(Easy) Ways to Keep Your Nails Strong & Healthy

It's often hard to keep your nails long, strong, and healthy. Most of the time, I find my nails breaking more and more easily. If you also struggle with keeping your nails looking fresh, try out the tips below to make your nails healthier and stronger so they aren't so prone to breaking while tackling everyday tasks! 

Don’t bite your nails.

A lot of my friends have a habit of biting their nails which can leave them uneven and weak. If you are feeling jittery in class, try to avoid biting your nails by painting one or two coats of nail polish on nails. That way, there will be a bad taste in your mouth if you try to bite them again. 

 

 

Don’t cut your cuticles.

One important piece of advice that my mom learned the hard way (by getting an infection on one of her nails) is that you should not get your cuticles cut, either on your own or while getting them done at a nail salon. You should even be limiting how much you touch them if you get them pushed back before painting your nails. Your cuticles exist to protect your nails from bacteria, infections, and fungus so let them do their job by leaving them alone when you treat yourself to a manicure! 

 

Eat right: your diet affects your nail growth, too.

Many people don’t realize that what you eat also affects how strong and healthy your nails are. Focus on eating more Vitamin A, zinc, omega-3, Vitamin H, and protein. This includes foods such as apricots, apples, cashews, spinach, flax seeds, fish, eggs, walnuts, and chia seeds. Even folic acid can help with nail growth, and it is in foods like avocados and fruits with citrus. Vitamin H (or biotin) is found in foods like lettuce, cucumbers, oats, walnuts, and raspberries. They are all perfect to make a delicious salad with! Lastly, foods rich in protein work to keep the nails strong, ranging from meats to dairy products.

 

Wear shoes that fit right.

By wearing shoes that fit, it will not damage your toenails. Trimming your toenails on a regular basis will help to protect them when you wear closed toe shoes. Also, be sure to wear shoes in public places like flip flops in the shower and while walking around a public pool. Infections and fungus can spread easily onto your nails without you even knowing if you don’t wear shoes in moist or damp areas. Also, according to Reader’s Digest, the socks you wear matter. Reader’s Digest suggests buying 100% cotton socks in order to stay away from any infections or fungus that could damage your toenails.

 

Keep your nails hydrated.

Reader’s Digest also recommends putting petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) on your cuticles before you go to sleep, or on your nails in general if they are left feeling dry from the weather. They also suggest using olive oil as an alternative to keeping your nails hydrated.

 

File your nails correctly.

Many people, including myself, think the right way to file your nails is in a back-and-forth motion. According to Reader’s Digest, you should only be filing your nails in one direction (throwback to the song “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction). By avoiding the rough sawing motion when filing, it will help prevent your nails from breaking. Be super careful if you file your nails when your hands are wet because nails are more prone to breaking when they are damp. 

Pampering your hands by doing things such as leaving your cuticles alone, staying hydrated, and eating right all add up to longer, stronger, and healthier nails in the long run. Your nails will thank you if you follow these tips! 

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