If you’re trying to grow long natural nails, today’s Monday Manicure post is perfect for you. Today, it’s all about daily habits you can try out to help you on your journey to healthier nails and length retention.
In the past we’ve given you tips for healthy cuticles and how to do your manicure at home without having to go to the nail shop. Now that you have that covered, here are tips on how to maintain strong, healthy nails.
Keep Your Hands Clean and Be Gentle
When doing your DIY manicure at home, it’s important to be gentle with your nail bed, skin and cuticle area. Once the existing nail bed is damaged, you’ll have to wait 3-9 months for a fresh nails bed to grow out (depending on how fast your nails grow out). Also, a damaged cuticle gives room for infections because it protects your nails. Read more about that here. Avoid using metal nail tools because they can be dangerous if not used properly.
Keeping your nails clean also helps prevent infections. When having your morning shower, brush your sponge over your nails for a good scrub; this will remove dirt and exfoliate any dead skin without the need for harsh, drying chemicals or expensive scrubs. Remember to wash your nails when washing your hands after using the restroom as well. When changing your nails polish, remove all traces of your last color with an acetone-free remover (anything else unnecessarily dries out your nail).
Keep Your Nail Tools Clean
Disinfecting your nail tools between uses is just as important as regularly cleaning your makeup brushes, and for the same reason — bacteria. To keep your nails happy and infection free, wash your metal tools with soap and water and wipe down with rubbing alcohol and cotton wool.
Don’t forget to regularly replace disposable tools like emery boards. There’s no reason to continue using a tattered tool when it’s so easy to rotate in a new one so don’t manage old/faulty tools, invest in a new set! Here’s a list of nail kit essentials for the simple girl here.
Regular trims are as important to your nails as they are to your hair. Get rid of splitting nails or hang nails to avoid peeling nails and whitlow. So set aside time to clip them every two weeks, adjusting to more or less often once you see how your nails respond.
Never Forget a Base Coat
Painting your nails at home is no excuse to skip using a base coat. This step not only protects the nail from being stained by the polish, but also helps the color look more saturated and opaque with just one coat. Read more about base coats here. If you really want to take things to the next level, adding a coat of clear gloss between each layer of coloured polish adds extra shine and protection to your manicure. Just don’t forget the first layer of base coat.
Read the Labels
Just as with makeup and skincare, not all nail polish brands are created equal, so make sure you’re buying or using a good product. Avoid polishes containing toxic chemicals like Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toluene, as these toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking. And the healthiest solution to these problems is waiting over 5 months to grow out fresh nails.
STOP BITING YOUR NAILS
…Just STOP it!
Check back next week for the second part of this post for more tips on how to grow strong, healthy nails!