- Carefully file the edges of nails using a 240 grit file or higher.Using a higher grit will smooth the edges of the nails without shredding them. It is also true that if you file your nails more square, opposed to oval or pointed, then the nails are less likely to break.
- Gently push your cuticles back on a regular basis.The cuticle is a delicate and important structure surrounding the nail. It is important that you keep it in good health. If your cuticles are allowed to become too dry and overgrown this will result in hangnails. Be sure to only push back your cuticles after they have been softened (particularly after showering or washing hands). Once a week, using a metal or wooden cuticle pusher, gently push back your cuticles. This will help to remove dead skin, prevent hangnails, and make your cuticles smooth and healthy looking.
- Use a natural nail & cuticle oil on a regular basis. Natural oils, such as Vitamin E, Rice Bran, and Avocado Oil have long lasting benefits for the skin and nails. When used on a regular basis they will keep the natural nail plate hydrated and retentive, making them less likely to break. The natural oils are also very beneficial to the cuticle and surrounding skin, keeping it smooth and pliable. This is a “must have” treatment for every nail care kit. It is equally important to use a natural nail & cuticle oil when wearing artificial nails. By using a nail oil on a regular basis this helps to prolong the life of your enhancements by providing retention (flexibility) to the artificial product.
- Protect your natural nails with a clear strengthener or polish.The natural nail plate is vulnerable to breaks and splits when not protected and shielded. It is VERY important to use a base coat strengthener alone or with polish to enusre your nails stay protected at all times. Base coat strengtheners are typically formulated for different nail types. Be sure to choose the correct formula for your nail type, otherwise your nails could experience adverse reactions.
Understanding Nail Strengtheners:Weak, Peeling, Splitting Nails- Weak nails have too much “moisture”, therefore they lack “strength”. You need a formula that “hardens” and “strengthens”. You need a formula that contains formaldehyde, which in small amounts can safely harden the natural nail plate. Be sure not to over-use such products as they can cause the nail to become dry and brittle. You would want to use a “hardening” formula for a while, then once your nails become strong, switch to a non-formaldehyde formula. Then, rotate between the two every three-six weeks for optimul results.Normal, Pliable, Healthy Nails- Healthy nails have a correct balance of moisture which makes them strong, yet pliable . You would want to use a formula that “maintains” and “protects”. Find a non-formaldeyhde formula that allows you to alternate between “strengthening” and “moisturizing”.Brittle, Dry, Cracking Nails- Brittle Nails lack “moisture”, therefore they have too much “strength”. You need to use a formula that adds “moisturize” to the nail plate and still “protects” the nail plate. Find a formula that adds moisture and stay away from formaldehyde formulas. Natural nail oils are aslo very beneficial for treating brittle nails as they add a natural “moisture” to the nail plate.
Too Much Moisture=Weak Nail ~ Correct Balance of Moisture=Healthy, Strong Nail ~ Not Enough Moisture= Brittle Nail
- Use a fast drying top coat.Polishing is easy when you use a professional fast drying top coat. These top coats provide quick drying time (5 minutes or less), high shine, and are non-yellowing. To help keep polish fresh apply a top coat every 2-3 days.
- Use a quality hand & body lotion. There are many lotions on the market that contain all natural ingredients to help lock in moisture and prevent dryness. Look for natural oils in your lotions as well. Oils absorb better in to the skin and nails and will give your skin a nice healthy sheen.
Tips for Optimal Results:
- Keep your nail care products in a bag or kit for organizational and traveling purposes.
- Use your nail care products at night before bed. Keep your nail care bag near the night stand.
- When cleaning and gardening, wear gloves. Scrub nails thoroughly afterwards.
- Receive professional manicures as often as possible.