Our nails are something that we see quite often. Every time we look down at our phones, or we start writing, there they are. Having strong nails is not only important for aesthetics, but it is also vital to our body’s health. Let’s talk about how you can improve your nail’s health and keep them looking their best.
Signs Of Healthy And Strong Nails
If you’re wondering if your nails are normal and healthy, we’ve got you covered. Healthy nails will appear smooth and be uniform in color and consistency. They won’t have any pits or grooves and will also be free of discoloration or spots.
Your nails should also be a pale pink color, indicating healthy tissue underneath the nail bed. When you push down on your nails, the color should disappear and then reappear. This means that your blood is flowing properly to your tissues.
Strong nails also will not easily break. If you have nails that can withstand bending and everyday wear and tear, they are probably healthy. Sometimes brittle nails indicate an iron deficiency and should be addressed with a doctor.
Signs Of Weak Nails
If you have nails that easily peel, it is likely due to trauma to the nail itself. This sometimes occurs while removing acrylic nails or soaking them for too long. Another sign of unhealthy nails is horizontal ridges on the nail bed. This is called Beau’s lines and could be a symptom of something more serious.
You could also be dealing with weak nails if you notice that they are yellow in color, have black lines or white spots. Yellow nails are caused by an infection and take a while to grow back clear. Black lines occur when you hit your nail on a surface, and it causes a splinter hemorrhage. White spots on your nail usually indicate a zinc deficiency.
Ways To Strengthen Nails
So now that you’ve assessed the health of your nails, you’re ready to take the next steps. If you’re worried about how strong your nails are or you suffer from one of the signs of weak nails, here are some tips to get your nails in tip-top shape.
We don’t mean avoiding water altogether, of course. Humans need water to survive, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Soaking your nails in water too often can cause them to become brittle and easily break. So if you’re going to do the dishes, wear some gloves. When you’re in a bath or a hot tub, avoiding soaking your hands in the water for an extended period.
Maintaining Healthy Diet
Eating healthy won’t just improve your nail’s health; it will also make your entire body feel better overall. Try to plan your meals out for the week and decide what proteins and vegetables you’ll have each day. Make sure you’re getting enough variety in your diet to meet all of your body’s needs. Take a multivitamin that contains minerals like iron to strengthen your nails.
Although soaking your nails in water isn’t good for them, drinking water is. Keeping your body hydrated will help your organs run smoothly and improve nail health by bringing moisture to the cuticles. Without water, nails easily peel and break. Try to drink about 11-15 cups of water a day.
Avoid Getting Acrylic Nails
We know it can be tempting to go to the salon and get a full set of nails. It’s an easy alternative for people who can’t grow their nails. However, this process harms your nails in the long run, and it takes months for them to recover fully. If you are going to get acrylics, don’t continuously get them for months on end. This will prevent your nails from healing.
Gel polish can also be damaging to nails. This process requires UV light to cure the polish, which increases your risk of skin cancer. Exposure to the light also damages the skin surrounding the area, making it harder to support the health of your nails.
Keep Nails Short
Long nails can feel glamorous to sport, but they easily get caught on things and break. If you want to improve your nail’s health, try to keep your nails on the shorter side. This way, they are less likely to chip or split down to the base.
File Nails Correctly
A lot of people don’t realize that they’re filing their nails the wrong way. Using a nail file to go back and forth on your nail actually weakens them. If you file them in one direction, you’ll get a smoother and healthier end result. Make sure to go easy on the sides of your nails since this is the most delicate part.
This is one of the most important steps for healthier nails. Keeping your nails and cuticles moisturized with nail oil or lotion is crucial to keep them from peeling and splitting. Do this after you wash your hands, especially during the colder months. If you feel like you haven’t hydrated enough that day or you just used nail polish remover, use extra moisturizer!
Don’t Use Nails To Open Things
This might be obvious to some, but we do desperate things when we’re in a rush. Trust us, using your nail to open that package isn’t worth it; get some scissors instead. You should also avoid using your nails to open soda cans or other tasks that apply pressure to the nail.
Stay Away From Drying Products
This is a catch 22, because keeping your hands clean is just as important as keeping them healthy. A lot of people use hand sanitizer to clean their hands when there isn’t a sink available. Sanitizers usually contain high amounts of alcohol, which dry your hands out in the process. If you are going to use a product like this, try to grab one that also contains aloe vera or some other moisturizing agents.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you feel that your nail health is a chronic condition, it might be time to talk to a doctor. Although most nail issues can be solved at home, there are cases that need to be treated professionally. If you’ve tried everything you can and aren’t seeing results, you might need to see a dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe a nail treatment that you can’t get over the counter.
Take Biotin Supplements
Biotin has been known to strengthen hair and nails when taken daily. It’s one of the B vitamins that helps your nervous system function the way it’s supposed to. Some foods naturally contain biotin, like eggs, but you can also take it in a supplement. Before adding this to your routine, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe, especially if you’re taking any other medications.
Use Better Polish
When applying nail polish, make sure the formula doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. Things like formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene are common in some polishes on the market. Usually, the bottle will say whether or not it is free of chemicals like these, so pay close attention. You can also search online to see whether or not a nail polish brand is non-toxic.
Applying Bases and Top Coats
When you do your nails, applying a base coat and a top coat will help provide a protective barrier from breakage. Some base coats even nourish your nails before you apply the polish to keep them feeling hydrated. Top coats will prevent the polish or your nail from chipping.
When removing nail polish, avoid using acetone-based removers. The acetone is harsh on nails and will dry them out. Your nails are more likely to peel and chip if you expose them to acetone on a regular basis. There are many natural alternatives to traditional nail polish remover, like lemon or vinegar.
Care For Your Cuticles
You might think trimming your cuticles is the best way to keep them looking pretty. However, trimming will cause more peeling over time. Cutting your cuticle can even lead to infections and white lines on your nails. If you want to take proper care of the cuticle, gently push them back and use cuticle oil to keep them nourished.
Press-on nails are a viable alternative to regular manicures and gel polish. They last five times longer and require minimal time and effort. The type of press-on nails you buy will affect the health of your nail. Cheap nails that are made with chemicals will cause nail problems that will be a hassle to deal with.
Clutch Nails makes press-ons that are lightweight and allow your nails to breathe underneath them. They come in all different sizes so that you can find the right nail to fit each of your fingers correctly. This is essential to prevent agitation to your cuticles.
The Final Takeaway
So there you have it, the best ways to get healthy nails and keep them looking stylish and strong. Following these tips will leave you with the optimal nail results so that you’ll be ready the next time you want to show off your fresh manicure.