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Fingernails: How to Care For Them…

Wande O.

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I love the look of healthy, beautifully manicured nails, but being lazy like I am, I often do not take the time needed to get mine nicely polished and glam. I do however try to keep them healthy, clean, neat and functional. Well groomed nails go a long way in creating a well put together appearance.

Like with hair and skin, getting healthier, stronger nails requires adopting a healthy nail care regimen. Here are 12 top tips for caring for your nails and keeping them healthy:

 

  1. Knowing what is wrong with your nails goes a long way in knowing how to bring out the best in them, what to avoid, and what you need most.
    • Brittle nails that break off easily are lacking in moisture and need to be moisturised with oil or lotion regularly.
    • Soft, weak nails have too much moisture, and may be strengthen using coconut oil or by taking supplements with biotin and MSM. Wear gloves when washing or doing anything with water.
    • If you have normal nails, you’re lucky. Adopting a good nail care regimen will help bring out the best in your nails.
  2. Moisturise nails and cuticles: Moisturising hand lotions or just using natural oils on your nails and cuticles, go a long way in making your nails look nicer and grow healthier. They provide moisture to brittle nails that break easily; and oils like coconut oil, also gives strength to weak and soft nails.
  3. Stop biting your nails. Don’t pull at nails: Biting your nails can deform your nails over time, which is not aesthetically pleasing; damage the skin around your nails, and even affect your teeth. Avoid biting your nails by using bitter varnishes, beautifying nails with polish (to make them too appealing to spoil), and avoiding triggers, amongst others. Pulling at nails can cause infection in the surrounding skin.
  4. Careful with nail extensions: They look gorgeous, and can hide a multitude of sins, but too much of wearing them can also weaken and damage your nails. Try to take breaks in between nail extensions, and opt for nail tips over full extensions.
  5. Avoid 100% acetone-based nail polish removers: Acetone is a very stripping chemical, and nail polish removers that contain them can strip the moisture from your nails over time. This will lead to nails becoming more brittle, and easily broken.
  6. Do not remove your cuticles: Usually found at the bottom of the nail, the cuticles help protect your nails from infection. Removing them opens your nails and surrounding skin to bacteria, fungi, and other infection.
  7. Try Biotin Supplements: Biotin is great for growing and promoting stronger, healthier hair, nails and skin. Try taking supplement containing biotin for thicker and healthier nails. Make sure to drink plenty of water while taking supplements.
  8. Don’t overdo washing and chemicals: As they can weaken and even damage nails
  9. Careful with Professional Manicures: Make sure your manicurist is well qualified and knows what they are doing. Make sure they sterilize their tools properly between clients. It might be useful to bring your own manicure tools to make sure of this.
  10. Toes need to look pretty too! Don’t forget to take care and groom your toenails too.
  11. Watch out for health signs: Problems and disorders with your nails might be symptoms of an underlying health disorder. Look out for these signs and symptoms, and go see your doctor immediately, if you notice them. For instance, pale nails could be a sign of anaemia; yellowish tinted nails could be a sign of diabetes, amongst others.
  12. Good to keep things natural in between polishes and extensions… Let your nails breathe.