Don’t like your nails? Are they dull, or do they break off before growing long and lustrous? Here are nine tips for growing strong and beautiful nails.
Having beautiful, healthy nails doesn’t just happen for most of us. Like having “perfect” hair and skin, it is often something you have to work at.
And if you don’t like your nails because they’re dull or they break off before growing long and lustrous, you are not alone. Luckily, there are actionable steps you can start taking today to boost your nails’ appearance.
So let’s get to it. Here are our nine best tips and tricks to grow strong and beautiful nails.
1. Moisturize Consistently
Odds are, you have a favorite body lotion or hand cream you use to hydrate your hands. When you do so, don’t forget to also grease up your fingernails.
Hydrating your nails will make them ultra-smooth and prevent brittleness, peeling, and cracking.
There are nail-specific moisturizers out there, but in a pinch, use oil. Olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and argan oil are all especially good for nails.
Add a few drops to your palm, spread it across your fingers, and gently rub a small amount into each nail. You will no doubt love your shiny, smooth, glowing fingernails afterward!
2. Eat Wisely
Your outer beauty is often a reflection of what you put in your body. This is certainly true with your nails.
You need to eat plenty of protein and omega-3 fatty foods to boost your skin and hair health, and the same goes for your nails. Keratin is the protein that creates nail tissue, and the more you have, the better. Foods like salmon, mango, eggs, kale, sweet potatoes, and onions are all edible keratin boosters.
Don’t forget to keep fresh water handy. Just like with your hair and skin, drinking plenty of H₂O is also essential to nail health.
3. Add a Supplement
Natural and potent beauty supplements are always in demand by people who want strong, beautiful hair, skin, and nails.
Any that contain biotin, fit your budget, and meet your dietary needs should make your nails healthier. Be sure to take your nail supplement daily, per the bottle’s instructions, to achieve nail nirvana.
Bonus points if you nab a supplement that contains other B vitamins besides biotin, as well as zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
4. Choose Natural Products
Natural products contain no harmful additives. You want to use such products to boost your nails’ strength and beauty.
Luckily, there are natural alternatives to your all favorite nail products, like polishes and removers. You can also choose to use natural hand soaps and shampoos since your nails come into regular contact with them, too.
Not 100-percent sure what qualifies as a natural beauty product? Check that they do not contain harsh chemicals, like acetone, formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. If a nail product is organic, that’s always a plus, too.
5. Mind Your Manicures
Manicures can keep your nails vibrant and resilient, but they could also severely damage them. Anyone with sensitive skin should only see a manicurist who is gentle and uses all-natural products.
If you go to the manicurist weekly, it’s best to cut back to monthly. That way, your nails can still enjoy some TLC without going overboard.
Your nails do need the type of attention a professional manicurist offers, but it can also be too much of a good thing if you aren’t careful.
6. Exfoliate Weekly
Your nails harbor dead skin cells that you need to remove, or they’ll never grow strong and healthy. So, just as you would with your face and other parts of your skin, you need to exfoliate your nails every week.
This concept has caught so much attention lately, mainly because influencers post nail-scrubbing tutorials on YouTube and other social media channels. And to make it even more appealing, there are plenty of healthy nail-exfoliating products that make the process simple.
Not keen on ponying up for yet another beauty treatment? You can also make your own simple, safe, and all-natural nail scrubs using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
7. Leave Your Cuticles Be
Cuticles are the most harassed part of the nail. Why is that? Oh yeah, because we are always told to push your cuticles back into your nail beds for long and sleek nails.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this can cause more bad than good, especially if you are not a trained manicurist.
Speaking of manicurists, nail salon techs often cut cuticles despite the fact that it’s dangerous. Doing so leaves them open to bacterial growth and infection, which is the opposite of our healthy nails goal!
To keep your cuticles looking their best, be gentle with them. Just include them in your nail moisturizing routine, and they should be just fine.
8. Glove Up
Got a grimy tub to scrub? Dishes need washing? Always don a pair of gloves before you expose your hands (and therefore nails) to prolonged wetness.
A pair of gloves can protect your nails from too much water that may weaken them. It can also save them from being soaked in chemical cleaners and embedded with dirt.
If you have sensitive skin, this is a double-whammy for you since gloves will also protect your hands from irritants.
9. Patience Is Crucial
No matter how well you take care of your nails, they won’t grow strong and beautiful overnight. Follow the tips and tricks above, and absolutely practice patience.
Nails grow about one-tenth of an inch per month, and it takes about six months for a full fingernail-length growth cycle. So, it will take a while to see any real changes.
But hey, it could be worse. It takes 18 months for toenails to grow completely! When you think of it like that, six months isn’t so long, right?
It’s not impossible to have nails you love to show off — it just takes time and the tips and tricks we listed above.
But not too long from now, you’ll see the results you’ve wanted forever. Take care of those strong, beautiful nails, and you’ll be able to rock them for life.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Pullman to help them with their online marketing.