Perhaps you envy friends who have long, beautiful nails, especially when your own nails seem to break all the time. Although well-cared-for nails can add to an attractive appearance, healthy nails require some special care. However, having healthier nails makes it easier to grow long nails that are less brittle. While strong nails that grow long are often a matter of genetics, there are steps you can take to strengthen your nails.
Examine your nails for pitting, spots or discoloration that could signal an underlying health condition. If your nails are healthy, they should be smooth and uniform in color. Fingernails with ridges and grooves could mean that you have a nutritional deficiency, or may be a symptom of kidney or thyroid problems. Talk to your doctor if you don’t think your nails look right.
Pamper your nails with frequent nail massaging. Massage the nail itself and not just the fingers. Use your forefinger and thumb to gently massage each nail. After you have massaged the nails of one hand to stimulate blood flow, switch over and do the same on the other hand.
Manicure your nails gently. Some women are harsh on their nails even though they may be trying to make them look beautiful. Filing your nails in a back and forth direction can make the nails weak. File nails in one direction only.
Keep your nails well hydrated. Use moisturizing lotion or petroleum jelly to moisten your nails on a daily basis. Rub directly into your nails. Moisturize your nails at the same time you moisturize your cuticles and the skin on your hands.
Put a light coat of fingernail polish on your nails. Nail polish helps to protect your nails, as well as aids in building stronger nails that are less likely to break. According to adult health experts at the Mayo Clinic, nail polish helps keep moisture in the nail. Leave the polish off at least one day each week so that your nails can get the oxygen they need.
Eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins you need for good health. Your diet should include adequate levels of folic acid, zinc and vitamin C. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can prevent you from growing long, healthy nails. For example, a lack of vitamin A or calcium can cause nails to become dry and brittle.
- Using acrylic nails can weaken your natural nails and make them more prone to breaking.
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