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How to Maintain Natural Long Fingernails

Updated on February 25, 2013

Do you want natural, long fingernails?

Do you want natural and healthy fingernails like this? It's possible with a little know-how!
Do you want natural and healthy fingernails like this? It's possible with a little know-how! | Source

Long, Healthy, and Natural Fingernails are Within Your Grasp

I used to have a problem with weak fingernails. No matter what I did, it seemed as if they would break and crack and I couldn't figure out how to change the situation. Then, I got smart - both with my eating habits and my nail hygiene regimen. Between those two things, my nails started to grow in strong.

Sure, I have moments when I'll break a nail. Or, I may go through a period of time when I can sense that my nails are starting to get weak again. But, I've learned how to adjust my lifestyle and my habits to make sure that they grow in nice and strong.

A big part of my secret is to understand what different nail problems actually mean. Do your nails have ridges? Do they break and flake apart? Figure out the cause of your weak nails and this will make your nails healthy and strong.

Before we get started, I would show your doctor your nails to get his advice. Certain nutritional deficiencies can cause weak nails and so can problems such as nail fungus. Take the time to get the right diagnosis and you will be on your way to having the nails of your dreams.

Should you paint your nails?

I do paint my nails, but not all the time. I believe that doing this sparingly helps keeps your nails healthy!
I do paint my nails, but not all the time. I believe that doing this sparingly helps keeps your nails healthy! | Source

Do you have any of these common nail problems?

Problem
What it Could Be
What to Do
Dry, Brittle Nails
Nutritional deficiency, nail fungus.
Consult with your doctor. Take a multivitamin.
Thickened or brittle nails or separated from nail bed.
Nail Fungus
See your doctor or dermatologist.
Ridges
Underlying medical condition, nutritional deficiency.
See your doctor.
Pitting
Could be Psoriasis.
See your doctor.
Clubbing
Various medical problems.
See your doctor.
Nails that are spooned outward.
Anemia, other medical problems.
See your doctor.
This table is just a rough guide and by no means complete. The bottom line is that if your nails aren't long and healthy and have a distinct and noticeable problem, you should get it checked out. That way you and your doctor can have a plan of attack

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a good first step for nail health.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a good first step for nail health. | Source

Are your nails long and healthy?

Are your fingernails health, long, and natural?

See results

Eat Clean Diet Series

The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged: Lasting Fat Loss That's Better than Ever!
The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged: Lasting Fat Loss That's Better than Ever!

This is my all time favorite book in the series. It is PACKED with information.

 

Healthy Eating Habits for Healthy Nails

Your nails are often a reflection of how healthy you are overall. As you can tell by looking at that table, there are some health problems that can cause your nails to look unsightly. But, you can greatly improve the health of your nails by eating a healthy diet.

One of the things that happens to my nails is that they peel and flake easily. For me, this often means that I am either not eating enough protein or that my diet is too low in calcium. So, I make sure I adjust my diet.

But, I know this about myself because I took the time to investigate and I determined that I didn't have an underlying condition. The way I see it is this - eating a healthy diet certainly can't hurt!

Here are some general guidelines. Everyone is different - in the end you have to do what is right for your specific needs. If you need guidance, you can ask your doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietician.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Healthy fats are also an important part of the diet like nuts, seeds, and healthy oils like olive oil.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Lean protein sources are also essential.
  • Stay away from refined carbohydrates as best as you can.
  • Eat high quality, high fiber carbohydrates.

There are plenty of great books on the market, too. I am a huge fan of Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet series. She's helped plenty of people turn themselves around and achieve ultimate health through diet and fitness.

Biting Nails is a No-No for Healthy Nails

You should try to break the habit of biting your nails if you do so and want them to grow in strong and healthy.
You should try to break the habit of biting your nails if you do so and want them to grow in strong and healthy. | Source

Beauty Habits for Healthy Nails

Eating a healthy diet and making sure you don't have an underlying medical problem is only part of the story. Nails do respond to basic care. If you are healthy and your nails are still bad, they may respond to these beauty habits.

  • Keep nails neat and trimmed.
  • Push back your cuticles with a towel or orange stick after you shower.
  • Keep your hands, nails, and cuticles well moisturized.
  • If nails are fairly weak, you can paint a coat or two of nail hardening polish until your nails get stronger.
  • Protect your hands when doing housework, gardening, washing dishes, or even going outside in the cold. This really does help protect the nails and hands!

In terms of products, you can buy special cuticle and hand creams. I personally have the best luck with petroleum jelly and olive oil. Most people have these products around the house.

Beauty Secrets to Healthy Nails

What do you think?

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    • kohuether profile imageAUTHOR

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 

      5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I have heard great things about using Biotin.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 

      5 years ago

      hi kohuether,

      i find a way for me personally to maintain long fingernails is to use biotin.

      it really does strengthen nails and helps them to grow. the bad side effect of using

      biotin is that it can cause alot of acne, if you dont drink

      alot of water. i do like your suggestions and tips on how to

      maintain naturally long nails. i've always had naturally long fingernails. i've always

      used the biotin for my hair but it also works well for nails. thanks again.

      voted up

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