Your nails are a small part of your body but they have an important role in protecting your fingers and since they are the end of your hand, your nails get frequent exposure in front of people. So, it is important to keep your nails healthy and in good shape. And achieving this is neither difficult, nor expensive. You can go to a saloon to have your manicure or pedicure done but there are many things you can and need do on your own. Even good manicurists or pedicurists can't always help, if you are doing your best todamage your nails, so the wisest you can do is to take care of your nails.
Maintaining nails healthy and good looking is not so difficult. While it is true that sometimes hereditary factors play part for having good or bad nails and even if you try, you can't change the shape and the size or your nail beds, there are many other simple procedures, which can deliver great results. For instance, the following rules are very basic, yet powerful:
- Eat healthy and balanced food.
Lack of vitamins and minerals in the body is visible on the nails. Sometimes strange looking nails are a symptom of various diseases but most often the poor look of your nails is due to bad nutrition. The lack of Vitamin D especially leads to brittle nails, so before you resort to nail strengtheners, just try to balance your diet first.
- Do not expose your hands, fingers and nails to chemical substances like detergents.
Everyday chemistry is not always harmless and many chemicals for use in the household can damage your nails and skin. Wearing gloves usually helps in preventing contact with nail unfriendly detergents. Gloves are also mandatory when you are dealing with dyers or simply dirt of any kind.
- Carefully choose nail polishes, hardeners and cleaners.
Although modern cosmetics are intended to be harmless, there are still nail polishes, hardeners and cleaners that contain substances, which damage the nail surface. If you notice stains on your nails, or they become dry and brittle, one possible reason is your nail cosmetics. Usually it is not the polish but rather the cleaner (especially those that contain acetone) that is the mortal enemy for nails. When your nails get damaged by a nail polish or a cleaner, if you stop using it for a while, this might be all treatment that your nails need.
- Moisturize your nails.
Nails, like skin, can get dry and you need to moisturize them. Nails get dry not only because of excessive use of nail polish and above all nail polish cleaners but also because of the climate (especially if you live in a cold country) and frequent washing. So you need to apply moisturizers to them to keep them from drying.
- Use nail oils.
Massage your nails with rose hip oil to strengthen your nails and to stimulate their growth. Oils also help in moisturizing your nails, so you may want to get a product that combines both. Applying a moisturizer or a nail oil every night before going to bed is a nice habit to pick up.
- Don't cut the cuticles.
The cuticles are part of the nail and when you cut their visible part, you only make them harder and puffy. Instead, when your fingers and nails are wet, gently put the cuticles back to make them less visible and that is all you can do to fight them.
- Wash your hands frequently and regularly cut your nails.
This might sound more than obvious but if you look at the hands of the guys and girls around you, you might start wondering if this basic hygiene habit is that obvious to everybody. It is ridiculous to see the perfect nail polish on a dirty hand or on a shapeless nail that has not been cut (only occasionally bitten) for ages.
- Dealing with ingrown nails.
This is a very unpleasant condition, which happens most often to the toenails and is generally due to tight shoes. If your nails are inclined to grow on the wrong side, this means that you will have to cut them very often, thus not giving them the chance to get to your skin and grow there. Besides that it is not good-looking, ingrown nails are painful and often can lead to infections, so you have to reason to tolerate them.