15 minutes, about once a week.
Remember girls, long and healthy nails don’t come easily. Growing them properly will require patience and commitment, but as they say, no pain no gain!
For more nail tips and tricks, keep those beautiful eyes on Drop Of Pink!