If you are familiar with the movie "Silence of the…
“They’re fake, right?” This seems to be the assumption whenever we encounter long flawless nails. One only has to learn of the 8,000 plus You-Tube followers who tune in religiously to watch twenty-minute videos entitled, “My Long Natural Nails” as evidence of women’s obsession with cultivating and maintaining beautiful, flawless, authentic nails.
Why the admiration and envy when a similar effect can be achieved with a good set of acrylics? Because there’s nothing like the real thing. If you are looking to grow pretty strong nails, whether it be a matter of personal fulfillment, or simply in hopes of garnering a large YouTube following, here are some tips.
Hard Habits to Break
When it comes to growing long, pretty nails, it is just as important to do the right things as to stop doing the wrong things. Here are some habits you will need to stop if you want to grow strong talons:
Not only is this habit unattractive, it can also cause bacterial skin infections and the added moisture makes your nails weaken. Avoid this by clipping rather than biting loose skin around the nails, keeping nails polished, and chewing gum.
Wearing Acrylics and Gels
It’s one or the other. Removing acrylic and gel nails can damage your nails because it occurs when your nail beds are wet and at their most sensitive.
Picking Chipped Nail Polish
Picking at polish can remove the top layer of the nail bed, forming a weak base for your nails.
Skipping Base and Top Coats
Skipping top and base coats may save time, but it can also damage nails. Top and base coats protect nails from staining and help polish stick to your nails, preventing chipping and limiting the temptation to pick.
Using Nails As Tools
It may be tempting to use your talons to dig into small spaces, but it’s also hazardous to nail upkeep. Keep scissors handy to help open, peel, and scrape when needed without damaging those pretty nails.
Good Habits to Develop
File nails properly, starting with the front edge and moving toward the center. Avoid back and forth movement, which weakens nails. It is also important to choose the right nail shape. A basic round shape is generally easier to grow than a square nail, which is more likely to be used as a tool.
Care for Cuticles
Soak nails in warm water to loosen cuticles. After five minutes of soaking, use a cuticle stick to push dead skin back. Rinse and repeat four times a week. Apply hyaluronic acid to cuticles regularly for added health and keep cuticles moisturized.
Use a Strengthening Cream
Serums are usually the most effective nail strengthening treatment, but also tend to be the most expensive. Creams are a more reasonably priced alternative and can be applied to nails morning and night. Use strengthening polishes to keep nails from chipping.
Make sure to eat a diet rich in biotin, folic acid, and vitamins A and C to keep nails strong.
Good luck with your long nails, and let us know how the YouTube following is coming along. We’ll tune in!