We live in an age where acrylic and stick-on nails are a regular go-to option for a lot of us. However, a majority are turning to natural or gel shellac manicures for everyday nail convenience. Nothing looks prettier than a set of well-looked-after, healthy, natural manicured nails – and believe me, they’re even simpler to maintain than acrylics! One of the most important things to consider when maintaining your own natural nails is to keep them strong and less prone to chipping or breakage. Read on for 10 easy-to-follow tips for how to get stronger nails!
1) Don’t Change Your Nail Colour Often
I know, it can be hard to lay off the nail polish when you’re always so hellbent on having perfectly manicured, pretty nails. It has reached a stage where even beauty gurus on YouTube would often throw in a guilty apology for not having painted their nails for the video! Let me tell you, this one too is all down to habit! If you try to get your nails used to their au naturel state for most days, and save the nail polish for maybe weekly or fortnightly, your nails will really start to show their gratitude and they’ll become stronger and generally better-looking. But do you know why this is? Well, it’s not actually the nail polish that’s the problem…it’s the acetone in nail polish remover for those “I’m-bored-of-this-colour” moods we tend to get just 2 or 3 days after a fresh manicure! Which brings me swiftly onto tip #2.
2) Avoid Acetone
It isn’t a secret that this is one of the most crucial tips for stronger nails. Acetone in nail polish removers wreaks absolute havoc on your nails and is the ultimate culprit for super dry, weak and chipping nails. There is a myth surrounding nail polish and the terrible things it can do to your nails, but that’s just that – a myth! As I stated in tip #1, it’s the acetone in nail polish remover and NOT nail polish itself that is the issue. To avoid this issue and keep your nails strong and in good condition, try to opt for nail polish remover that doesn’t contain acetone, or simply just keep your nail polish on for as long as it’ll last and only remove it after about a week – when it starts to chip (yes, nail polish can last for that long without chipping or cracking provided you follow a good, long-lasting nail polish application process!)
3) Calcium, Biotin, Protein And Folate
We all know this piece of advice from our grandmothers when we were tiny tots: “drink milk and eat yoghurt, it’ll make you grow big and strong!” They have a point, you know. Calcium is good for our bones and that includes teeth and nails. But did you know that if your body is lacking in vitamin D, it renders your calcium intake useless? This is because without a healthy amount of vitamin D in the blood stream, no amount of calcium can be absorbed, so make sure you take regular blood tests as it is astonishingly easy to develop a vitamin D deficiency if you live in less-sunnier climates (*ahem* the UK *coughs*). Biotin and protein are essential for your nails and hair, so take supplements if you must (of course with your GP’s consent!) and you will find Folate in rich foods such as spinach, beans, lentils, dark-green leafy vegetables and peas). This is an extremely important tip, do not ever underestimate the power of nutrition on how to get stronger nails!
Excessively filing your nails or filing them in a rough, incorrect manner can really take its toll on your nail strength and will eventually become a cause for chipping, cracking, splitting, brittle nails. Try to file in only one direction, going upwards from the nail bed and only file when very necessary, for instance when your nail has partially broken and looks odd, or when the shape has really grown out to look un-neat (this happens once every couple of months or so, which means that there is no excuse for over-filing!) This is another extremely important tip to be considered if you’re wondering how to get stronger nails.
5) Keep Nails Moisturised
This tip is a no-brainer for how to get stronger nails. The more dry your nails are, the weaker and more brittle they’ll become, which means a higher risk of flaking, chipping, and even painful nail injuries (ouch!) We don’t want to get to that stage, so ladies (and gents!) please do your nails a favour and moisturise, moisturise, moisture! Dipping your nails in olive oil, almond oil or massaging some coconut oil into them every now and then can really work wonders.
6) Lemon Juice
Make this tip a part of your routine or regimen for how to get stronger nails. Lemons, as we know, contain an abundance of health and beauty benefits, and when it comes to nails, dipping them in natural lemon juice will help to bleach away any yellow discolouration that can be a result of constant manicures, dark nail polish colours and highly pigmented shades left on your nails for too long. This will leave you with cleaner, healthier-looking white tips and will also serve to strengthen your nails if you mix lemon juice with olive oil and dip your bare nails into it for a good 10 – 15 minutes, followed by a light rinse with water – an amazing nail-pampering bath!
7) Avoid Chemicals And Nail Hardeners
If you’re washing up the dishes or cleaning around the house using harsh cleaning detergents and liquids, please wear gloves! This last tip for stronger nails may sound obvious to a lot of you, but many of us still forget to apply it to our daily chores. Want to know about something that could damage your nails equally as much as harsh cleaning chemicals? Nail hardeners. Yup, many of us have been long fooled by the very name of these so-called “nail hardeners”. According to some dermatologists, nail hardeners tend to contain formaldehyde type ingredients, which will harden your nails for the initial duration of the application, before eventually causing splitting and weakening of the nails. This will then push you back into the mercy of nail hardeners to re-strengthen your nails, and you just end up stuck in this vicious nail-hardening, nail-softening cycle. Avoid those wretched nail hardeners and just take care of your nails as naturally and as mercifully as you can, and you’ll find that you won’t need additional harmful chemicals, after all.
Have you been struggling on how to get stronger nails? Let us know the techniques from above that you use in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
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British-Algerian writer & poet, aspiring journalist, history lover, art enthusiast & unicorn.