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Hard as Nails

Now that summer is coming to its end,  it a good to access the damage to your nails who may have fallen victim to salt water and chlorine as you sought water to soak in to combat the summer heat.  I think you may appreciate some tips to rehabilitate and strengthen your nails.  As always, I am here to help.

Limit exposure to water and chemicals:

If you’re looking for an excuse to get out of domestics duties and heavy duty spring cleaning, here it is.  One should limit exposure to water and cleaning chemicals to strengthen nails.   You’re quite welcome.  It simply truth that all that water and cleaning can indeed wreak havoc on your nails.  Even frequent hands washing can be wear on your nails. You should also note that alcohol based hand sanitizer is bad news for the nails – it weakens them.  So whenever cleaning or washing dishes you should wear rubber gloves and doing so follow up with moisturizer.  You may also delegate such duties to someone else to assure strong nails. Moisturize after hand washing too (no delegating here). In general, hand cream and cuticle oil should be a part of you daily regiment to avoid problems such as hang nails and peeling nails and cuticles.

Drink lots water and eat healthy:

While soaking your hands in water is bad news drinking a water is health benefit.  Hydration benefits hair, skin and nails. 2. But drink lots (and lots) of it. One health and beauty secret we can all benefit from is that hydration is key for beautiful skin, hair, and nails.

A healthy diet with proteins and vitamins that enrich your body and overall health, will do nothing but benefit your nails.   Vitamin supplements like biotin have been found to be useful in strengthen your nails.  Biotin is in the vitamin B family and researchers have found that it increase the thickness of nails which decreased breaking, splitting and peeling.

You may also want to consider keeping your nail on the shorter side as you work on strengthen them. Think about it … shorter nails will enable the water and healthy nutrients to work faster due to less surface area. Furthermore shorter nails are less likely to break because there is less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed to weaken them and less surface area exposed to the possibly of tearing or breaking.  Makes perfect sense, no?

This leads into my next tip …

Don’t use your nails as tools! 

While opening a soda can seems harmless it can certainly contribute to breakage and peeling.  Don’t use your nails to pry things open, or excessively scratch off things like stickers or labels because doing so puts pressure on the tip of your nail which is obviously the weakest part.

Things to consider when you getting or doing your manicures…

It is important to note that indulging yourself with frequent mani-pedis is bad news.  Studies have shown that those who do are more likely to suffer from brittle, dry nails because of the exposure to the professional strength chemicals which contain harsher ingredients.  You’re also more prone to infections when you frequent nail salons.  To counter this consider bringing your own tools for them to use.

Also consider that experts have scolded that nail extensions are generally bad for your nails (though so pretty) often at fault for fungal or bacterial infections and worst case scenario permanent damage to your nails.  If you can help yourself and must wear nail extensions you should consider opting for just tips because since the surface area is less the potential for damage is also lessened.

Whether at the nail salon or at home you should avoid acetone-based nail polish remover as it strips your nails and causes brittleness.  Don’t use rough sandpaper aka rough emery boards because they cause cracks in the nail which lead to tears and breakage.  Files are a much better bet if use correctly.  Correctly is one direction as oppose to back and forth which is more likely to cause breakage.

And now, as an added bonus I present to you some DIY nail strengthen treatments!

Lemon Juice and Sea Salt

1TB sea salt

1 TB lemon juice

2 cups of warm water

Combine ingredients and soak your nails for 15 minutes or so. 

Rinse and moisturize.

Repeat every other day for two weeks.  You will notice your nails will lighten in color and stronger.

Olive Oil

Olive oil offers nourishment and moisturizer.

Ingredients?  Olive oil.  Just soak your nails in a bowl olive oil once or twice a week for about 20 minutes, rinse and pat dry and voila!

If you feeling adventurous consider adding 2 tablespoons of raw honey and a whisked egg.  Soak in this treatment for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Lemon juice and olive oil is another good combo – 3 tablespoons of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Don’t forget your toe nails!  I would love to hear in treatments you may have and if you tried these and what you thought.