1. Trim Regularly
You go the hair salon for regular hair cuts to keep your hair healthy. The same principle applies to your nails. While long nails can be beautiful, too long nails can also become curved and leads to issues such as breakage and ruptured cuticles. Use a nail trimmer and cut them either square or round at the tips. Some experts say that a short and rounded style is preferable, as it can help avoid ingrowth and is neater and easier to manage. Trimming your fingernails is the simplest thing you can do to keep them healthy and it only takes a few minutes of your time every couple of weeks.
2.File Your Nails in One Direction
Filing and shaping nails may seem like a mindless activity; you may be one of the many people who file with a rough emery board while watching a soap opera at the same time. However, improper filing can be very damaging to nails. Sawing back and forth on your nails is like cutting hair with dull scissors. It will leave a jagged edge. The correct way to file nails for a smooth finish is to go in one direction. A glass (or “crystal”) nail file is better than the metal type, particularly if you have weak, brittle and damaged nails. Using a glass file gives you better control to create your ideal nail shape. Glass files have the added advantage of being washable and rust-free.
3.Clean and Replace Your Nail Tools Regularly
You may clean your makeup brushes regularly, what about the nail tools? There are large amounts of bacteria residing under our nails. These can be passed on to your nail trimmer or file when you use them. For this reason, cleaning and sanitizing your nail tools between uses is every bit as important as cleaning your makeup brushes. You can use soap and water to wash them and then wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them. Never share nail tools with anyone to prevent cross-infection and be sure to regularly replace disposable tools, such as emery boards.
4.Apply a Base Coat Under Your Polish For Protection
This step will not only protect your nails but can also prevent them from getting discolored or stained by nail polish. Applying a thin layer before and after painting will not only create a more saturated color, it also forms a protective layer between your nail and the polish. We all know that even the so- called natural polishes contain harmful ingredients. Be sure not to skip this step the next time you paint your nails.
5.Top Your Polish Up With A Top Coat
Are you annoyed with the way that your polish seems to chip off whenever you paint your own fingernails at home? If so, use a top coat on top of your polish. A top coat will lock in your color and add a nice gloss to your nails. Applying another layer of top coat every three days or so will help prevent polish from chipping off and make that gorgeous manicure last much longer.
6.Read the Labels on Your Polish
Before you purchase makeup or skincare products, you probably make a note of the product’s ingredients. The same should go for your nail polish. Nail care experts warn that chemicals in polish – such as paraben, formaldehyde and sulfate – are bad for both your fingernails and the skin around them. Worse still, bits of nail polish can chip off and fall into your food when you are eating with your hands, which will eventually go inside your body and cause harm. Be careful when you choose your nail polish and consider using natural and chemical-free paints if possible.
7.Give Your Nails a Rest
Lots of young girls indulge in elaborate nail art and colourful nails. However, those bold colors with a lot of pigment and toxic chemicals do a lot of harm to your nails. Frequent painting nails without ever taking a break can contribute to dryness and chipping. Over time, it can even cause yellow discoloration! Nail polish removers are another threat to nail health. Just keep in mind that frequent colors changes mean more exposure to the drying ingredients in nail polish remover. Give your nails time to rest and a clear gloss is enough to repair and rejuvenate them.
8.Always Moisturize Your Hands and Nails
It probably wouldn’t occur to you to wash your face without applying a moisturizer. But have you ever realized that the dryness and flakiness are just as bad for your nails as they are for your face? Any nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer can be applied to hydrate your nails and cuticles. In a pinch, you can even use a a little bit of lip balm. Maybe there are already many different bottles of cuticle oils and hand lotions sitting in your drawer and you just forget to make the best of them. Easy access is key when adding a step to any routine. You can buy some travel-sized products and put them at every sink in your home, at your office desk and in your bag. Oftentimes, out of sight means out of mind.
9.Wear Gloves When Doing Chores
Most cleaning detergents contain chemicals that will harm your fingernails if they come into direct contact. It is advisable to wear either disposable or reusable cleaning gloves whenever you’re dealing with harsh chemicals, gardening or doing activities that will get your hands dirty. Be sure to take good care of your reusable gloves by washing them immediately after use and hanging them outside in the sun to help sanitize them.
10.Have A More Protein-rich and Multi-vitamins Diet
As previously mentioned, our fingernails are composed by a protein called keratin. Therefore, growing strong and healthy fingernails requires an adequate protein intake. Vitamin E, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and magnesium are also vital to nail health. Load up on food like nuts, beetroot, soybeans, whole grains, greens, etc. by making them a part of your everyday diet.
Your overall health will be reflected in the state of your nails, so if you’re not getting a balanced mix of nutrients, you’re holding yourself back in more ways than one.