How do I Keep my Nails Healthy?
There's something about having clean, neat and healthy-looking nails that screams, 'I am a perfectionist who pays attention to detail.' And in a fashion world that is progressively gravitating and warming up towards strong and natural-looking nails, it pays plenty of grooming dividends to have strong nails. The best thing about all this is that regular nail care does not have to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming. At this juncture, it is possible that you could be asking yourself questions like, 'How do i keep my nails healthy?'
But even before we venture into that, why is nail care important? Here's a quick rundown of the benefits of having healthy nails, apart from looking good.
- Makes you less vulnerable to infection: The skin underneath your toe and finger nails is one of the most susceptible to entrance of bacterial, fungal or viral pathogens. It goes without saying that having a hard shell-like exterior cover like strong nails makes it less likely for you to be predisposed to colonization by these disease-causing organisms.
- It's a sign of being incredibly good health: One of the markers of excellent health paired by a robust immune system that we barely notice is having clear nails with a consistent pigment. Therefore, it is easy to catch serious health problems early if you get into the habit of paying close attention to your nails.
- Cleaning, trimming and moisturizing your nails is a good hygiene practice: Long nails that are hardly attended to are ideal breeding spots for germs and bacteria. Therefore, having well-trimmed, short and clean nails means that there's one less hiding spot for disease-causing pathogens.
How to Keep your Nails Strong and Long
Keeping healthy and long nails does not have to be a tall-order and neither should it be expensive or complicated. All it requires is a bit of discipline, commitment and meticulousness in keeping them in tip-top shape. Speaking of which, here's a quick primer to that.
1. Start with Proper Nutrition
It's no-brainer that proper nutrition is the secret behind healthy looking nails. Just like your hair and skin, your nails require the right minerals and vitamins to get and keep that attractive texture, glow and tensile-strength that is synonymous to healthiness. And this includes;
- Biotin - Also known as a vitamin B7, biotin is a b-complex vitamin that makes use of coenzyme R and vitamin H. It promotes optimal and healthy cell growth and is involved in the metabolism and assimilation of the essential amino acids needed for proper nail growth. If anything, having brittle nails is one of the commonly recognisable signs of biotin deficiency that doctors use to recommend external supplementation. Speaking of which, Wellabs Biotin and Collagen drops is an excellent example of a reliable biotin supplement for rocking healthy-looking nails.
- Folate - Experts have isolated how a deficiency in this important nutriment leads to pigment change in nails, most signified by unsightly brownish and dark longitudinal streaks. In other words, if you are looking for attractive and clear nails, you may want to up your intake of this essential nutrient alongside other closely-related vitamins such as vitamin B12. Besides, the folate is also necessary for keeping nail rigidness and brittleness at bay.
- Iron - The mineral is involved in the proper transportation of oxygen from the circulation system to where it is required, including the nails. And since oxygen is a critical element needed for proper nail growth, a deficiency of iron predisposes you to having weak and dark-coloured tissue. Actually, it should not come as a surprise that having nails with an abnormal spoon-like appearance is one of the common signs that nutritionists use to diagnose iron deficiency.
- Magnesium - It's hard to talk about how to keep your nails long without talking about this mineral which is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including the all-important protein synthesis that is needed for proper nail growth. If anything, having vertical ridges in your exterior covering of your nails is one of the commonest signs of magnesium deficiency.
- Quality protein - Nails are primarily made of keratin - a fibrous variation of structural proteins. Keratin is, infact, responsible for the resilience and strength that we associate nails with, aside from shielding it from stress and damage. It, therefore, goes without saying that you need sufficient protein for optimal keratin production, which then translates to strong and healthy nails.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids - These fatty acids are required for proper lubrication and moisturization of the cuticle which is responsible for the shiny appearance that is associated with healthy-looking nails. Besides, omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be necessary for the reduction of inflammation of the nail bed. A lack of sufficient omega-3 fatty acids is associated with having dry, rigid and brittle nails.
- Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid is one of the building blocks of collagen, which, in turn, gives the nails the integrity, shape and strength required for its architectural soundness. It's not dazzling, therefore, that a deficiency of vitamin C is signified by slow-growing and brittle nails.
- Zinc - This micronutrient is central to many reactions, some of which are needed for the sub-division and multiplication of the exterior that forms the nail crown. Nutritionists have even listed zinc as a necessary nutrient for fast growth of healthy nails. Bear in mind that insufficient zinc intake also contributes to the degeneration of one's nail plate which eventually causes the characteristic white spots associated with brittle nails. Supplement your zinc intake with these quality drops from Wellabs.
2. Take Supplemental Vitamins
Truth be told, it is impossible to extract all of the above mentioned nutrients solely from your diet. Supplementation with quality food additives and filling those notable gaps in your eating routine is not an option when it comes to having and holding on to gorgeous nails. One of the best examples of a wholesome supplement tailored for immaculate-looking nails is Wellab's Biotin and Collagen drops.
3. Use a Soft Nail File for Your Manicure
Using a soft file to buff your nails lessens the chances of accidental breakages and chipping compared to using an abrasive surface. Part of this due to the fact that a softer file is generally easier on the nails than regular calipers. Besides, by making it considerably easier for you to buff your nails regularly implies that maintaining clean and healthy long nails becomes less of a demanding task.
