Healthy nails can be a struggle for many people, and everyone has unique problems. Whether your nails break and chip easily or just won’t grow, there are solutions to any nail issue. As a beauty and fashion expert I have learned strategies to help combat nail problems with my clients, and myself. Follow my guide to help get healthier, more beautiful nails that you can show off all summer long.
Eat Right and Drink Water
The key to overall health is to eat a proper diet and drink lots of water. On average, you need about half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 100 pounds, for example, you need to drink about 50 ounces per day. This sounds like a lot, but spacing it out correctly can help you achieve your water goal. When all your body systems are properly hydrated, it can devote more of that moisture to your nails. Eating foods high in B vitamins, like bananas, can help your nails grow more quickly. If you can’t get all the vitamins you need from your diet, the supplement biotin has been shown to possibly help improve nail health and growth.
Moisturize Your Hands
Slathering on a good moisturizer can help improve your hand health, but massaging it into your nails and cuticles can reduce brittleness in your nails. I recommend a thick body butter with vitamin E that can penetrate deep into the nail and skin to help provide extra hydration. It’s especially important if you use chemicals or even just do the dishes. Any harsh soaps and even hard water can dry your nails out quickly, so once you’re done using chemicals, wash and moisturize your hands. If you can, use gloves or a barrier cream to help block even more chemicals from getting into your nails.
Avoid Nail Polish with Chemicals
Finding nail polish that is low in bad chemicals, like formaldehyde, can be hard. Choose neutral or basic shades that match a lot of your clothes and use them more frequently than cheaper nail polishes which could contain chemicals that damage your nails. If you can’t afford or don’t want to invest in just simple colors, invest in a base coat that is better for your nails so there is a barrier between the polish and your fingernail. I like to use an organic nail polish remover as well, because nail polish remove can strip nails of their natural moisture.
Groom Your Nails
Trimming and filing your nails can help minimize breakage and hang nails, which can be painful. Make sure to file and trim your nails at least once a week, and keep a nail file handy in case you break or chip a nail. Filing down can help you prevent further nail damage, which can sometimes permanently ruin the beauty of a nail. I like to use a buffing block that lets me get my nails shiny after I have trimmed and filed them. Buffing blocks can be found at any beauty supplier and even drug stores. You should also regularly clean your nails with a gentle soap to help keep bacteria at bay.
In addition to these tips, make sure that if you notice any discoloration in the nail or extreme damage you contact your doctor. Sometimes damage or discoloration can mean there are other underlying medical conditions or even fungus that should be treated. And all of these tips can also be applied to your often forgotten toenails. By summer, you’ll have adorable nails to flaunt in your sandals and on your hands.