How to get long, strong, and healthy nails

How to get long, strong, and healthy nails

The strength and appearance of your nails can give an indication of your overall health. However, your nails may not be as strong and healthy-looking as you’d like them to be. Nail strength and health can be affected by a number of environmental stressors and your lifestyle. Would you like your nails to be longer, stronger, and more healthy? Small changes to your lifestyle and habits can make a big difference to your nail health.

There are a number of ways you can ensure that your nails long, strong and healthy. One of the main tips is to try and get plenty of vitamins in your diet by eating healthily and if needed, taking dietary supplements. Drinking plenty of water is also very important. Going for a nail treatment, if professional quality products are used, can leave your nails longer and healthier. Here are 10 top tips for stronger, healthier nails.

How to grow longer and stronger nails fast

1. Good nutrition

This is probably the most obvious tip. Your body is affected by what you eat, including your skin, hair, and nails. A well-balanced, nutritious diet containing plenty of vitamins and minerals can help to keep your nails strong and healthy.

If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamins in your diet, it might be worth considering a multi-vitamin supplement. It’s always important to check with your GP first to make sure that the vitamins won’t react with any medications you are currently taking.

Biotin (also known as vitamin H and vitamin B-7) is important to the health of your immune system, hair, and nails. You can find it naturally in salmon, or eggs. Biotin is water-soluble and isn’t stored very well by the body. This means you need to try to get in plenty of biotins through your diet or through supplements to make sure your hair and nails stay healthy. As above, it’s important to double-check the biotin supplements won’t react with any medication you are currently taking, but are available to buy online.

If you are currently taking medication, it is common that some may affect your nail health. Ask your doctor what you can do to combat this issue, and they may recommend supplements.

2. Drink plenty of water

Probably the second most obvious (but so, so important) tip is to make sure you are always drinking plenty of water. As with good nutrition, you are affected all across your body by your hydration levels. If you aren’t drinking enough water, your nails can become brittle and fragile, and may break or peel more easily.

What we recommend: 

Carry a reusable water bottle

This is a great way to stay hydrated and is perfect for if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or somewhere you can’t access water. It’s also a nice reminder to top up during the day. The best thing about carrying your own water bottle is that you’re not buying disposable plastic water bottles and doing your bit to prevent plastic waste.

Drink water during meal times

Drinking water during and after a meal helps your body to digest your food properly. Not only that, but you’ll be staying as hydrated as possible as you go!

Choose water over other drinks

Sometimes you could go for that diet cola to give you a caffeine boost, or a nice hot coffee. However, try swapping those for a glass of water once in a while. These types of drinks can actually dehydrate you. Not only that, but a drink of water may actually give you that energy boost you were looking for. Visualize your brain going from raisin to a nice plump grape!

3. Minimise exposure to water

Now this one may sound like a contradiction, but I’m actually talking about keeping your nails out of the water as often as you can. Too much soaking your nails in water can also cause them to become weak and brittle. It’s impossible to keep your hands out of the water all the time (unless you don’t wash dishes or yourself), but it’s important to keep this tip in mind.

To minimize the amount of time your nails spent submerged, try using rubber gloves when washing the dishes, and maybe rest your hands on the bath when you’re bathing.

4. Be selective about the products you use

Many nail polishes or treatments can contain harsh chemicals. These chemicals can contribute to the weakening of your nails. Avoid nail polish remover that contains acetone, and look for a non-toxic nail polish remover. If you use longer-lasting gel nail polish, have it removed by your beauty therapist. If you remove it yourself or pick at it, you can actually damage your nails.

It may be worth considering short breaks from nail polish and gel, to give your nails a chance to strengthen and breathe.

It is also important to avoid exposing your hands and nails to harsh anti-bacterial soaps, washing up liquid, and bleach when trying to maintain good nail health. Get those rubber gloves on!

5. Prioritise health over length

If your nails are weak and damaged, it’s best to keep them short for now. Weak nails struggle to maintain length, so keep them short until they strengthen. File them smoothly to prevent breakages and snags and your nails will strengthen in no time.

How to file your nails properly:

File them in one direction

Filing your nails back and forth can weaken your nails even more. It’s also important to go easy on the sides of your nails to prevent further breakage.

Invest in a soft nail file

Glass files are pretty, easier to clean, and last longer. However, a soft file is gentler on your nails and prevents nail weakening and breakage.

Start from the outer edge and work your way inwards

You’ll get smooth edges and you can control the shape you’d like!

6. Moisturise your hands and nails regularly

So you’re handbag/backpack/desk drawer now includes a water bottle. We also need to add some hand cream or moisturizing lotion in there (if you haven’t already got some). Moisturizer not only keeps your skin healthy but also can keep your nails hydrated.

Moisturize your hands after washing your hands to restore the moisture back in after washing.

7. Don’t use too much hand sanitizer

One you need to watch that is in most handbags, backpacks, and desk drawers is hand sanitizer. It’s such a handy product to keep your hands clean in between washes, or if you are traveling or camping and need clean hands on the go. However, hand sanitizer contains alcohol so try not to use this too often, as alcohol will dry out your hands and nails and cause your nails to break more easily.

8. Try not to use your nails as tools

It’s best not to use your nails to open cans or to pry things open. Use your fingertips or an actual tool instead. This will stop your nails from breaking and as long as they are healthy, you can keep a nice length!

9. Leave your cuticles alone

The skin between your nails and your finger skin is called your cuticle, and it plays a very important role in preventing infection. Your cuticle seals the area at the base of the nail, preventing bacteria from entering underneath the skin and causing infection. This is why you should never cut or remove your cuticle, and try to take care of them. So no biting or pulling at your cuticles. If you really want to do anything with them, it’s best to push them back gently and use a cuticle oil to moisturize and protect your cuticles.

10. Finally, get a manicure once in a while

Getting your nails done professionally once in a while can improve their health and strength. This is because a nail technician will use professional products and is trained on nail health. Your therapist will apply a strengthening base goal to prevent the nails from peeling or becoming weak by using polish too often. Getting a regular manicure will remove rough edges and dry cuticles we tend to pick at or get caught and break. 

To summarise

It may be difficult to remember, or seem like a lot of points involved in taking care of your nails! However, adopting just a few of these healthy habits can make a huge difference to your nail health. There are a lot of benefits to going for a manicure or to have your nails done every now and again. A qualified nail technician has the best experience and knowledge of caring for and strengthening nails and can advise the best products and tips for looking after your nails, cuticles, and hands.

The above tips will keep your manicure looking great for longer and your nails healthier. If you don’t often have time to go to a professional, the above tips should help you to maintain strong, healthy nails. Having unhealthy looking nails and hands can have a detrimental impact on your mental health and your well-being, so it is important that you try to take care of yourself and make sure you are eating healthily, drinking plenty of water and build upon your self-care routine using the above tips to improve the condition of your hands and nails.

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