4. Use Special Hardening Varnishes
Employing a special hardening varnish is key to having long and healthy looking nails. And there are several reasons for this. For starters, a hardening varnish acts as a seal that locks in the much-needed moisture for that elusive glistening look. Secondly, the varnish layer blocks ultraviolet rays from damaging the constituent pigment that make up your nails. Finally, the layer acts as a buffer and a shield that prevents water and other environmental aggressors from things that you come into contact with regularly from damaging the underlying nail cuticle.
5. Moisturize and Gently Push Back the Cuticles
Moisturization is key to looking in the hydroxyl elements that are needed to maintain healthy-looking nails all-year-round. Unfortunately, this cannot happen if you don't get into a habit of regularly rehydrating your nails using a suitable gel or emollient. Speaking of quenching out your nails, it also helps if you can get into the habit of gently pushing back your cuticles while at it.
6. Wear Gloves When Doing Household Chores
Make it a personal initiative to wear rubber gloves when performing household chores. This ranges from anything from dishwashing to lawnmowing to cleaning the bathroom or working a DIY project on your car. Apart from keeping you from accidentally breaking your freshly manicured nails, it also prevents unintended contact between your nail plate and some of the potentially corrosive chemicals found in cleaning agents.
7. For decorative coatings, use only high-quality varnishes and a gentle remover
According to leading nail care experts, the art of how to keep long nails from breaking begins on how you approach your manicure regimen. For starters, you should only restrict yourself to premium and high-quality varnishes if you have to don decorative coatings on your nails. Secondly, you may want to use a gentle remover to get rid of the polish when you do decide that it's time for a change. Avoid harsh and abrasive removers by all means.
8. Do moisturizing and Softening Masks and Hand Baths Regularly
Overall, if you want shiny, strong and long nails you have to incorporate regular hand baths and nail moisturizing sessions in your manicure regimen. Aside from locking in the moisture, these softening masks have proven to be reliable in triggering rejuvenation of chapped cuticle ends, something that gives your hands an overall soft finishing.
How to Easily Keep your Nails Natural and Healthy all Year
When it comes to the question of how to easily keep your nails natural and healthy all year, the narrative shifts from some of the above general tips to the specifics of how to take excellent care of the skin of your hands and the nails at different times of the year. In addition to the pointers made clear in the previous section, here is how you can fine-tune your nail care routine to each season and make sure that you always have brilliant-looking and perfectly-manicured nails.
1. Wintry Months
You're more likely to neglect your nails during the most frigid months of the year since half of the time you're donning gloves and other protective covering to keep frostbites away. But you can use these coldest months of the year to give your precious nails a breather by abstaining from applying varnishes and nail-polish until spring. Speaking of which, ensure that you're using an acetone-free polish remover to take off the nail paint while at it.
2. Spring and Flowers
Finally you can get rid of the gloves and show the world your gorgeous nails, right? No, there is a catch if you are still interested in how to easily keep your nails natural and healthy every day. You see, it's very likely that your cuticles now have overgrown cuticles after weeks of nestling your fingers in woolen gloves to keep the biting cold away. The first order of business ought to be to trim out those cuticles carefully then investing a good cuticle oil to keep them as hydrated as possible in the coming warmer months of the year. You may also want to book a hand and nail massage session from a nail care expert, if you can afford it, to stimulate renewed nail growth in preparation for donning those long and healthy nails in the summer.
3. Summer Fanfare
Apart from the basics of nail care, your focus on how to easily keep your nails natural and healthy all year should now shift to your hands. It is very easy to have flaky and dry hands in the summer considering that you're now spending a lot of time outdoors. In fact, that's why we tend to see more cases of frayed edges, splitting nails and feeling palms in the hottest months of the year. Here's where a quality moisturizer can make all the difference. What's more, get into the habit of wearing rubber gloves when working outdoors or with harsh chemicals.
4. Autumnal Months
The fall months means that it is finally time to get back to work or school. Since you're now meeting tons of people and accessing more public spaces like lecture halls, parks, public transportation hubs, library et cetera, you're now more likely to come into contact with hand sanitizers or washing your hands oftenly as one of the new COVID-19 containment measures. Most of these sanitizing agents contain dehydrating ingredients that can wreak havoc to your hands and nails. You need a reliable moisturizer at close reach to keep your fingers, nails and palms well-moistened to prevent fraying and accidental breakages.
Vitamin that Keep Nails Healthy
It's impractical to round off this topic of the best ways to keep nails healthy without emphasizing on the vitamins that keep nails healthy. As much as eating a healthy and balanced diet is imperative for having and keeping long, healthy nails, there are some nutrients that are best extracted from nail supplements. And the top of the sheets, we have the following;
- Vitamin B7 and B12: The B-complex vitamins come in handy in bolstering your nail strength making chipping and breakages less likely to faze you.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is needed for added structural support since it plays a role in the transportation of nutrients and waste products to and from the nail growth plate.
- Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium: A combination of these minerals and vitamins for nail growth is not only necessary for proper nail lengthening but to also keep conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis away. This puts you at a vantage position of bidding goodbye to fibrous, yellowish and dull-looking nails.
As you can see, it takes proper grooming and the right nail care routine plus the collaboration of the right supplements to have long and healthy nails all-year-round. In fact, doing this can save you a lot of money and the inconvenience of having to put up with fake nails just because the real ones are frayed, chipped or brittle.