Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize! 

Weather changes, hand sanitizer/frequent washing, and household detergents are all drying to your cuticles and nails. Remembering to apply lotion 2-3 times a day helps to keep your hands soft and to keep your nails strong. For very dry hands and nails try coating your hands in coconut oil then putting them into some cotton gloves. Soaking them overnight like this will take your skin to the next level! *This is great on feet too!*


Always Use A Basecoat

There are a lot of formulas and treatments out there aimed to protect and strengthen your nails, but the best one I’ve found is Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer. This nail rejuvenator, which can be used as a basecoat & topcoat or on its own, uses an herbal ingredient called horsetail to strengthen and repair nails. I’ve seen great results achieved using this in lieu of polish, or in conjunction with.


Keep Them In Shape

Pointy or square nails may be on your list of covets, but if you are looking to grow out your nails there is no better shape than round. It’s the structurally strongest shape for your nails, and you’ll avoid snagging them on things.


When In Doubt, Ask A Professional

I know there is a lot of advice floating around on how to make your mani last longer, but some of it is just plain bad. For instance, I’ve seen many a Pinterest post on extending the life of your gel mani by applying glitter polish to the grown out areas. I know this is tempting to try but what this can do to your nails isn’t worth saving a buck. Gel polish works by creating a seal at either end of the nail, locking it down, but as the weeks go by that seal gets chipped at the tip and starts to lift at the base as the polish grows out. This lifting allows moisture underneath the polish and traps it between the polish and your nail, which can prompt the growth of mould and fungus! Ever seen that white looking fog on the top of your nails after removing polish that comes off (mostly) with buffing? Yup, that’s mould! So tempting though it may be to try to stretch those dollars, it’s best not to let your gel polish stay on past the 10 day mark.


Keep It Natural

The siren song of long wearing Shellac/Gel polish might be hard to resist, but you’ll have a better chance of growing out your claws if you do. Many salons do not use proper removal techniques and the over buffing that results will leave them thin. That said, if you really can’t resist I recommend making sure you have an esthetician who is willing to take the time to soak your gel polish off properly, and never let a nail tech use a drill to take it off ever – it might be faster for them, but it’s dangerous for you. Those drills are meant for artificial nails only, and anyone who tries to tell you different is either lying or improperly trained; both of which spell trouble!

Treat Your Nails Like Jewels, Not Tools

Basically this means not to use them to open pop cans, scratch off labels, open boxes, or as a screw driver. *Don’t laugh, I’ve done it!*

Stop Wearing Extensions

All the filing and buffing that happens with the application of artificial nails will leave them in a weakened state, so if you have been getting extensions it may take a while to grow your own out after having the artificial ones removed.  Press on nails will also do a number on your natural nails, as the removal of them can take a layer of your natural nail with them. Difficult as it may be to look at your short and stubbies while they’re growing out believe me when I say that it’s for the greater good!

Don’t Pick At Your Polish

Fact: Your nails are made up of long strips of keratin. Picking off polish lifts layers of your nails, thinning them and making them more brittle. This is especially true with gel polish since it is thicker and more tenacious, so grab yourself a cotton pad and some remover or get thee to a nail salon, but do not pick!

Eat A Healthy Diet

If you’re not getting enough calcium, protein, or healthy fats then your nails will show it. I’m vegan, so for me this means lots of veggies, calcium and vitamin D supplements, and an avocado a day. Diet makeup will obviously vary for everyone, and if you aren’t sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals then talk to someone about a supplement. The saying “You are what you eat” definitely applies when it comes to your hair, skin, and nails.

Carmen of The Body PolitikPolicing Appearance – A Rant originally appeared on The Body Politik Blog. If you would like to read more articles by Carmen, please check her out her on her blog or other articles of her’s here or check out the services she offers by clicking the banner below!