With all the salon closings during the pandemic, many of us have ditched the acrylics and are sporting our natural nails. If this is you, and you’re in the pursuit of growing your natural nails long and strong but find your nails are weak and brittle instead, we totally get your frustration. The good news is, with a few lifestyle changes and a little extra TLC, you can get the long, beautiful nails you’ve always dreamed of. Continue reading below for our best tips on how to grow long and healthy nails.
Eat A Well-balanced Diet
It’s probably no secret that what you choose to put into your body often shows on the outside as well — including on your nails. Vitamin deficiencies have a tendency to show up on your nails by changes in texture, appearance, and even strength. To make sure your nails are at their optimal health, it’s crucial to eat a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients and increase your intake of biotin which has shown to have great effects on the health of hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is a B vitamin that can be found in a variety of foods.
To get the maximum intake of biotin from your diet, stick to eating things like salmon, leafy greens, eggs, and nuts and seeds which are all packed with this B-vitamin as well as other important goodies. To maximize the effects and ensure you’re getting the correct nutrition for superior nail health, consider taking a daily multivitamin and/or biotin supplement. Read our article on food tricks for a breakdown of all the foods you should be eating for healthy hair and nails.
Stay Hydrated & Moisturized
Besides drinking your daily intake of water to stay hydrated, it’s also important to moisturize your hands and nails regularly to ensure they stay well hydrated which can help them grow strong and prevent them from breaking. Nails that are hydrated tend to be flexible and bend, while dry nails are brittle and weak, causing them to break more easily. Moisturize your hands with hand cream and apply cuticle oil daily. To ensure you make moisturizing a daily habit, keep it by your bedside table and apply every night before bed.
Don’t Pick at Your Nails
Don’t let a chipped manicure or cracked nail tempt you to peel or pick at it. Picking or peeling your nails can damage your nail beds causing them to become weak and brittle and ultimately, they’ll break. If your manicure chips, it’s important to remove it correctly to keep your nails healthy and strong. For a cracked nail, instead of picking it and potentially tearing it off too short, use a nail file to gently file away the cracked part. This will prevent the nail from breaking or tearing further.
Try a Dip Powder Manicure
A great way to strengthen and prevent your nails from breaking while you grow them is by getting a dip powder manicure. Not only does dip powder provide rich, beautiful color with a brilliant shine, but it also provides a strong layer of protection with its hard resin-like finish which allows the nail to grow long and strong. Further, specific brands add vitamins and minerals to the bases and powders. SNS, the leaders with professionals for dip powders, are one of the trusted brands for healthy nails. Be sure to request SNS or OPI, or inquire if the brand your salon is using has added vitamins. Fortified dip powders will make the nail bed stronger with each application. If your salon does not know, then wait to get a dip manicure until you can verify the ingredients of their brand.
Go for a Round Shape
Square nails with sharp corners tend to snag on things more easily. If you want to prevent your nails from tearing or breaking, opt for a round or oval shape which has soft, rounded corners and is less likely to get caught on things. Round and oval shapes also give the illusion of a longer, slimmer finger and nail bed which can make your nails look longer too.