How To Encourage Fingernail Growth and Health

French manicure

Healthy nails are the key to long, beautiful nails (that you don't have to pay for at the salon). While you may struggle to grow the nails that you have always wanted, you don't have to continue that way. With a little work, a healthier lifestyle, and a few good tips, you can find yourself with great-looking nails that say a lot about who you are.

Step 1

Live a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can improve so many aspects of who you are--your nails are included in that. You should make sure you are eating well balanced meals 3-6 times a day (some studies show that it is healthier to eat six small meals rather than three large ones). You should drink 8-10 glasses of water each and every day. Exercise is also important for your health. These things can really improve the health of your nails! It is also a good idea to take a multivitamin each day.

Step 2

Keep your nails clean and dry. Your nails depend on a dry environment for their health. Dry your hands after washing both your hands and your nails. Don't keep nails in water for too long. If you get your nails really dirty, then take a nail brush to them. If gardening, it isn't a bad idea to use anti-bacterial soap under your nails.

Step 3

Lotion your hands and nails. Adding lotion to your hands is something many women realize they need to do, however, it is also important to lotion your nails as well. This will moisturize your cuticles as well as your nails. You can buy nail lotion, but you don't have to--your everyday lotion will do just as well!

Step 4

Add green tea to your life. Many of us suffer from dry or brittle nails. We have a hard time making them grow. One great option is to add green tea to your life. You can drink it for a whole host of benefits. However, you can also soak your nails in it once a week to help them gain nutrients as well as getting a clear coat polish that is infused with green tea oils. If you have green tea essential oils, you can also add a drop to each nail once or twice a week for stronger healthy nails.

Step 5

Gently file your nails in one direction toward the center. No matter what shape you decide you want (square nails are in, long and oval look great but are harder to maintain, short and rounded are perfect, no matter what), you need to file in one direction toward the center. Don't saw back and forth because this will tear up your nails.

Step 6

Gently push your cuticles off of your nails. Use a cotton swab or an orange stick to gently push your cuticles back off of your nails. Never cut them.

Step 7

Buff your nails from the front to the back. This will help remove small ridges and imperfections.

Step 8

Follow important manicure tips. If you are going to give yourself manicures, then you should make sure that you are following a few important tips to keep your nails healthy.

  • Always wear a base coat to protect your nails from your nail polish.
  • Top your polish with a good top coat to prevent yourself from touching up your nails too much.
  • Wear your polish for at least four days before removing it and try not to touch it up very often.
  • Alternate lighter colors which aren't as bad for your nails with dark and bright colors to give your nails a rest.
  • Use a good nail polish remover without acetone. For a little bit more, you can pick up a conditioning or moisturizing nail polish remover (which is better for your nails).
  • Every few weeks, give your nails a break and go without polish for four to ten days to let them air out.
  • Never wear false nails of any sort. This is really bad for the nails beneath them. You can find yourself with nails that are even worse than before once the nails come off. They stop the air from getting to the nails and the glue is horrible stuff.

Step 9

Use your nails as a window into your health. Many times your nails can let you know that there is something wrong. If you have discolorations of any sort, find yourself with ridges or horrible cracks, or find yourself with some other issue, then it is important that you talk to your doctor about it at your next check-up. There could be a bacterial or fungal problem with your nails or you could have an underlying condition that your nails can help your doctor diagnose.

Step 10

Trim your nails. Whether your nails have broken at odd shapes and in sharp edges or they are just getting too long to maintain, there comes a time when you need to trim your nails. Do this with sharp clippers or good nail scissors. Work from the right to the left or left to right and gently cut each section away. Never start the trim and then rip the rest of the nail off (this could leave terrible edges and even damage the cuticle). Cut them straight across with gentle rounding at the edges for the strongest nails.

Keeping yourself healthy is the best thing you can do for your nails. However, with a little work you could find yourself with better nails that are growing healthier and stronger each day. Over time you could become the envy of your friends, and then you might just have to share your secrets with them!


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I learned so much from your article. I have been concerned about my nails and your article is timely.

By Mary Norton