We all know that one friend who has nails that make us weep with envy. Long nail beds, strong nails, perfect curved edge, look amazing with a pop of colour. Sadly, we aren’t all blessed in this department and, even sadder, our nail shape, length and strength will depend largely upon our genetics.
However, there are definitely things you can do to improve your nails and get closer to the nails of your Pinterest dreams! Some of these things are instant wins and other will take a bit of dedication.
But as they say, nothing great comes easy…
This is a key tip for improving the quality of your nails and can be approached from both the inside and the outside. The first step is to drink enough. Many of us think we are drinking plenty – and you absolutely might be – but for a quick experiment, make a drink diary and log how much water you’re drinking every day for one week. The recommended amount is 8-10oz at least 8 times per day. Also, its worth mentioning here, that 4 skinny lattes don’t count! Yes they are liquid but the quality of our liquid is important, sugary or fatty drinks just don’t have the same nutritional benefit. The second step is to keep your hands and nails hydrated with a cuticle oil. Cuticles are heavily responsible for the quality of the nail as they nourish the nail plate as it grows. Hydrated and healthy cuticle = hydrated and healthy nail which leads to a stronger and longer nail. You can use oils in your home such as olive or coconut, or you can invest in a cuticle oil such as this one from Bodyshop. Apply twice daily – a pro tip is to keep it with your toothbrush so you’re reminded to apply twice a day.
We all know the old saying “you are what you eat” and we all know it is true – although we choose to forget it when we are overcome by our desire to neck a bag of Haribo. The parts of us which are often the biggest tell tale signs of internal health – or lack of – are our skin, hair and nails. This is because they are always growing and transforming, so small changes to our health will be seen quicker. Also, because they are not “necessary” for our survival, when we are low in certain vitamins or minerals, our body will divert away from these areas to fuel more important ones! A way of ensuring we remain healthy and are getting everything we need to keep our whole body running as it should, is to eat a rainbow diet. This consists of fruits and vegetables of all different colours, plenty of leafy greens, wholegrains and healthy fats such as avocado and oily fish.
I always send my clients away with the warning “jewels not tools” and what I mean by this is your nails are for decoration, especially when you have just invested in a treatment for them, they are not to be used to chip at things, pick things or clean! Ensure you are taking care of your nails when doing nay labour heavy jobs. Lets face it your hands are the most abused part of your body, so there is little we can do to protect them completely, but taking actions such as wearing gloves when cleaning or handling anything damaging, will go along way.
I’m sure we’ve all seen – and maybe even tried – the many vitamin gummies there are for sale on social media these days. These are sold with the promise of long, glossy hair and strong nails. I do not contest the importance of vitamins in growing our nails, as detailed above when I talk about diet. However, the health and appearance of your nails will only change when you take these tablets, if you need them. If you find you have brittle, weak nails no matter what you do, pop to your GP for a blood count, you may be low in certain vitamins which will help improve them, or you may be low in Iron or have a sluggish Thyroid. All of these can be fixed, so don’t hesitate to pop to GP, get checked and supplement with whatever you are low in, if needed.
This one might seem counterintuitive, but the purpose of the file is not to change the length of the nail, it is just to smooth out any uneven edges or potential snags which can quickly escalate into a ripped nail tip! Glass nail files are popular and also have the added benefit of being durable and reusable. There are also soft nail files which are design for smoothing the edge of your nail and are very gentle so as to not take length away. Whichever you prefer it doesn’t really matter, they will both come in handy on your nail growing journey! To file and smooth your nail edge, begin at the side and use a sweeping motion to the beginning and then do the same from the other side. Try not to smooth the whole edge in one motion.
Hope this helps you on your nail growing journey! Check out my other blogs for more tips!