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$%#&–I Broke A Nail!

About a month ago, I had accidentally broken three nails on my hand. They never tear completely across”¦a “chunk” snaps off – just enough where I have to cut a substantial amount off to make it even across, then file it smooth. If I do’t, it will just catch on anything and everything: in my hair, on my clothes, scratch my face, you name it! Then it ends up almost an inch shorter than the others. Most times, I’ll let one go like that. Sometimes even two. But three extra short nails? No way. When three or more break, I cut them ALL back to short and start again.
Yesterday, I put a small tear in my right middle finger nail. The tear is low…REALLY low, into the “quick.” I ca’t even cut it across where the tear is or it would be into the skin, making it bleed and cause terrible pain. I tried patching it and covering up with Krazy Glue, but it would’t work. So I cut it down A LOT and then curved it somewhat diagonally till it can grow out a bit without it hurting. I have’t had a nail this short since I stopped biting them 14 years ago. I’m crushed.

I decided to do a little research since my nails have been feeling a bit more thin lately getting little nicks in them which, if I do’t file down right away, turns into a manicure disaster. I found a few new tricks to help keep my hands looking great now that summer is over and the colder weather is on its way. Her’s how you can have ten strong nails in no time:

1. The shorter your nails, the stronger they are.  This does’t mean you have to keep them looking short like a man’s, but just make sure you do’t wear them so long so they are hanging out there to get caught on or hit things.

2. Always wear rubber gloves when doing any house or outside work. The more your nails are exposed to chemicals the thinner they get. Plus exposing your hands to water makes the keratin in your nails swell. When they dry, it shrinks. This makes your nails thinner and weaker. Keeping you hands dry does’t just protect them but strengthens them as well.

3. Use an oil-based nail polish remover.  Acetone based removers are very drying to the nails and even more so to the cuticles. An oil-based remover will help keep them both moist and flexible.

4. Use lotion-infused tissues instead of cotton balls.  That little bit of aloe lotion in the tissues keeps the nails and cuticles healthy with a little extra shot of moisturizer. Just make sure you wash with soap and water after removing any polish because a layer of oil will prevent your nail polish from sticking properly.

5. Soak your nails in warm olive oil once a week. The vitamins and antioxidants in olive oil will fortify your nails AND cuticles, keeping them from getting brittle. It will also strengthen the nails so they can be pliable without breaking, chipping or tearing.

6. Only file your nails with a sponge-middle nail file.  A sponge-middle nail file is like a shock absorber for your nails. It will prevent you from pressing too hard on them with the file keeping you from being too rough on them. A great item to use is a four-sided nail file/buffer. Sephora makes a great one for $5. If your nails have a tendency to peel, never buff them. It will only loosen the layers of the nail even more.

7. Use a nail strengthening hand cream. ““ Hoof Hands’ Hard as Hoof Strengthening Cream is like getting two great products in one. You are going to have to use a cream to keep your hands soft as the cold winter months approach, so you might as well use a hand cream that wo’t just keep your hands moisturized but strengthen your nails as well. What’s nice, too, is you can put it right over your nail polish without it smudging your mani! Available in Walmart and other discount retail and drug stores.

8. Use a fab nail strengthener. ““ There are so many different kind of nail base-coat nail strengtheners out there; you really just need to find the one that works the best for you. Sally Hanse’s Hard As Nails has been making nail treatments for several years and has a product for all types of nails. There are multi-product strengtheners such as Trind’s that is free from formaldehyde and are more natural too. Do some research then pick one that you feel is best for you AND your nails. Make sure you follow the directions of the strengthener to get the best possible results.
A change in season always means changes in your skin, body and hair, and your hands and nails are no different. If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you. And by keeping them in good condition, you’ll reduce the chances of having to use those nasty swear words when you break one of your long, beautiful nails!!