Do your nails peel, break and chip and make your nail polish and hands look horrendous? I used to have that problem but not anymore. 🙂 Read on to learn how I transformed my nails from funky to fab!
Why Strong Nails Are Important
- They look nice!
- They can grow as long as your want (please not too long!!!)
- Strong nails keep your nail polish from chipping
- They require less maintenance (repair, repainting, etc)
My Nail Scenario
When I was in middle and high school I always envied girls who had nice long nails. I was always reading magazine articles, buying manicure kits and asking my friends how to get nice nails. Some suggestions I gathered were: drink juice laced with gelatin, tap your nails on hard surfaces (seems counter productive to me!), if you break a nail use clear polish and a tiny piece of coffee filter to repair the nail until it grows out, and last but not least- never clip your nails, always file them in one direction only. Well, none of these suggestions worked so eventually I got acrylic nails. Well, those are pretty but since my nails grow SUPER fast (around 1/4″ every 5-7 days) those were just too expensive for me. Not to mention the fact that I am picky about how my nails look so when the nail tech would leave brush strokes or miss a strip of nail on one side, it drove me nuts and I’d have to repaint them. Also, I’ve never been very gentle on my nails, playing sports, working at a grocery store in HS, and using them as tools (I know, I know… bad!). Between the growth, cost and the likelihood of breakage, fake nails just didn’t work for me, not long-term anyway. I would often get fake nails for a couple/few months, then remove them by soaking for a few minutes in acetone and then tearing the acrylic off along with most of my natural nail. If you wanna see messed up nails, just do that. It literally rips your nail off in strips leaving a jagged, super thin, inflamed and somewhat painful nail bed. I tried lots of things to have pretty fingernails but nothing worked until I tried the following.
How I Grew Nice, Strong Nails
First off, don’t even THINK about growing long nails. Get long nails out of your mind. Unless you’re going for the 1990 retro look, go short. Short nails are hot right now anyway, and anything beyond about 1/4″ past the tip of your finger is tacky regardless. If you want long, Elvira nails, look elsewhere (this method will allow you to grow them eventually but I don’t wanna be responsible for contributing to that). Anyway, focus on growing nice, short, strong nails for now. Here are the simple instructions:
- Use a nail clipper and cut them short, not to the quick or anything but within about an eighth of and inch would be good. Just cut them in the rounded shape of the clipper. If they’re jagged, give them a quick file, if they’re fairly smooth, don’t worry about it.
- Apply 2-3 coats of a clear nail hardening polish, like Sally Hansen Hard As Nails.
I like this kind personally and it’s what worked perfectly for me, but if you find a polish you like better, go for it. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails is just really good at strengthening your nails, dries quickly, comes in clear and natural and costs less than $2 at drugstores. I think I got mine for $1.88. (I used to keep a stockpile of this stuff like I do my Sally Hansen Mega Shine!) Hard As Nails also makes the best base coat, but my nails are pretty strong so I don’t always use it. I still use this as my base coat sometimes, but it was an absolutely integral part in making my nails nice enough to even bother with painting them. My nails seriously used to peel and chip ALL THE TIME before I strengthened them up using this method.
- Optional: (If your nails are as bad as mine were, you probably don’t want to paint them at all and bring attention to them at this point, haha.) Paint them with a colored polish, but not glitter because that may thin your nails as your remove it. If it’s a special occasion, one coat of glitter may be fine, but don’t go for a solid glitter look that takes like 4 coats.
- This is the important part:keep cutting them. Keep them short. Each week when you see they’re grown out a little, use strengthening nail polish remover (in my experience it’s the purple kind) and remove any polish on your nails. Next, repeat steps 1-3. Keep repeating these steps until you see that your nails are stronger and you’re ready to let them grow out a little and shape them with a file. I kept my super short, clipper-rounded-shaped nails for a long time, but now I only clip them when they get too long and I always just file them down a little to reshape them. If you stop worrying about long nails and follow these instructions for even a month or two, your nails will be perfect in no time. Now my nails are so nice people sometimes mistake them for acrylics! 🙂 My nails never peel, rarely chip and only break when I do something stupid.
Tell me about the state of your nails and how YOU got/get them to look nice!