Your nails are the reflection of your overall health, your hair too. Most vitamin deficiencies or poor diets will show in your hair and nails first. The amount of TLC you put into your body and how many nutrients you consume makes all the difference with keeping the nails strong and beautiful. Here are a few tips for healthy nails:
Keep them hydrated
The most common reason for nail breakage is dryness. Dry nails become brittle and are prone to breakage. If you find it hard to grow your nails to a certain length, consider using a moisturiser onthem. Moisturiser helps provide the right amount of hydration needed for a healthy nail growth. Since it reduces brittleness, it is able to prevent the nails from breaking. Use a good quality nail moisturizer to massage on your fingernails and toenails, twice a day. Especially before going to bed as it will stay there overnight and keep them hydrated.
File in one direction
Filing the nails in a to and fro direction is what most of us do to shape our nails. Unfortunately, it does nothing but weaken the nails and make them prone to breakage. The first rule of nail filing is – do it in one direction. It may seem difficult at first, but the results are amazing. When nails are filed in one direction, there is less stress on the edges with every stroke you make. It prevents small cracks and damages that cause the nail to fall off in some time. Always use gentle strokes that are in one direction.
Never share your nail file
Nail infections may make you nails look dull and lifeless. It is recommended to take preventative steps to keep infections at a bay. Sharing your nail file can spread infections from one person to other. In no way, should you share your emery board or nail file with someone else. Moreover, it is always best to change your nail file at regular intervals. This will prevent germs from building up and transferring to the healthy nails.
Choose the right shoe
Toenails are prone to injury, especially due to a wrong sized shoe. A shoe which is too small may put excessive pressure on your nails causing them to lift and break. It may also cause an infection that can be painful. A wrong size shoe also rubs against the edges of the nail and damages the skin which is also painful and unhealthy for the nails. Whenever choosing a shoe, make sure it fits you well and has enough space to accommodate your nails. Wear open toe shoes if you have long toenails so that they don’t rub over the surface of the shoe while walking.
Avoid going barefoot
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, half of the nail problems arises due to fungal infection. Therefore, you should never walk barefoot, especially in a warm and damp environment. Most public places, swimming pools, and locker rooms may spread infection if you walk barefoot. Fungus thrives on moist and warm areas and can spread to your feet and nails. To avoid this always wear a flip flop. Try not walking barefoot at home even if it is cleaned regularly. It may cause dryness in the skin which may show up as cracks.
Avoid too much soaking
You may be advised to soak your nails often for hydration or before trimming and filing. Although a certain amount of soaking can be helpful, too much soaking will dry out your nails and make them prone to breakage. When they are excessively wet the nails can become dry and doinglabour intensive work may break them off. When the nails dry off after soaking, the natural oils are stripped away, which makes them brittle and causes them to break or crack easily. Avoid too much soaking or doing work that involve keeping your hands wet for hours. If your nails get over soaked, dry them with a towel and apply a rich moisturizer to compensate the oil lost.
Look for any changes
Any changes in the nail should be easily noticeable at home or in the salon. Look for changes in colour, texture and the strength of your nails. Any patches or discoloration may indicate nail problems. Usually, white spots are found on the nails which may indicate a nutrient deficiency, but these are actually nothing but small injuries. If your nails turn red or blue due to an injury, it is likely to recover in a few weeks’ time. But if there are dark coloured rings on your nail, consider visiting an expert as these may be serious health problems.
Keep toenails trimmed
Toenails are prone to injuries caused due to carelessness. Hitting hard surfaces may lift them causing pain and even bleeding. It may take a long time for the pain to subside and prepare the skin for the new nail. Your foot may look unattractive with a lifted nail. It is important to keep toenails short and trimmed. Toenails may also cause injuries to other people if they are hit mistakenly. Moreover, trimmed toenails look healthier than unshaped and long nails.
Wear Gloves and Socks
Wearing gloves while doing certain jobs like washing will help you in keeping your nails free from the damage caused by detergents. If you are doing something with colours, wear gloves to prevent absorption into your nails. Coloured patches over your nails may make them look unhealthy and unattractive. Also, wear socks after moisturizing your toenails to preserve the moisture for longer and prevent the deposition of dust and dirt.
Stop chewing them
Chewing your nails is a big ‘no’, especially if you want them to appear attractive and healthy. Your nails will never look healthy if you have a tendency to chew them. It will make them prone to infections that can cause pain and swelling.
Besides the above tips for healthy nails, it is important to go for a manicure and pedicure to keep your nails in best form. Make sure the nail salon you visit uses separate nail files and other items that may spread infections. Aftercare is necessary even if you visit nail salons on a regular basis. Use high-quality nail products to prevent and damage to the nails and cuticles. In addition, it, eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamins to aid healthy nail growth.
A manicure and pedicurecertainly help restore the health of your nails in the best possible way take a look at this infographic on the benefits of a good mani/pedi, but everyday care is also essential to keep them looking as healthy.
Author Bio: Alex Morgan– Currently studying in Dublin, Alex is a career writer, by choice! Versed in a number of subjects he mainly specialises in Beauty, health and fitness and occasional marketing/business articles. He posts on a number of blogs and websites and harbours desires to begin a great novel, but struggles creating character names – Look for the epic fantasy “Tom the Barbarian” on shelves soon.
He can often be found on twitter under the handle @Al_Exical. He finds it comforting to talk about himself in the third person.