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8 Tips to Keep Your Nails Strong and Healthy

Updated on December 16, 2017
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Poppy is a proofreader and Dragon Age fan. She lives in Tokyo and has two hamsters named Zelda and Hemingway.

It can be difficult to take care of your nails, especially if you work in a laborous job, or get your hands wet or dirty often. Many of us don't have the time or money to get frequent beauty treatment and manicures, and perfect nails can seem like a pipe dream. But simple habits, techniques and at-home treatments can help your nails stay long, strong and healthy.

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Diet

Your diet actually has a huge effect on the quality of your nails, just like it affects your skin, hair and overall health. Improving your diet by eating less saturated fats, more fruits and vegetables, protein and even dairy products can all work towards stronger and healthier nails.

Cutting back on alcohol and sugar helps too. Not only will it help your nails, but you will feel better in general and help you lose weight, if you need to - there are good reasons all round to improve your diet. You will look and feel your best in no time.

Have You Ever Bitten Your Nails? (Be Honest!)

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Get rid of bad habits

Don't bite your nails. It can be a tough habit to break, but nibbling on your nails, hangnails and the skin on your fingers can have a devastating effect to your hands and their cosmic health. Try putting a nasty-tasting liquid (that doesn't harm your fingers) onto your nails to help break the habit. Tell yourself that your fingers are dirty and mustn't go near your mouth, even when you wash them regularly.

Use gloves when you can. When washing the dishes, your nails will get wet in the soapy water, making them more fragile and easy to break. Also, using your nails to pick, peel and scratch all the time will damage them. Take care of your nails, and don't put them through rough action that might harm them.

Don't let them get too long. Nails are a lot like your hair - at a certain length they look great, but if they get too long, they can lose their quality, and a small trim will do a world of good. Take a look at your nails and see which ones are growing way longer than others. Trim them down - the ends of the nails might not even be in good condition. Trimming often will keep your nails fresh and strong.

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Maintenance

Eating more fruits and veg and stopping yourself from biting your nails is an excellent start, but you also need to maintain your nails as they grow, and keep an eye on them.

Paint or coat them in a protecting base coating often to ensure they don't chip or break. Click here for various coating products. Covering your nails in this protective liquid will ensure your nails are tougher in general.

Mousturise often, particularly after washing dishes, after your hands have gotten dirty, or after taking a bath or a shower. Dry your nails thoroughly with a dry, clean towel, and apply a generous amount of moisuriser (Nivea is a good choice). This will stop them from drying up and peeling, causing them to chip and break.

Invest in a decent nail file. Sometimes nails can peel or get damaged fairly easily. Nail polish remover is bad for your nails, and some nails can look horrendous after removing the polish. Rubbing your nails with the rougher side of a nail file gets rid of the flaky layers. Rub again with the softer side of the file for a smooth, even finish.

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Using a nail trimmer

Use a nail trimmer to regularly take care of both your fingernails and toenails.

Make sure you don't get any ingrown toenails by cutting them in a straight line. This dramatically decreases the chances of the nail breaking the skin and causing infection.

Wear sandals if possible, and avoid wearing socks at night. Regularly clean your feet and dry them properly after bathing.

If you get hangnails or bits of nail that need to come off, never rip it. This can cause infection and increase the risk of an ingrowing toenail, and there's always the possibility that you might rip off a lot more of the nail than you intended to, which can be extremely painful. Use a nail trimmer to cut hangnails and other problems safely and cleanly.

Using these tips, being gentle with your hands and taking care of your nails are great ways to maintain healthy, strong nails on your fingers and toes. Long, healthy nails make your hands and feet look fabulous. Try to visit a spa and get a manicure at least once every six months for a regular check up of your nails and some professional pampering.

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  • Breanne Ginsburg profile image

    Breanne Ginsburg 3 years ago

    These are very good tips on keeping your nails healthy. I always get jealous when I see people with really nice nails, although mine aren't that bad I guess. I've always wanted a French manicure!

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