Nails are more than just the hard things at the end of your fingers and toes--they give a window into your health and show others just how well you take care of the rest of your body. They may seem small and unimportant, but that couldn't be further from the truth. So, how do you take care of your nails? Most of the nail strengtheners on the market won't help truly brittle nails. A healthier diet and the following tips are your best bet. Here's how to get strong nails:
- If you don't eat well, it shows--nothing can cover that up. Eating more protein-rich foods will help to develop stronger nails. Foods rich in sulfur are also vital for nail and physical health; these foods include apples, cucumbers, grapes, garlic, asparagus and onions.
- The nail's biggest enemy is water. Try not to let your nails spend a lot of time submerged, whether it be cleaning, swimming, or anything else.
- Don't bite your nails--it may seem like an obvious thing to say, but so many of us still do it. Kicking your nail biting habit can be tough, but your nails will be beautiful as a result.
- Keep your nails trimmed short. We're not talking short as in they look like a beaver has bitten them off at the base, but less than a half inch past the end of your fingers. This will help prevent breakage, as well as make your fingers look nice and slender.
- Don't use your nails as tools. They are not meant to peel off stickers, open mail or scrape food off of pots.
- When cleaning, washing dishes, working with any chemicals or gardening, make sure to wear rubber gloves. Doing so will protect them, and the rest of your hands, from getting zapped of moisture, broken, and very dirty.
- If you like to wear polish on your nails, make sure to add a clear base coat before applying the color. This will help to strengthen your nails and keep them from turning yellow. An added bonus is your color will last longer.
- For quick nail repair, keep an emery board anywhere you spend a lot of time--the kitchen, office, gym, etc. If you spot a nail that is about to break or got chipped by accident, file it down to keep it from becoming more damaged.
- While watching TV, waiting for dinner to finish cooking, reading a book, or riding home from work, give yourself a relaxing nail treatment. Take the time to massage vitamin-rich hand lotion onto your palms, fingers and nails. It feels good and helps to infuse them with strengthening nutrients.
Getting stronger nails isn't as hard as you may think. With these tips you'll be on your way to strong, healthy nails in no time!