Strengthen Fingernails Naturally

  • 23 Dec - 29 Dec, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

Weak, brittle, cracking, splitting nails and ragged, painful cuticles can be frustrating. Navigating the endless remedies can also seem overwhelming and ineffective. It seems as though there are thousands of products, from moisturisers to polishes, that promise to make your nails stronger, harder, longer, and grow faster. However, you don't have to resort to using chemical hardeners or fancy treatments. You can heal your nails by taking a few practical, simple steps in everyday life.

Style your nails correctly. Buffing is used to even out ridged fingernails. What most women don’t know is that ridges in nails are a healthy part of the finger. The thickest part of the nails are the healthiest parts, and the dips are actually deficits in thickness. Therefore, when you buff your nails off, you are buffing down the stronger, healthier portion of the nail. If ridges really bother you, try picking up a high quality top-coat which can be used specifically for targeting ridging. It will fill in the dips on your nail and give you the smoothness you’re looking for, without damaging your fingers.

Improve your filing technique. First, always file flat against the edge of the nail. After you have filed off your desired amount, take the emery board and file at a 45 degree angle away from the nail. This makes the edge of your nail smooth to prevent snagging, and it will help avoid hangnails. Always use a fine-grit nail file with an emery board that has been cushioned. The coarser grit of nail files are made for artificial nails and can be damaging and harsh on your natural ones.

Clip your hangnails. Hangnails are often caused by splitting or improper cutting of nails. Even the smallest of tears in the skin can allow infection to enter your body. Be proactive and use nail clippers to gently clip off your hangnail.

Leave your cuticles alone. It is a popular myth that cuticles are easily removed. This could not be farther from the truth: cuticles are what seals and protects the nail bed. Unless you are a seasoned professional, you should not be attempting to cut your cuticles yourself. If you feel that your cuticles are truly awful, try moisturising them instead of clipping them. Another option is to massage cuticle removal cream into the cuticles followed by using a soft-tipped cuticle wand to gently push them back towards the nail bed.

Protect your nails.

Give your hands a nail soak. A DIY nail soak can be made up of any combination of oils. Try coconut, argan, or olive oil. Apply a large amount to your nails with a cottonball and leave it to soak. However, do not soak your nails in water, as it will soften your nails too much and could cause the nails to bend or peel. If you find your nails are soft and split easily, try vitamin E. Tea tree oil can be a healthy way to keep your nails clean and fungus-free, as well.

Add a nail supplement to your diet. Many women find supplements to be helpful to nail growth and overall health. Consider investing in a high-quality supplement for hair, skin and nails, commonly vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as many B vitamins, and folic acid, zinc, iron, calcium and biotin.

Be wary of what you put on your hands. Common everyday items such as nail polish remover, hand sanitiser and cleaning products are damaging to not only your nails, but will also speed up the aging process of your hands. By choosing gentler options, you can keep both, your nails and hands looking young and fresh. Use an antibacterial soap and dry immediately first if you must use a sanitiser. Wear gloves when cleaning or gardening. If you forget, immediately use hand cream afterwards. Skip acetone-based nail polish remover, as it makes nails weak over time.

Do not use your nails as tools. When your nails grow, the weakest portion will always be the tip. Don’t use your nails to open pop cans, peel off stickers, or scrape things off the counter.