We know it’s kind of over the top, but in that split second when our perfectly shaped nail breaks, we could cry! Because let’s be real, there’s no better feeling than when you have a boujee mani-pedi, it just makes us feel so sassy. Plus, a broken nail can be painful too, especially if you’re wearing nail extensions! To make sure you’re nail game is always slaying, we’ve got some quick and easy tips that’ll strengthen and improve the quality of your nails so you’re never left with a broken nail (soul), again.
Apply hand cream and cuticle oil daily
We stock hand cream everywhere; on our desk, nightstand, in our bag…we could go on, but the point is hydrated nails are stronger nails! (Check out our fav hand creams here). Cuticle oil is another major nail saver that’ll boost nail growth and help them retain their strength. And, despite what almost every salon does, you should actually avoid cutting your cuticles as this is your nail’s first line of defense against bacteria. Instead, you should apply a cuticle oil and gently push the cuticle back.
Avoid nail hardeners
We know this sounds crazy, but nail hardeners can actually weaken your nails. Dermatologists say avoid them at all costs, as they contain a chemical that’ll actually dehydrate your nails and make them even drier. The toxic ingredient is called ‘formaldeyde’ and although some claim they are formaldehyde-free they’re still legally allowed to contain 1-2%. So check the ingredients list!
File nails with care
Knowing how to file your nails properly is essential. The back and forth method you often see done can actually fray and weaken your nails as it puts strain on the nail plate. Instead, use single strokes and always work at an angle, avoiding horizontal strokes. To get rid of any feathered edges, tuck the file underneath your nail and use a flicking motion. It can also damage your nails if you file them too often so don’t file them more than once a week. Finally, avoid coarse nail files: anything with a 180-grit weight or less means it’s more abrasive, so opt for a file that states it’s 180 or higher.
For nails, we love Biotin supplements (also amazing for your hair), as it helps your body convert essential fats and proteins so that nutrients can be absorbed into your body more effectively. It’s a miracle worker when it comes to brittle, weak nails, and gives them a natural polish too!
Avoid alcohol-based hand sanitizers
What makes hand sanitizers so effective at killing germs is the chemicals combined with a high alcohol content. But the problem is alcohol will majorly dehydrate your nails and hands, weakening your nails and making them more brittle. So look for sanitizers that say ‘alcohol-free’ on the bottle!
Shape your nails for strength
If you’re constantly going through the pain of breaking your nails, it could have something to do with your nail shape. No matter how fierce some shapes look, they’re just more prone to breaking. This is definitely the case with ballerina or stiletto shaped nails as the long, slim tip is so fragile. Instead, opt for shorter, round, squoval or square-shaped nails, which are easier to manage and mich less likely to get caught or break. Check out our feature about nail shapes here.
Limit hot water exposure
Hot water strips your nails of their natural oils that keep your them looking polished and strong. Whenever you’re doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands and nails – they’ll look younger over the years as well.
Don’t bite your nails
If you still bite your nails, you need to stop – now! It’ll break your nail vertically which instantly weakens them, and it can cause bleeding and infection. Plus, it’s kinda unhygienic!
Wear gloves in the winter
Cold weather is really damaging to your nails! Because your nails are made of multiple layers of skin, when its colder and the air is dry, the dry air will permeate your nails and make them brittle. Prevent this from happening by wearing gloves; not only will it keep your hands toasty, it’ll help hydrate and keep nails strong.
If you have any other hacks that save your nails, lets us know in the comments below!