Today’s Monday Manicure post is a continuation of last week’s post on daily habits for strong and healthy nails. See the first 6 tips in this post here. Continue reading for 7 more tips to try on your journey to long, healthy nails.
Seal the Deal with a Top Coat
A top coat is equally as important as your base coat, as the top coat seals in the polish’s color and adds a much-needed gloss finish to your manicure. Add another top coat layer every 3 days to decrease chipping, that way you’ll get the most out of your manicure. There’s no point spending all that time (or money) on a manicure that’ll last just a day, not in this economy!
Indulge in Acrylic or Gel Manicures Sparingly
As long-lasting and convenient as they are, acrylic or gel manicures are very hard on the nail. But if you’re dead set on getting them, there are some ways to minimize the damage to your hands and nails. The main issue with a gel manicure is the exposure to UV light in the drying device, which can damage the skin below and around the nail, leading to an increased risk of Cancer. To help reduce that risk, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 before the procedure to help block the damage. Or you can try special gloves that expose only the nails themselves, shielding the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.
Gives Your Nails a Break
Save the elaborate nail art and those bold colors with lots of pigment for the weekend or special occasions. During the rest of the week, give your nails time to rest and repair with a clear, glossy top coat. DO your nails so extra good by applying a nail treatment under the glossy top coat or get one that’s already infused with some beneficial treatments for your nails. Going from one strong polish color to another without giving your nails a break can dry them out, turn them yellow, and over time, even weaken the structure of the nail. Horrible.
You wouldn’t go to sleep without moisturizing your face or go through the day without drinking water, so why should your nails be any different? Using a mix of oils (try Almond and Avocado Oil) at night, helps to keep your cuticles and nails hydrated while you get some sleep, but any nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer will do. A quick tip to do when you have no oil and your nails are noticeably dry, use a dab of lip balm.
Gloves, ladies, gloves — get your mind out of the gutter! Whenever you’re cleaning with harsh chemicals, gardening, or doing anything that involves soaking or dirtying your hands, wear rubber, vinyl, nitrile or plastic gloves, preferably with a cotton liner inside. Cleaning dishes in hot, soapy water sans gloves can weaken the nails, while getting them caked with dirt from gardening will require a level of cleaning that you want to avoid wherever possible. For our readers enjoying the chilly weather outside of Lagos (it’s so hot these days), remember to wear a pair of mittens or gloves so that the cold air and wind don’t undo the hard work you did moisturizing, leaving you with dry, flaky, scaly skin.
Considers Your Diet
Your fingernails are made of a protein called Keratin, so just as with the clarity of your skin or the shine of your hair, you can improve your nails by tweaking your diet. Add vitamins and supplements like Biotin, Vitamin E, and Fish Oil to your daily regimen and/or increase your intake of protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts. Once you hit on the combination that works for you, you’ll be rewarded with stronger, clearer nails.
Value Health Over Length
Long nails are beautiful, but if you’re someone who has struggled with snags or breakage, keep your nails short — at least to start out with. A shorter style with a rounded edge tends to be easier to manage and looks neater, so you can focus on building strength without worrying about anything else. As long as each nail is uniform in shape and matches its nine neighbors, you won’t miss the added length.
With time and these helpful tips, your nails will be fine. Look out for the health of your nails (and any other thing such as hair etc) and watch them flourish.