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7 Steps to Healthy Nails

14th August 2015

We all want to be healthy, and one of the big perceptions we have of health is how our nails look. It’s completely understandable, and it’s not just nails that we perceive as being good indicators of health, it’s in how our hair and skin look as well. Celebrities and fashion icons around the world have set the standard that many of us want to follow, but sometimes your body lets you down and it just won’t grow those nails the way you want them to look. If you’re fortunate enough to able to grow strong nails to a decent length then look on this guide as a reference to how to keep your nails looking their best, for everyone else the following 7 tips can help with nails that break, split or for those who have nails that are generally weak and brittle.

1. Diet and Your Nails

Nail DietThere are quite a few juxtaposing ideas on how diet can affect your nails, and in many ways it makes perfect sense that what you put into your body will have a result on how things grow on the outside. For instance it’s well known that having great skin is a good indication of a good diet, with the opposite holding true, so is it the same for nails? There is some evidence to suggest that eating healthier won’t have a huge effect on the strength of your nails and how they grow, however there are obvious issues that can occur if someone is suffering from a radical vitamin and mineral deficiency. However a deficiency that is so big that it shows up in your nails would show up on all of your nails, so if you only have the odd one or two nails that are a bit brittle or aren’t looking their healthiest, then don’t panic. In these instances it’s possible that there is some sort of fungal infection for which no amount of vitamins and minerals will directly influence (although keeping yourself healthy won’t hurt), however there are options for treatment which can help. Sometimes brittle nails can just be a part of your genetic make up, in the same way that you can’t change how thick your hair grows, but like with hair, there are things that you can do to help your nails.

2. Fight the Fungus

FungusAs we’ve said, a fungal infection is one of the main causes of bad nail health, and if you have one we won’t be able to provide you with any of our nail treatments (this is known as a contraindication). In the event that we discover an infection or if you suspect that you have a fungal problem that is affecting the health of your nails, we recommend seeking medical advice from your GP or a healthcare professional to get the problem treated. More often than not getting a problem of this nature treated can be the best thing that you can do to achieve strong, healthy nails.

3. Moisturize around Your Nails

Hand MoistureThere’s a common theme that your nails share with the rest of your body, and that’s that your nails are still you, and like the rest of your body they need some care and attention. As with your skin, the area around your nails will benefit from regular application of moisturiser. If you frequently receive manicures then this is even more beneficial to you, as your nails are already having a lot asked of them through being shaped and application of gels, polishes and lacquers. If you happen to be suffering from exceptionally dry nails, a trick to bring them up to a more acceptable standard is to apply Vaseline to your cuticles, the skin around your nails and your nails themselves, and then wear cotton gloves (which are usually easily obtainable from any pharmacy). If you want to use this method it’s important not to be sparing and apply as much Vaseline as possible. You can help with your nail growth by using a good quality non-drying hand cream as well as applying a cuticle balm overnight.

4. ‘B’ Beautiful

B VitaminsAs we said earlier, there are arguments that diet plays a relatively minor role in the health of your nails, but that’s not to say that you can’t hedge your bets and use your diet to your advantage. Some B vitamins have been linked to healthy nail growth such as ones found in biotin, which is a water-soluble B vitamin that aids your body to produce the fatty acids that play a part in the health of your skin and assist with hair and nail growth. Just remember that something like biotin is a supplement and not an outright solution to brittle nails and keep in mind that as with anything in life, too much can be bad for you. Using biotin can cause competition in the body for B5 uptake, and a reduction of B5 can lead to acne, so keep in mind that you don’t want to sacrifice your skin for stronger nails.

5. The Chemical Sisters

The Chemical SistersWe’ve touched on how certain chemicals can be harmful to your nails in a previous article, but it’s important to do a bit of research if you’re going to do your nails at home into what’s safe and what isn’t. As we previously have stated we use Barbicide® at Match Skin Salon as it’s a tried and tested disinfectant that will kill almost all infections without being harmful to your skin or nails. We also avoid using Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) due to the long term damage that it can do to your nails. If you’re doing your own nails there are some who suggest that keratin-based polishes can help with hardening your nails.

6. Become a Wizard with a Nail File

Nail FileOf course we’re more than happy to file your nails for you, but we know that at times a trip to the salon isn’t necessarily practical, particularly if all you need is for your nails to be filed. We recommend avoiding a back and forwards motion if your nails are brittle, as this places extra strain on already weak nails. Ideally you want to file your nails in one direction. Whilst this will likely take longer and require some attention to break the habit of filing back and forth if that’s what you’re used to, the your nails will benefit from it, and in the end so will you.

7. Nail Repair

Repair NailsAt some point or another we’ve all experienced the annoyance of having a nail begin to break, and it can be tempting to get it over with and finish off the break and peel the broken part of nail off, but we recommend against this drastic course of action. If you lightly buff the nail so as to remove any sharp edges, you can apply a light base coat and ridge filler to the affected area, which should help save the broken nail and keep your nails looking healthy.

Match Skin Salon Are Here to Help

At Match Skin Salon our beauticians have extensive knowledge about nail care, and if you want to find out more about how to care for your nails, you can contact us using our online contact form, by sending an email to hello@matchskinsalon.co.uk or by calling us on 01273 719009, or just swing by our nail salon on Duke Street in Brighton and our friendly staff will be more than happy to answer your enquiries. Alternatively if you would like to treat yourself to some luxury pampering, you can request an appointment by using our online appointment form or by contacting us using the above methods.

Contact us today for your free consultation and patch test 01273 719009

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