Your nails speak a lot about your health and well-being. Therefore, growing and keeping your nails healthy and strong should be one of the top beauty routines you follow. Each one of us often makes all possible efforts to have a flawless skin but neglect our nails equally. It is easy and inexpensive and adds value to the beauty quotient. Following these 10 tips will help you grow healthy and strong nails.
10 Nail Care Tips
1. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Washing your hands at regular intervals ensures the removal of dirt, dust, and food particles that get stuck between the nail gaps. Washing them with water using a mild soap is recommended. When not washed regularly, nails could act as a breeding bed for bacteria and other microbes, causing various diseases. This also keeps the possible bacterial and fungal nail infections at bay.
2. Keep Them Dry
After washing, it is mandatory that you dry your hands and nails with a soft towel or paper napkin immediately. Not keeping them dry creates a conducive environment for fungal growth, which in long term, causes severe nail infections. Keeping your nails moist always also results in brittle and weak nails which chip often.
3. Avoid Biting Or Picking Your Nails
Anxiety, restlessness, or boredom could make you want to bite your nails. This habit does not just affect the appearance of your nails but also causes infections in the nails and mouth. The constant action of saliva on your nails keeps them moist leading to microbial growth. The easiest way to overcome this is to apply a bold nail color, chipping off which, after biting, would make your nails appear unkept. Making up your mind and avoiding biting is a tough yet permanent solution. Avoid biting the skin around your nails, since it has similar effects.
Picking at your nail color makes wear and tear of the upper layer of your nails, affecting its strength. Take off your nail color using a remover instead.
4. Moisturize Your Nails
The importance of moisturizing your nails cannot be emphasized enough. It is as important as moisturizing your skin. Using nail colors, removers, or nail glitters could cause dryness, leading to brittle nail syndrome. This results in dry nails which are fragile and chip off often. Applying a moisturizer twice a week, followed by a gentle massage strengthens the nails.
Commercially available moisturizers, a mix of almond oil and avocado oil in equal proportions, or any nutrient-rich oil will do the trick.
5. Choose Your Nail Care Products Wisely
Having beautifully colored nails is preferred by most women. Though nail colors give you a clean and pleasing look, they bring along potential health hazards. The harmful chemicals present in the nail colors, namely toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalates– “the toxic trio” cause various side effects. Check the labels of the nail colors thoroughly, to rule out the products having these chemicals.
Acetone is one of the active ingredients in nail polish removers, which dehydrates your nails, making them brittle. Choose acetone-free remover instead.
Gels and acrylic manicures interfere with the strength and growth of the nails, due to the exposure of nails to UV rays. Avoid getting these done often. Make sure you disinfect your nail care tools every time after use, to avoid them become carriers of bacteria and fungi.
6. Care For Your Cuticles
Cuticles play a vital role in avoiding infections by sealing the base of the nails. Cutting them off could expose the base and making nails vulnerable to bacteria and fungi. Gently pushing your cuticles back with a Q-tip after shower, once a week is considered beneficial. Massaging it with a cuticle creams further improves the growth of the nails, due to increased blood flow. Make sure your nail color does not smudge onto your cuticles by gently wiping off the extra color.
7. Give Your Nails A Break
Constant application of nail colors could make the nail look pale and yellow and effect the structure. Give your nails the time to breathe freely during the weekends by taking off the nail polish. Give them a gentle massage and moisturize them after removing the color. This helps retain the natural color, moisture, and strength of the nails.
8. Protect Your Nails
Like your skin, your nails are also prone to sun damage when exposed to UV light. Apply a layer of broad spectrum sun-screen before stepping out of the house. Using gloves in winters is recommended, since winters could dehydrate your nails.
Dish gloves are helpful when you are washing and cleaning the dishes. The dish wash bars or liquids are usually harsh on your nails and could let all the efforts you put for nail-care go in vain. Gloves also protect your nails from being exposed to water and infections caused due to it.
9. Do Not Skip The Base And Top Coat
Applying base coat prevents your nails from getting stained due to the color. It also suffices one coat of nail color by making the color look more opaque. Dermatologists swear by the benefits of applying a base coat.
Sealing the color with a top coat prevents it from chipping and makes the color last longer. Not only does this avoid the peeling of the top layer of the nail, it also provides a perfect gloss to the color.
10. Have A Protein Rich Diet
A protein called keratin forms the building block of nails. Therefore, having protein-rich food from sources like eggs, seafood, lean meat, whole grains, milk products, and soy improves your nail health.
Vitamin-B is necessary for stronger nails. Biotin, specifically, helps in repairing fragile and weak nails. If natural sources like soy, nuts, dairy, eggs, berries, tea, and coffee do not suffice the biotin requirement in your body, supplements would be effective. Apart from these, foods rich in folic acid also help.
5 DIY Tips For Healthy Nails
1. To Get Rid Of Brittle Nails
- To 1 liter of water, add 4 tbsp of sea salt.
- Soak your nails in this solution for 15 minutes.
- Dry thoroughly after soaking and apply moisturizer and cuticle cream to your nails.
2. To Remove Stains From Nails
- To 1 cup of water, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
- Soak your nails in it for 10 minutes.
- Wash your hands with warm water thoroughly.
- Apply moisturizer.
- Practice this on alternate days to get stain-free nails.
3. To Brighten Up Your Nails
- Mix 40 ml of rose water to 10 gm of glycerine.
- To this mixture, add 50 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Gently massage your nails with this solution using a cotton ball.
- Wash with warm water and pat dry.
- Try this remedy once a week to see the difference.
4. To Make Your Nails Stronger
- Warm 4 tbsp of mustard oil and pour it a bowl.
- Soak your nails for around 10–15 minutes.
- After soaking, gently massage your nails in a circular motion. This improves blood flow making your nails stronger.
- Practice this every day before going to bed.
5. For Faster Growth
- In a bowl of fresh orange juice, soak your fingernails for 15 minutes.
- Wash with warm water and dry thoroughly.
- Apply a layer of moisturizer.
- The vitamin-C and folic acid present in orange juice promote growth.
- Try this remedy every day to see quicker results.
Nail care should be a part of everyone’s hygiene and beauty routine. It does not just keep infections and diseases at bay, but also improves your confidence and aesthetic appeal.