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nail care at home

How to Grow Healthy Nails

When you think about growing healthy nails, do you picture yourself sitting in a salon receiving expensive treatments? If so, you might want to think again. Though working with a professional can be beneficial, there are simple things you can do at home to improve your nails - perhaps you’ve been doing it, but not constantly.

Red painted toe nails with flowers in the background

Whether you want to grow strong long nails or grow healthy nails, you have to do a few things to make this happen. Keep scrolling to find out what they are.

And remember: if you want to succeed at growing healthy nails, you will have to be patient and persistent in caring for them.


Eat healthy meals

Growing strong nails is a prime concern for women of all ages, but what you eat can affect the health of your fingernails and toenails. Nails are made of keratin protein; the same substance humans have in their hair and skin. And like other tissues of the human body, they're susceptible to health issues such as inflammation, malnutrition, dehydration and vitamin deficiencies.

So, if you want to grow strong and healthy nails, food rich in nutrients can assist your nails to go from dry and brittle to healthy and strong. Fruits, lean meats, salmon, leafy greens, beans, eggs, almonds, and complete grains are good for your nails.


Apply moisturizer

A moisturizer is an essential item to keep healthy nails hydrated. Before bed, each day, apply moisturizer to your nails and cuticles and rub it in thoroughly. Look for moisturizers that contain glycerin or lanolin.

manicured hands holding a tube of moisturizer

You can also use jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil as a natural alternative. These oils are rich in nutrients and help your nails gain strength naturally while retaining moisture.


Take biotin supplements

Biotin is a B vitamin that your body naturally produces in the intestines. It's an essential nutrient for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Fortunately, it can also be found in certain foods or taken as a supplement to help improve nail health and thickness.

Biotin supplements are available over the counter at most pharmacies but talk with a doctor before taking them because they can have side effects and interact poorly with other medications. Foods rich in biotin include salmon, egg yolks, peanuts and whole grains.


Protect your nails from impact and trauma

Let's talk about the most common nail complaints:

Acute nail syndrome, also known as "jumper" nails, can result from an abnormal or overused action on your nails. The cause of this is most likely nail-biting (sticking your index finger in your mouth and gently rubbing), which has been shown to dislocate a portion of the nails. Nail-biting itself isn't harmful—it's what you do with it afterwards that causes issues. 

When you repeatedly pick at a single spot on your nails, the skin and underlying tissue will stretch and tear easily, causing the area to become inflamed. This causes a bubble of blood to form underneath the affected area, making it easier for dirt and debris to get trapped under it, creating more significant trauma in that part of the nail bed when you accidentally scratch yourself or someone else during an accident. 

Also known as dermatitis or psoriasis, acute nail syndrome is never good news—but there are ways to prevent it:

  • Don't use your nails as tools! Using them excessively can damage their natural edge; misusing them can cause injury by tearing off the skin and scraping off layers of nail bed underneath.
  • Avoid wearing polish with texture or colour that can rub against your skin or into open wounds under your fingernails.
  • Avoid wearing rings that are too tight.
  • Cut back on those "5-minute" manicures at home…if you must have something done professionally, be sure to wear gloves for both safety and hygiene concerns

Let your nails breathe between manicures

Are you constantly painting and repainting your nails? If so, you may want to reconsider—your nails are like little sponges, absorbing every chemical they contact. This includes the polish itself as well as acetone nail polish remover.

If you just can't quit your favourite shade of red, give your nails a break between manicures by using nail polish remover to clean them off thoroughly. You can also use a base coat before applying your colour of choice; this will help protect the nail from unnecessary drying and damage.


Avoid using nail polish remover unnecessarily

While you might think that removing your polish regularly is an excellent way to keep your nails healthy, you shouldn't be using nail polish remover all the time. 

Removing nail polish with cotton and nail polish remover

Nail polish removers are unnecessarily harsh on your nails and can strip them of their natural oils. If you must use a nail polish remover, try to avoid acetone-based ones and only use it as often as necessary.

Try to remove any existing polish before applying a new coat; this will prevent your nails from being attacked by multiple coats of chemicals at once. Additionally, try to give your nails some time in between lacquer applications, so they have a chance to breathe.


Conclusion

We all want that Pinterest-y looking nails, or at least a perfectly healthy unpolished one. While you are up to the challenge, the most important thing is to be patient and have realistic expectations. Don't expect your nails to grow back healthy overnight or even in a month. They take time to grow, so getting healthy nails requires persistence and patience.

The secret to growing healthy nails is a combination of practices: adjusting any harmful habits—including nail-biting or picking, wearing gloves when exposing your hands to harsh chemicals (like household cleaners), and keeping your hands moisturized, are just a few.

There is no quick fix for weak nails. But taking care of your nails and applying the above tips every day can help you build healthier nails in the long run. The best thing about it is that you will be doing it for yourself, bestie!

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