Sorry fellow co-workers, but I love to hear that tap-tap-tap of long, strong nails on my keyboard. While hair and skin may be top of your self-care list, it’s easy to forget about the health of our nails (and cover up any sins with a slick of coral polish). But running fingers through your locks and getting stuck mid-way from a broken nail is all too annoying. So whether you’re a fan of acrylics, or natural nails are your go-to, it’s time we gave our fingertips some TLC. Here’s our guide to nurturing nails. Tap tap tap.
By Danielle Petch
Oh, and don’t go forgetting – there’s up to 50% off nails right now (just saying).
1 Break from gel
Let’s face it, gel nails look great. Nothing gets me skipping down the street like a fresh gel mani. But the removal required to keep those babies in good nick can take its toll on our nails. Dehydrated, weak, and sometimes brittle, it’s good to take a break now and then from our gel appointments, to allow the nails to ‘breathe’. If you can’t bear a bare nail, try a nail strengthening treatment like IBX (or DIY it with a bottle of strengthener), to help toughen up natural nails. They’ll be strong and healthy in no time – just what the doctor ordered.
2 Stay hydrated
Much like the skin on our face and body, our nails need to stay healthy and moisturised. Drinking water is the easiest way, but maintaining a balanced diet packed with protein will also help keep everything in working-order, right down to your cuticles. While I’ll admit, my hand sanitiser is almost attached to my hands (especially when taking the tube), most contain alcohol. This can increase dryness, so try to keep sanitising to a minimum (and make sure to not apply directly to the nail or cuticle when you do). Invest in a hand or cuticle cream instead, and apply regularly, your nails will thank us.
3 Trim down
While trimming your nails may seem like the opposite thing to do if you’re striving for longer nails, stick with us. It makes sense that nails that have been left dry or damaged need to start anew, so a good file & cuticle clean will continue your journey for a perfect mani. File nails stroke-by-stroke, rather than in a back and forth motion, as this can lead to splitting and breakage. Always follow up with a good slick of cuticle cream or, our holy grail, coconut oil. Better yet, pop into a nail salon for a no polish mani, and have them do the maintenance work for you.
4 Nails are not tools
These steps will strengthen nails and promote growth, but won’t make them won’t be indestructible (sorry). From cleaning the bathroom, to opening up long-awaited Amazon packages, it’s easy to forget about the damage we might be doing to our nails each and every day. Many household products contain harsh chemicals, so donning your best pair of rubber gloves will protect you when spring cleaning – or, use your nails as an excuse to leave the dusting for another day (got to love a real excuse).