12 Tips to Healthy Fingernails
There are a number of ways you can help keep your hands & nails healthy & happy and we put together a quick cheat sheet to help you keep them all together.
Here is a list of our favorite tips & secrets for keeping our talons in tip top shape. Some are courtesy of Team Inspirationail & others were found from various sources within the online nail industry. We hope everyone will leave their own tips in the comments below!
These are tried & true tips and most of them are really a recipe of respect for your environment with a dash of common sense.
1. Even Nails Like Pampering
Keeping your hands & nails well moisturized is perhaps one of the easiest ways to ensure they remain healthy & flexible. Lotion is always an acceptable moisturizer, and should be applied every day (slather up and night & sleep with organic cotton gloves on for super soft skin). Be sure not to forget about your cuticles, use a natural, organic cuticle oil every day too. In a pinch you can always raid the kitchen for olive oil (add a drop or two of your fave scented oil and mix it in an old varnish bottle for easy application).
2. Think of Your Nails
Whenever you clean, you should take your hands as a whole into consideration. We aren’t a big fan of chemicals (or rubber gloves for that matter) but if you must use one you should always use the other. Protect your skin & nails from drying, harmful chemicals whenever you use them.
3. Short is Pretty Too
While long nails are nice, very few of us have nails strong enough to grow very long (which is a crying shame). But we think short is just as beautiful and attempting to grow weaker nails can cause splits & damage. Keeping them trimmed to match the top of your finger is the optimal length.
4. Eat Your Vitamins
We aren’t a big fan of getting your vitamins in pill form…that’s what food is for. There are a number of vitamins & minerals that are essential to healthy nails and we’ve gone so far as to create lists of recipes for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans that include a large % of them.
5. Stronger When Dry
Your nails become much weaker when they are wet (so don’t trim or file them unless they are dry). Also, be sure to dry your nails completely after having them submerged in water (from dishes, the bathtub, etc.) And always wash your nails with fresh water after getting out of a chlorine filled swimming pool or Jacuzzi before drying.
6. Learn How to Use Your Tools
Filing can be a rather damaging action for your nails and when not done properly it can lead to damaged or flaking nails. We highly recommend you use a glass file they are the best for the environment and probably the best for your nail. Regardless of the type of file you use, only file in one direction – don’t saw at them in both directions.
7. Ignore Your Cuticles
We know it sounds strange what with all of those crazy tools out there to use on them…but if you, your skin & nails are healthy your cuticles will be too. Trimming them can lead to breakage of delicate skin which runs the risk of infection. Keep them moisturized and don’t bite them!
8. Loose the Conventional Attitude
Lets face it, many conventional polishes, removers, treatments and nail art products are filled with chemicals. All we can say is read ingredients, and make responsible choices with your money & opt for ethical brands that don’t pollute you, animals or the environment around you, (nature everywhere thanks you).
9. Get a Tool Kit
Do not, & we repeat, do not use your nails as tools. Go get yourself a toolkit with a hammer, pliers & a various assortment of screwdrivers and let them do the heavy lifting.
10. Buff Yourself Up
Buffing the surface of your nails stimulates blood circulation to the area and enhances their growth. Always use a good buffer with very fine grit (you can even use the tip of your thumb in a pinch).
11. Be Real
Artificial enhancements are a personal choice every girl has to make for herself. Team Inspirationail has given in to temptation on more than one occasion. However, acrylics, gels and other fake extensions damage the nail plate when they are removed. Wearing them also deprives your nails of natural light & air while they unnecessarily expose you to chemicals and a higher possibility of fungal infection.
12. Keep You Healthy
The best way to keep your nails healthy is to be healthy. That means eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and drinking plenty of water while avoiding alcohol, smoke & carbonation whenever possible, (sorry, but it’s true). Be sure to see the recipe links above for some delicious and healthy meal options that cover a large percentage of your daily vitamin & mineral intake.
Many of these tips cross over and have similar themes but when it comes down to it there are only a few things you really need to remember to keep your nails healthy. Keep yourself healthy and protect your hands from exposure to unnecessary chemicals. Stay natural & stay healthy.