30 May 2009

Tips for growing long nails and keeping them that way!

Even though I already have a Nailcare how to video on Youtube with lots of tips, I wanted to share some additional advice on how you can grow your nails long, and keep them that way without breaking!

  • Think of your nails as jewels, not tools! This is one of the best tips I learned. Start treating your nails as if they were precious jewels at the ends of your fingers, don't use them as tools to open soda cans, scratch off stickers from your purchases, or wedge them in between things. Be aware of how you use your fingers for your daily tasks, use the flat part of your fingers to push against surfaces; try to avoid using the nails. Use a butter knife to open soda cans, don't ruin a nail due to your soda craving! If you need a sharp tool to scratch or scrape something, don't use your nails! Try not to bang your nails against sharp edges or corners, this is one of the most frequent instances of breakage. Use rubber gloves to protect your nails when doing any kind of household chores where your hands are strongly required. If you have to do a chore that requires force from your hands, get someone else to do it (haha!) This may all sound incredibly prissy but reducing the amount of stress on your nails ultimately results in stronger nails with less breakage. If you complain that your nails always break, try to think of what kind of strain you are putting your nails under on a daily basis and minimize or altogether avoid it. I've definitely made a few changes in how I operate my hands to reduce stress and impact on my nails.

  • Always wear something on your nails. Bare nails are just begging to be bashed against something and break or chip. Always use a nail strengthener (I like NailTek Foundation II) and if you don't like to wear color, use a clear top coat. Nailpolishes create a hard extra layer on your nails once dry and this can also prevent breakage if you bang them against something. As soon as I remove my nailpolish, I put another one on. Even a day with completely bare nails usually results in a split, crack or break.

  • Don't soak your nails in water. Try to reduce the amount of time that your nails are exposed to water; nails are permeable and will soak up water, which will make them more malleable. Obviously washing your hands, showering and bathing are a necessity, but use rubber gloves to wash your dishes! The harsh soapy water can do a world of damage to your nails, and also dry out your cuticles. After washing your hands, apply hand cream to moisturize your cuticles and restore oils to your nails.

  • Eat a balanced diet. Eat plenty of lean protein, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to get enough calcium and healthy fats. Some people have noticed improved hair and nails upon taking biotin and silica supplements regularly. (I've tried out silica supplements but didn't notice much difference.) Your nails are an organic part of your body; if you fuel yourself with crap, it's unlikely that your nails will look good because you probably lack vital nutrients for healthy growth.

  • Don't pick at your nails. This one's pretty obvious. Don't chew, lick or play with your nails. If you feel like your nails are rough or uneven, use a crystal nail file to smooth them out again. Reversely, don't over-buff them, buffing the nail too much will actually remove too many layers and make them weak and thin.

Hope that helped! Happy nail growing. Got any other general tips on maintaining long nails? Add them in the comments below.

20 comments:

  1. Lauren10:45 pm

    Great tips! Thanks :D

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  2. Very helpful, great advices thanks!

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  3. Thank you! Nice tips!!!!

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  4. Thank you! Nice tips!

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  5. I needed this coz my nails are always breaking... thanks!! =)

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  6. Girl, thanks so much for these tips. It was actually because of your first video, that I really got into taking care of my nails.

    Oh, and I so agree with your second point. I do this all the time.

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  7. My nails are horrible .. now that I read your article. I am inspired to treat them as jewels. Thanks buddy

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  8. Anonymous7:08 am

    Excellent and very sensible tips, Julia. I've personally found that short nails with colour or clear strengthener are the way to go. I've been using the Seche Vite topcoat since you recommended it a while back and now I can't do without it. Something I've found helpful for smooth hands and cuticles is to include my hands in my body scrub routine. I tend to need less handcream if I do this.

    Sally

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  9. Anonymous7:39 am

    Great tips! Thank you for sharing Julia. I have square filed my nails as I believe they are stronger this way but I've encountered problems with my nails catching on clothing and my hubby. I am obviously doing something wrong! Your nails look extremely square in your pics. Do you encounter these problems or do you file your nails in a square oval manner? (I hope you don't think this question is silly!) Danielle :)

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  10. Thank you Julia. I love my nails and I always get them to a certain lenght and I break them. Looking at tips I now know what I have been doing wrong. Will try this and see how I go.
    Lina ;)

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  11. Nail Tek Foundation II and Intensive Therapy II helped me to grow healthy nails within 1 month (I started when you made a video on youtube about receiving an order with polishes from America). I genetically have very week soft nails. But this stuff worked! Apart of everything you mentioned, I do wear gloves at home, also at work - but I must say that it seemes to be also the problem for nails, cause latex and sweating harms nails.

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  12. A great thing to do to protect your nails from water is, obviously, wear gloves. However, how many of us are going to take the time to do that. I started using my dish time as a treatment- I put a drop of olive oil on each cuticle and rub some into my hands, then put rubber dish washing gloves on. The oil softens and moisturizes, plus olive oil is loaded w/ anti-oxidants. Not to mention the fact that it makes me want to put those gloves on!

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  13. Thanks alot for this post, Julia !

    I noticed, as you said, that even just one day without something on my nails was getting them breakable. So I always wear nail polish ;-).

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  14. Hey Julia!

    Thanks or sharing these tips! A few tips I found around to help breakage are these two.
    1: Dont overfile the corners of your nails, this prevents weakening of the corners, which are vulnerable anyway.
    2: Buff your nails only once a month. Just 2 seconds buffing and 3 seconds polishing. Easy peasy, in less then a minute per months ealty looking nails :)

    Thanks again for all your tips and tricks!

    Greeties :)

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  15. Anonymous8:13 pm

    I agree that being mindful of how you use your nails on a daily basis is so important... probably just as important as any product you paint on them. I have become a lot less spastic lol, as I avoid bumping and catching them on different surfaces. I definitely use a butter knife to open soda cans these days.

    I used to think going a day with totally bare nails would be good for them somehow but it's actually a terrible idea. When I don't have any polish on, I can feel my nails get so soft in the shower and bend in directions they really shouldn't :(

    Thanks for all your great advice Julia!

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  16. Julia, you have converted me to thinking of my nails as jewels. I was going to open an eyeliner that came sealed in the plastic wrapper and as soon as I started digging at it to rip it off with my nails, I stopped and thought my nails should not be used as tools. LOL You're awesome - Thanks

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  17. Anonymous6:31 pm

    awesome tips!:d thx:) i hope my nails get longer!...

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  18. Anonymous12:41 am

    amazing n such helpful tipz thx!:d

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  19. Hi! I was just wondering how long did it take you to grow your nails out so long and beautiful after biting them?

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