If you ever needed an excuse for religiously booking manicures, Lauren has the perfect one; “Regular shaping and buffing is essential for healthy nails. Plus, your technician will also be able to advise you on your nail condition and how best to improve this.”. Between salon visits? “Use cuticle oil at least once a day. Take a few minutes to massage it into the nail bed and surrounding skin – this can protect the cuticle and stimulate nail growth.”, winner.
The temptation to peel off your gel polish can be real but it’s a fast track to paper-thin nails. “Yes, it’s bad! When you pick off your gel polish you actually take the top few layers of the nail off with it” Lauren explained, “this can lead to brittle and weak nails that break easily”. Basically, if you want to keep your nails healthy then book a removal appointment.
Like with many of my favourite things (drinking gin, eating pizza), moderation is key here. “The key is not to overdo it” Lauren agreed, “excessive cuticle cutting can leave the nail unprotected from infection. Instead, we gently push back the cuticles with a sanitised pusher and only trim away the dead, loose skin.”
Weak nails are annoying, especially if you’re trying to grow them. According to Lauren, “For strong nails, you need to focus on what goes inside your body as well as what you’re physically putting on your nails. Make sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of foods rich in Vitamin D, Calcium and Zinc.”. Taking supplements is an easy way of upping your vitamin and mineral intake.
There are a few different reasons why your nails might be off-colour, Lauren explained; “Discoloured nails are often to do with lifestyle factors – such as smoking or a poor diet – but it can also be down to staining from polish. Using a base coat prevents colour leaving a stain on the nail – especially underneath darker colours.”
Bumps in your nails are pretty common. In fact, “bumps and ridges in the nails are often hereditary” says Lauren, “but can also be caused when the matrix of the nail has been damaged.” But don’t panic, “Lightly buffing the nail on a weekly basis can help to even out smaller ridges.”.
This is how to keep your nails healthy (according to a pro)
Right, I’ve made a decision and I’m putting it here in writing so I can’t go back on it; this is the year that I (finally) stop biting my nails and grow them. And that means they need to be healthy. I spoke to nail pro, Lauren Williams – Director of award-winning nail bar, London Grace – to find out how to get the strong, healthy nails of my dreams.
By Beth Ludolf
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