Tip 1: Don’t cut or manipulate cuticles.
Our number one tip is leave your cuticles alone, The cuticle is the natural barrier to fungus and bacteria — and once you breach that, protection is lost. This will not only make cuticles look worse — red, swollen, and ragged — but may also land you a nasty infection that harms the nail bed and leads to permanent nail damage and while cutting cuticles holds the most potential for harm, pushing them back can cause problems as well.
Tip 2: Use nail hardeners sparingly.
Nail hardeners can actually do more damage than good. We suggest using nail hardeners only when the nails are exceptionally weak and fragile.
Healthy nails are flexible nails, so to keep yours from breaking, avoid anything that makes them more brittle.
Tip 3: Moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle.
While there is little in the way of medical data showing that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it can make cuticles look better and help protect nails from breaking due to a lack of moisture. If your nails are prone to breakage, it could mean they need moisture — and putting oil around the cuticle helps moisturize the entire nail, which will reduce the incidence of chipping, cracking, and splitting.
Tip 4: Take biotin supplements.
In several studies, researchers found that supplements of biotin (a member of the vitamin B family) increased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking. In a respected German study that evaluated 45 people with severe nail problems, 2.5 milligrams of biotin daily for several months benefited everyone — with 91% of the 45 citing significant improvement.
Some nail products also contain silicon and the supplement MSM, two other nutrients associated with nail health.
The one supplement that won’t work: Gelatin. Experts say eating or soaking in it won’t do a thing to increase nail strength — and a liquid soak may actually waterlog and eventually weaken nails.
Tip 5: Avoid acetone-based polish removers.
Tip 7: Avoid rough emery boards.
Those old-fashioned orange emery boards are too harsh for nails, causing small fissures and cracks that lead to breakage and tears. Instead, make sure you use, file nails with a smooth, fine file and don’t saw back and forth. Instead, file in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.
Tip 8: Don’t overdo hand washing and limit contact with cleaning chemicals.
As healthy as it can be to wash your hands frequently, overdo it and you’ll wreak havoc with your nails. If you are in a profession where frequent hand washing is mandatory, we advise to use moisturizer as often as possible and rub a little extra around the cuticles several times a day.
When doing housework or laundry, minimize contact with harsh chemicals, including dish washing liquid, by wearing rubber gloves whenever possible.
Tip 9: Change shampoos.
While most women know when a shampoo doesn’t agree with their hair, many don’t realize it may not agree with their nails — even if their hair looks great. This, say experts, is particularly true of detergent shampoos, or those for oily hair, which are designed to strip lipids and other natural oils from the scalp. If your nails are very dry and you are using any soap product that strips the oils, there is the potential to dry the nails.
Tip 10: Remember toenails count, too!
Everything that applies to your fingernails applies to your toenails, which experts say may be even more prone to problems due to careless pedicures. “Because feet are more often inside shoes — a dark, moist environment — fungus can grow more easily. Moreover, cutting toenails at an angle — instead of straight across — increases the risk of ingrown toenails, which can be painful and sometimes develop into an infection.
Tip 11: Watch your nails for signs of health problems.
Most of the time, nail problems can be traced to environmental assaults — exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips.
The condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health. Here’s what they say to look out for:
- White nails — liver condition
- Half pink/half white nails —
- Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate — lung disease
- Pale nail beds —
- Yellow-tinged nails with a slight blush at the base —
Of course, if you suspect health problems, discuss any findings or concerns with your doctor.
If you would like to know more about how to make your nails look beautiful. Please schedule a session with one of our talented Urban Beauty Express Salon nail technicians today!