Who doesn’t want long, healthy fingernails? Whether your nails are naturally strong and thick or on the thin side, healthy nails are attainable! Here are a few ways to encourage healthy nail growth.
Take dietary supplements.
One of the most important factors in growing healthy nails is healthy nutrition. Like your skin and hair, your nails will reflect your inner health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and protein is a must, but dietary supplements certainly help too. Taking a daily vitamin with Vitamin A and Biotin will help improve not only the condition of your nails, but also your hair and skin.
Use a nail strengthening polish or base coat.
Using a nail strengthening polish, or base coat, under your polish is another easy way to strengthen your nails over time. These polishes bond to the nail more tightly than regular polishes, decreasing the flexibility of your nails, and therefore making it much more difficult for your nails to break or become damaged. Using two coats of strengthening nail polish helps. Also make sure that when you apply it, to cover the free edge at the end of your fingernails.
File your nails rather than clipping them.
Clipping your nails with fingernail clippers can put a lot of stress on the entire nail, and can cause the nails to split, chip, or break off evenly, especially if your clippers are dull. Instead, file the nail down to the length and shape that you want, using swift motions with a nail file. You can also buff the nail with a buffer to smooth the surface, but do not over-buff the nails, as this can cause them to become too thin, which again makes it more likely for them to break.
Pamper your cuticles.
Taking good care of your cuticles is essential for growing healthy, strong fingernails. Damage to the cuticle area can result in the growth of damaged or weak fingernails, and can also cause your fingernails to grow in more slowly. Avoid biting or tugging at any part of the cuticle. If you have a hangnail, carefully clip it using sanitized nail clippers or cuticle removers. If your tools are old, dirty, or dull, throw them away and buy new ones. You may also use a cuticle pusher to groom your nail beds, but first soften the area with cuticle oil. Coconut oil also works well for this task. To keep your cuticles from getting dry, routinely use a cuticle cream and hand cream.
Properly cleanse your nails.
Another time when nails can unexpectedly become damaged is when your are cleaning your nails or removing polish. Take the time to properly remove your nail polish with a nail polish remover rather than chipping or picking at it. If you wear gel nail polish, take the time to properly remove it by covering the nails with acetone-soaked cotton, and wrap the nails in foil to allow the polish to properly dissolve. Wash your nails using a mild soap and a gentle nail brush, and always follow up by applying a moisturizer to your hands and nail beds.