Cosmetic companies advertise products that will alleviate nail splitting, peeling and breaking. They promise strong healthy nails, and tell you that it’s possible to have beautiful hands with a home manicure.
By: Natasha Morgan
Are you still struggling with dry brittle nails that lead to splitting and breaking?
For years, cosmetic companies have advertised products that will alleviate nail splitting, peeling and breaking. They promise strong healthy nails, and tell you that it’s possible to have beautiful hands with a home manicure.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy! Yet, it can be done if you are willing to make the effort. Nails are like the rest of your body. They need care from the inside as well as the exterior.
As a teen-ager I diligently manicured my nails twice weekly and had no trouble growing them to a nice length. I wasn’t born with extra strong nails but as long as I looked after them, I could happily wear bright colored nail polish.
When my children were small, my hands were constantly in water and detergent. My system was run down from lack of sleep and pregnancies had depleted my body of important nutrients. I didn’t have the time or interest in maintaining a manicure regimen. As a result, my nails suffered.
During a visit to the bank one day, I noticed the teller’s beautiful hands. She had perfectly manicured nails that brought back memories of days gone by. Right then and there I decided that I had to take the time and get myself back on track.
I consulted my doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements. My hemoglobin was low and he recommended iron tablets. Within months, I was less tired and had the energy to take care of my young family and my appearance.
Over the years, I tried many different products that worked to a degree. However, I never found the “magic bullet”. My nails began to split and crack vertically. What’s more, this unfortunate trend seemed to worsen with age.
I never gave up even with only negligible results! Finally, in the last year, I made changes to my routine that showed tangible results. I can honestly say that I now have ten healthy nails without a single split or crack.
Here is how I did it:
Made sure my diet consisted of foods providing protein, iron and zinc. To be sure I took a good multi-vitamin and watched my protein intake.
Calcium rich foods in a diet are essential for strong bones and teeth but unfortunately, have little effect in our efforts to produce healthy nails.
Used rubber gloves whenever my hands were in water and detergent.
Occasionally used disposable latex gloves for food preparation.
Applied “creamy petroleum jelly” after each hand wash. This is a product I didn’t know existed until recently. It seems a bit heavy at first but let it soak in for a minute and you won’t want to use anything else.
Filed my nails with emery boards, one way onlyâ€¦no back and forth motion and no, hard nail files.
Softened my cuticles with a good soak in warm water before gently pushing back with an orange stick.
Applied a coat of base/top coat. Let dry for at least an hour. Followed it by a coat of color nail polish. After they were well dried, added another layer of top coat. Having tried different brands, I found that some stay on longer than others which means you don’t have to manicure as often. O.P.I. is my personal favorite.
Every evening, I checked for signs of damage and filed them away; then, added another coat of top coat. You can also add another coat of polish at any time provided you allow at least an hour to dry between coats.
When you can no longer cover the chips in your nails with the daily repair procedure, remove all products with a gentle nail polish remover and start again.
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