Nail Care Solutions for Beautiful Fingers and Toes!
Nail care is easy if you know the basics and have a few minutes to devote to them each week. Most people can find the time while doing other things, like watching television or talking on the phone. It doesn't take much to create long lasting beautiful effects!
And although fake nails are great instead of having the real thing, they can impose all sorts of problems over time. While acrylics are hard as rocks, they do require some upkeep, care, and CASH. On the other hand, nail tips can break off easily but look totally AWEsome. Implanted nails can become aggravated and are difficult to afford! So whats a girl to do?
Seems to me that the real problem is that your nails need time to ‘breathe’ to keep their delightful pinkish hue and tensile strength. Maybe the best idea is to just keep your nails natural! Having great nails does take a little work but its truly not THAT hard. Its especially breezy if you know the basics and know what things to do to help build nails up!
Your fingernails and toenails are made of a hard protein called keratin, which is essential to keeping nails tough. On average, your nails grow about 1/8 of an inch per month.
Problem nails occur most often when they break before they have a chance to grow out. Biting, tearing, chipping or breaking are other issues that women complain about the most.
Essential Nail Vitamins
Basic Nail Care
Vitamins For Nail Care and Growth
To maintain beautiful nails, they'll need a blend of certain antioxidants to help them grow. For the best nail care, make sure you get enough of them in your diet!
Protein, along with vitamin A, B, C, calcium, zinc, iodine, iron, and sulfur are essential to maintaining lasting nail health.
Glutathione, coenzyme Q10, selenium, lutein, and lycopene help to protect nails from oxidative damage.
Vitamin A works with the B vitamins to keep nails shiny.
Fatty acids (3,6, & 9) are known for their ability to significantly improve nail health.
When you don't get enough of these key nutrients or your body doesn't absorb or assimilate them properly, the deficiency can lead to abnormalities in nail growth. Unhealthy nails may also be the result of a local injury to the cuticle especially or could be signs of hypo-thyroidism.
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Nail Care for Beautiful Nails
When you file your nails, move your emery board at a 45° angle from the side UP to the center of your nail tips. Back and forth movements dry out nails and can cause cracking and peeling. Shape is a personal preference, but if you have square nails, no sense trying to reinvent the wheel. They will stay much stronger if you stick to your own nail growth pattern.
*Note: Rounded nails or nails shaped straight across the nail end with rounded or squared corners are far less likely to split.
Don’t ever file nails after you’ve just been in the water or have had your hands in water for an extended length of time.
Filing Nails on the sides can weaken them and make them more likely to split or chip. Its also good to drink lots of water to keep them hard and strong and 1 or 2 glasses of milk to get more calcium!
Use ridge filler under polish to maintain strength and occasionally use products like Hard as Nails or Strong as Nails to maintain length!
Give nails a chance to breathe every month or so. Take the polish completely OFF and moisturize for about a week really well! Buff with a fine file if discolorations become a problem!
Slits and Splits:
If your nail splits and you don’t have an emery board with you, cover the nail with tape or a bandaid until you can get to one. You can also use Crazy glue to fix the tear. File the nail down carefully to your nail bed when you have the chance.
Don’t use the cuticle remover tool nor cut cuticles back! Instead moisturize them with oil first, then use an orange stick to gently push the cuticles back off the nails. You can use olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, or any oil you like.
Nails need to breathe every now and then. Remove all polish and moisturize with coconut oil or shea butter for a week without polish. You can gently buff them out with a white block buffer to remove some of the yellowing. Apply more moisture!
If you've always had ridges, you always will. Stress and older age can make nails form horizontal ridges. To get a smooth fingernail, gently buff the nail surface with a white block buffer, remove the dust, apply a ridge filler as a base coat, two coats of polish, and finally a topcoat.
Your fingernails absorb water 100 times faster than your skin does but they also lose moisture as fast as they absorb it. So considering how much hand cream you need during specific times of the year, think how thirsty your nails are and recognize that they need just as much moisture (if not more) as your hands do.
Avocado oil, available at any beauty supply store, is excellent for dry, brittle cuticles and nails! Moisturizers are especially useful during the summer and winter.
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Nail Care for Polish
Be sure that nails are clean and dry, free of any oil or lotion, before applying polish. Remove any old polish with any acetone free nail remover with moisturizers. (Generic brands are exactly the same as name brands!) Use a nail brush when you wash your hands to remove dirt/bacteria around and under nails. Also brushing them increases circulation and that helps build nails!
Always use a base coat and let it dry for at least 1 minute. The base coat helps to keep nail polish from chipping and makes polish last longer.
Apply two thin coats of polish. Try to cover nails in three stokes, one on each side and then one down the middle. Don’t apply polish on top of cuticles. Start polish just below cuticles.
Always allow your polish to dry thoroughly for several minutes before you apply the next coat. This will avoid the new coat from dragging on the surface of the previous coat and allow the next layer to adhere better. Darker shades take longer to dry. Avoid fast drying polish. It does not last as long.
However, sometimes you're in a hurry. To expedite drying times, hold nails in front of a hair dryer or a fan. Also holding hands in the freezer works very quickly but it can also be drying to nails. Then again, you can always just invest in a nail dryer but try not to use it too often.
Once your nail polish has dried, apply a clear top coat to seal the polish. Continue to apply top coat daily to keep nails looking fresher longer if necessary.
The best nail care involves guarding your nails against damage. Use protective gloves (like the Playtex brand) when you do chores around the house and yard gloves when you garden and such. Don't file nails too often because this makes them more susceptible to cracks and tears! Moisturize every chance you get.
There are also a few other places that you might damage nails. Chopping various foods in the kitchen and shaving in the shower are other places we tend to 'ruin' nails. Since most women cook and shave, take great care to be mindful when you do these activities to preserve nail growth. There is nothing worse than shaving in the shower and catching your nail with a razor blade!#@^%$&!
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Nail Care for Problem Nails
Lack of vitamin A and calcium in your body causes dryness and brittleness.
Lack of protein, folic acid, (a B vitamin) and vitamin C cause hangnails.
White bands across the nails are a result of protein deficiency.
A lack of sufficient hydrochloric acid can cause splitting nails.
Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to dryness, very rounded and curved ends and darkening of nails.
Insufficient zinc can cause development of white spots on the nails.
Tears and cracks in the nails may indicate a need for more liquids.
Red skin around your cuticles can be caused by poor metabolism of essential fatty acids.
For the best nail care, invest just a few minutes each day to moisturize, clean, and file! It's really all the care that most nails need!
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