It can be excruciatingly painful to have dry, brittle nails that tear or break. If you have nail breakage, you can make a few lifestyle changes to help your nails return to a smooth, healthy, and strong state.
This article will relate everything from how to improve your diet to which external conditions may be taking a toll on your digits. They advise on bad habits to avoid, biotin myths to avoid, and your best bets for getting the nails you’ve so often wanted.
Continue reading for expert-approved tips on not breaking and taking care of your long nails.
Learn How to Use Long Nails
Whether you prefer long natural nails or polished nails, learn when to use your fingers; practice using them as if you had just put a fresh coat of nail polish. Remember that the more bumps your nails take, the more likely the tips will break. People are frequently surprised at how quickly nails break, but few realize the damage started days – even weeks – earlier.
Long natural nails, by definition, are weaker than typically shaped nails and, as such, require special care. Pointed nails provide very little support, whereas square or oval-shaped nails are more likely to stay strong when long, which is why learning how to care for long nails is essential.
Use a Hardening Base Coat
Although it may appear counterintuitive, nail polish can benefit weak nails and even help stop them from breaking—as long as the formula is correct. Using a base coat with polish can add a layer of protection, but unless you use a strengthening base coat, it’s more for polish adhesion than nail health.
Ingest a Biotin Supplement
One of the B vitamins is biotin (also known as vitamin B-7 and vitamin H). Because it’s water-soluble, it is not stored by the body, so you must consume it daily.
Biotin can help strengthen nails and the nervous system of the body. You can obtain it from foods such as cooked eggs, sardines, and legumes or by taking a B vitamin or supplement.
Before taking a biotin supplement, please consult your doctor to ensure it is safe.
Moisturize After Washing Your Hands
Water moisturizes the skin but dehydrates the nails. To compensate, moisturize your nails and hands after each wash. Your usual hand moisturizer will suffice. While rubbing your hands together, ensure that your nails are well moisturized.
Reduce Your Exposure to Water
Soaking nails in water for an extended time can cause them to become brittle and fragile. When washing dishes, use gloves and keep your hands out of the water when taking a bath. Of course, avoiding soaking your hands all the time is impossible, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Refrain From Picking or Peeling
Just as you shouldn’t pick at your face when you have a breakout, you should avoid picking at your fingers when your polish is peeling, or your nails are breaking. Keep a keratin-based serum or strengthener on hand and apply it when you notice the damage. Self-care should take the place of picking.
Avoid peeling, picking, or pulling the artificial nail off if you have gel or dip nails. This is potentially painful and can cause nail damage.
To do a safe DIY gel nail removal, immerse them in an acetone solution. The acetone solution will dry out your nails but will not harm them as much as pulling off gel or dip nails.
Use Protective Gloves When Doing Chores
You should also remember to protect your nails when performing different household chores. The harsh chemicals in cleaning products and soap are lethal to your nails. Wear cotton-lined latex gloves to protect your nails and hands when cleaning the kitchen or scrubbing the bathroom.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Remember to eat a healthy, varied diet and take a multivitamin with minerals. A diet lacking in essential minerals and vitamins can impact your entire body, including your nails.
Make Use of an Acetone-free Nail Polish Remover
Acetone was once the only option for removing polish—and it is effective. However, it has drawbacks not limited to the pungent odor we’ve grown accustomed to, such as drying out nails. Fortunately, acetone-free nail polish removers are becoming more popular, with some even offering additional benefits such as nourishing and strengthening.
Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
You should never cut or remove cuticles because they can cause infections and inflammation. Simply move them back gently.
However, before pushing the cuticles back, shower or dip your fingers in tepid water for 10-15 minutes to soften and pliable the cuticles. Gently push your cuticle back with a cuticle stick (wood is gentler on your nails than steel). Damage will weaken the whole nail, so take care not to damage it.
Remove the dead cuticle by shifting the cuticle stick around your nail base in a circular motion.
Be Wary of the Products You Use
Many nail polishes and treatments possess harsh chemicals that can weaken your nails. You should avoid acetone-containing nail polish remover because it can cause nail damage. Instead, look for acetone-free polish remover, and nontoxic nail soaks and polishes.
Avoid Using Acrylics
Acrylic nail application can be extremely harmful to your natural nails. The combination of harsh chemicals in the products, filing your nail’s surface until it’s rough, curing light exposure, and soaking in acetone for removal can result in damaged nails. If fake nails are your thing, go for a gentler option like a non-damaging press-on nail.
Take a Break from Polishing Your Nails
Similarly, while nail polish looks fantastic, your nails have to breathe. The use of polish regularly, even if it is nontoxic, can weaken the nail. After one week or so of wearing nail polish, remove it with an acetone-free remover and let your nails be polish-free all week.
While long nails are not always practical or attractive, everybody has different preferences, and long nails may fit your preferences and lifestyle well. Long nails with tastefully decorated designs, unlike short nails, must be cared for to last.
Many of these professional tricks and tips for caring for long nails will be familiar to you. If not, these pointers will remind you to keep your nails in good shape for as long as doable.