When it comes to easy pick-me-ups, a good manicure can do wonders. I always leave the nail salon feeling like a boss lady, even if I’m in a sweaty workout outfit (I have been known to make a quick stop at the salon on my way home from yoga or a run.) I always walk out feeling like I can handle whatever life throws at me.
Now, with Co-Vid restrictions, trips to the nail salons are few and far between. It is becoming more necessary to be able to practice “self-care” on your nails from home. I’ve learned to simplify my nail needs. I don’t need nail art or jewels. When it comes down to it, my nail needs are basic: I want Hulk-strong, baby smooth, beautifully shaped nails that won’t break after I do the dishes or zip up a coat or carry a few items around the house (hey, we’re all being called to do new things right now). Turns out, if I follow a few simple rules, these demands might actually be attainable. Read on if your trips to the salon are scarce and your nail standards are not.
1. Strengthen and Lengthen Naturally
You may feel tempted to use a chemical hardener on your nails if you feel like they’re tearing every five seconds, but there are gentler, less harmful ways to encourage your nails to become long and strong. For one thing, I never knew that waiting to shower 24 hours after getting my nails done would allow the polish to harden sufficiently and lessen chipping and/or peeling. After all these years of marveling at the wonders of Gel manicures and then peeling that same chipping gel off two weeks later, it’s good to know this very simple insider tip. I’ll skip the gel next time, thanks!
Second, if you decide to deep clean your house, please wear gloves. And particularly now, in the age of necessary but endless hand washing, moisturize. Get one for (each) purse, one for your car, one for your home office, one for your nightstand… because hand sanitizer is everywhere, and everyone is using it, which means everyone’s hands are absorbing that 90+ percent alcohol content. Which means? Lubriderm or Aquaphor it up, my friends. In the morning, in the evening, in the noontime.
2. Essential Vitamins for Great Nails
If you want strong nails and you’re not getting the proper vitamins/nutrition, no amount of topical hardener is going to help you. Start from within, and make vitamin D, collagen and biotin part of your daily vitamin regimen. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption, which strengthens not only your bones, but your nails and teeth, too! Taking collagen daily prevents nail breakage and helps them grow, while biotin strengthens and prevents brittleness.
3. Nail Growth Products
Vitamin E oil is your best friend once those temps start shifting from sultry to brisk. Keep a little bottle on hand to give an extra oomph of moisture to dry nails, hands, and any other scaly bits on your bod.
Nourish your cuticles! Did you know that healthy cuticles mean healthy nails? It’s true. Here’s why: The cuticle forms a protective layer for new keratin cells as they harden and age. Our nails grow from the bottom up and are constantly regenerating. Therefore, it’s imperative that we create the healthiest environment for our new nail regrowth. That all happens on the cuticle level, which is why cutting the cuticles is always a no-no.
Instead, feed them. Nourish them with natural oils. Massage them and protect them. Keep them happy, and the results will show in your nails.
Start small and simple. Use common sense. Wear cozy gloves in the wintertime and take care of your hands and nails the way you would any other part of your body. You’ll met those previously unattainable nail goals in no time flat.