We all want beautiful, thick, and strong nails. But if we are overly aggressive with maintaining and cleaning nails we might actually put our normally strong nails at risk for bacterial or yeast infections.
Why is it so hard to grow and maintain gorgeous strong nails?
Our diets and lifestyles play a big part in our overall health and that dictates how strong nails we’ll have. From nails that are weak and peeling, to nails that won’t grow there’s a solution for almost every complaint. You don’t need frequent manicures to maintain good-looking nails – just follow these simple tips.
These nutrients can make your nails strong, healthy, and long.
One of the reasons for your weak and not growing nails could be a lack of zinc in your diet. It’s deficiency also can cause the white spots many of us notice on our nails. If you have any of these issues, start to eat more of this important mineral. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, also sesame seeds, oats, oysters, beef, and lamb.
Nails are made of a protein known as keratin. Therefore a protein-rich diet is a key to maintaining nail health. There’s no need to worry if you eat eggs, meat, or other protein-rich foods regularly. But if you don’t eat meat, you have some vegetarian protein sources you can add to your diet, such as beans, quinoa, and meat substitutes like seitan and tofu. This way you’ll get balanced meals and the nutrients that will ensure your nails stay healthy and strong.
Biotin is B-vitamin which helps the body metabolize amino acids that are protein-building and promotes healthy cell growth – all important things when it is about helping nails grow healthier and stronger. You can get Biotin into your diet with supplements. But if you like to get your vitamins the natural way, you can find it in foods like eggs, swiss chard, salmon, wheat germ, and whole grains.
Not getting enough iron? If your nails are curved, thin, or with ridges, it’s often a sign of an iron deficiency or anemia. Red meat, shellfish, leafy greens like kale and spinach are some of the foods which can supply you with much-needed iron.
Luckily with a little know-how, everyone can get strong nails. But keep in mind, you have to be patient because healthy, gorgeous nails won’t happen overnight.
1. Leave Your Cuticles Alone
Whether you do your nails yourself or have them professionally groomed the recommendation No. 1 is to leave your cuticles alone. The cuticle is the natural barrier to bacteria and fungus and that protection is lost once you breach that.
Your cuticles will not only look worse (swollen, red and ragged) but you may also get a nasty infection that harms the nail bed and permanently damages the nail.
Besides that cutting cuticles is dangerous, pushing them back can cause problems as well. Your nails will thank you for leaving cuticles alone.
2. Keep Nails Trimmed
Neat, shorter, and natural-looking nails are always trendy. Trimming nails helps you to avoid breaking or snagging and helps to maintain healthy nails. Use a nail file to smooth out the edges of your nails.
3. Give Your Nails A Break
Gels may look extraordinary but are not good for your nails. Save those bold colors loaded with pigment and the elaborate nail art for the weekend, and give your nails time to repair and rest with a clear gloss during the rest of the week. If you don’t give them a break eventually they will dry out, turn yellow and even their structure will weaken.
4. Use Hand Cream
Your nails just as your skin need moisturizing hand cream. So each time you’re coating your hands take a little time and rub the hand cream on each nail. To keep your nails and cuticles hydrated a mix of almond and avocado oils is an amazing solution.
5. Wear Rubber Gloves When Cleaning
House cleaners can often cause brittle nails due to their high content of harsh chemicals. You can easily avoid this issue by wearing strong cleaning gloves.
6. Avoid Acetone As Much As Possible
If you have brittle nails the one product that you should avoid is acetone nail polish remover. It has been repeatedly documented that it strips the nails and causes them to become brittle. Fortunately, there are a lot of polish removers that are acetone-free.
7. Keep A Nail File In Your Bag
If an unexpected tear happens, tearing or biting it off can unintentionally peel off layers of your broken nail. This way it will be weaker. So much healthier for your nail is to fill it down with a nail file.
DON’T SHARE YOUR NAIL FILE!
Keep it for yourself only, and replace it often. This is because it is a porous germ-trapper.
Use Nail Strengtheners
Nail strengtheners mostly contain keratin protein. By bonding the molecules in the nails together, the strengthener creates a stronger nail.
Limit Professional Manicures
Those who regularly visit professional manicures are most likely to suffer from dry, brittle nails. One of the reasons may be the exposure to chemicals and harsh ingredients. Women who often get manicures suffer from chronic nail bed infections. This is evidenced by reddened and puffy areas around the base of the nail. Normally the area around your nail bed should be flat. If it’s red and puffy, that’s evidence of a chronic infection.
Now, some more interesting facts about your fingernails:
- Nail biting is one of the most common “nervous” habits in children and adults.
- Warm weather can make your nails grow faster.
- The nails on your fingers grow up to four times as fast as the nails on your toes.
- Most fingernails grow about 1/10 of an inch per month.
- Men’s nails do grow faster than women’s nails.
- Cutting your nails regularly results in faster growth than leaving them alone to grow.
- Drinking water helps hydrate dry, brittle nails.
- A white spot on your nail can be normal and isn’t an indication of a deficiency.
- Pregnancy encourages faster growth in nails.