Tips For Healthy nails

Let’s be honest, a beautiful set of, long, natural healthy nails looks classy and sexy. Immaculately manicured long nails say a lot about your personal style and confidence. We know growing long, healthy nails can be a challenge. Our simple tips show how you too can have a beautiful set of long natural nails.

First a quick biology lesson:
Your nails grow from the area under your cuticle called the matrix. The matrix is the living part of the nail. Your cuticle is the layer of skin that protects the matrix so the cuticle is very important for nail health and growth. As new nail cells grow in the matrix, older nail cells are pushed out toward your fingertips and become hard and compacted. Heredity and health determine how fast nails grow but nails typically grow about 0.1 millimeter a day, which means that it takes a fingernail about four to six months to fully regenerate. Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges or grooves. They’re uniform in colour and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.

Did you know: Nails grow faster in the summer than in the winter, nails on your dominant hand grow faster, and men’s nails grow more quickly than women’s, except when a woman is pregnant when nail growth speeds up.

How long should my nails be ?
This is obviously very much a matter of personal choice but a couple of things to bear in mind:

The optimum practical length for your nails depends on your activities and your lifestyle. In general the nail tip should extend no further than one third of the body of the nail.

Nails break less often when they are all of equal length and shaped square, oval, or round.

Tips on growing, long and healthy natural nails:

Long nails tip 1: Don’t use your nails as tools.
Rather than using your nails use other parts of your hand, or a pen, to perform tasks like dialing the phone. Don’t pick, poke or scrape with your nails and especially avoid opening soft drink cans with your nails.

Long nails tip 2: Wear gloves.
Detergents are particularly harsh on your nails and can cause splitting and peeling. Wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning. You should also wear gloves when gardening to protect your nails from infection and prevent dryness, damage, and loss of natural oils.

Long nails tip 3: Don’t bit your nails or pick at your cuticles.
Aside from the obvious reason of biting shortening your nails these habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your nail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter the nail bed and cause an infection. Remember your nails grow slowly so an injured nail retains signs of damage for several months.

Long nails tip 4: Look after your cuticles.
The cuticle is a barrier that keeps bacteria from the nail matrix, where new cells are generated, so it should not be cut or trimmed. On the other hand you do want to keep cuticles from becoming overgrown, which suffocates nail growth. If your cuticle has grown out on to the nail plate, after sufficiently softening your cuticles in warm water, very gently use a cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back. As well as pushing your cuticles back this will help to remove dead skin and debris that may have accumulated. Hold the cuticle pusher at an angle, and use tiny circular movements, so that you are as gentle and careful as possible and do not damage the cuticle. When you have finished doesn’t forget to moisturize your hands.

Long nails tip 5: Look after your nails.
Trim fingernails and clean under the nails regularly. Use manicure scissors or clippers and a nail file to smooth nail edges. Never pull off hangnails – doing so almost always results in ripping living tissue. Clip hangnails off, leaving a slight angle outward.

Long nails tip 6: Caring for brittle nails.
Trim brittle nails after a bath, or a 15 minute hand soak in bath oil, and then apply a moisturiser. Don’t use nail polish remover more than twice a month. Instead, touch up the nail polish. When you do need to use a nail polish remover avoid those that use acetone, which dries out nails. Also consider using a nail strengthener and growth formula.

Long nails tip 7: The role of diet.
Unless your diet is deficient in protein and vitamins dietary changes that supposedly strengthen nails won’t work. Your nails can however offer telltale signs of dietary problems such as:
Lack of vitamin A and calcium causing dryness and brittleness.
Lack of protein, folic acid and vitamin C causing hang nails
White bands across the nails caused by protein deficiency.
A lack of sufficient hydrochloric acid causing splitting nails.
Insufficient intake of vitamin B12 leading to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved ends and darkening of nails.
Insufficient zinc causing development of white spots on the nails.
Red skin around your cuticles can be caused by poor metabolism of essential fatty acids.

If you are concerned that your diet may not be balanced and healthy you should consult a medical or nutritional professional.