Want Beautiful Nails? Ditch These Harmful Nail Habits

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 12:45

Have you ever wondered why people go gaga over their nails? Many consider properly trimmed and maintained nails to be not only a way to present professionalism and personality to the world but also see nail care as a part of self-care. Clean, strong nails and fingers are not just a fashion statement, but also a sign of good physical and mental health. 

Nails, particularly fingernails, do an amazing job of warning us about health problems that we may not know we are experiencing. Healthy nail growth relies on a constant and healthy flow of iron-rich oxygen to the extremities. Because nails continuously grow day by day, a change in nail appearance means a change within our systems. Nails can indicate an iron deficiency, lung diseases, heart issues, and even a psychological trauma.

Ditching unhealthy nail habits is a smart way to keep your nails looking great for personal and professional reasons, and as you can see, it can also help alert people to serious underlying issues. To best protect your nails, you must first overcome these nail-harming habits and form nail-positive habits in their place. 

Nail Biting
If you are not a nail biter, it can be difficult to imagine why some people feel the need to chomp down on their talons. Obsessive fingernail biting, called onychophagia, usually starts early in life and can continue well into adulthood. The urge to bite nails can stem from a variety of causes, and anxiety and stress can trigger a bout of biting. Worst of all, it can lead to permanent damage to your nails. 

One in three of us are nail biters, and if you are one don’t be too hard on yourself. There are proven ways to fend off the impulse to gnaw at your claws that can help you beat the habit back. If you are struggling with stress, massage therapy can be a positive, self-loving way to reduce your tensions. Another way to stop biting your nails is to keep them manicured and painted. 

Acting as a form of aversion therapy, keeping nails painted can decrease your impulse to nibble, especially if you paid for a professional manicure. 

Not Using Sun Protection
Our hands age faster than we would like, and one of the most effective ways to watch your hands change from supple to spotty and prematurely wrinkled is to skip applying skin-protecting SPF on your hands. Sunshine is a beautiful and natural thing, but it can wreak havoc on the skin of your feet and hands and damage your nails as well. Regular exposure to the sun without SPF protection can create dry, brittle nails that break easily. 

To prevent further sun damage to your nails and fingers, apply SPF to them daily when applying it to your face and neck in the mornings. Dermatologists recommend keeping a travel or mini SPF with you throughout the day to do touch-ups as needed. 

Going Gloveless While Cleaning
When people perform scheduled, organized cleaning in their homes, one of the first things they do is grab their pair of rubber gloves from under the sink to protect their hands from chemicals and other cleaning agents that can be harmful to skin and nails. When we clean on a whim, however, we often skip this crucial step. 

Skipping the gloves when cleaning, even when doing dishes, is a sure-fire way to damage your nails and the surrounding skin and cuticles. Dish soaps, detergents, prolonged exposure to water, and cleaners will dry your hands significantly, leading to a weakening of the nail beds and a drying out of the nails themselves. 

Just like any other habit, fighting against it takes practice, but the more you make it a priority to wear gloves before cleaning, the faster you’ll develop the positive habit. Buy cleaning gloves that fit well and provide protection for your hands, even if you have to splurge on a pricey pair. Your hands will thank you for it!

Not Changing Old Nail Polish
How often do you schedule nail polish applications? If you let your nail color stay on too long, your nails will dry out considerably, causing white, dry spots to form on your fingernails and toenails. A good way to know that your digits need a fresh coat of paint is to watch for chipping. Once your nail polish begins to chip, it is time to schedule your next appointment at the nail salon for a mani-pedi. 

After a few sessions, you’ll be able to tell how often you need to make salon appointments. The frequency of nail maintenance will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences (like if you work with your hands, spend your weekends surfing, or have a preferred nail shape), but many people find that having their nails done every two to three weeks is optimal if they perform their at-home maintenance and touch-ups. 

Once you have tackled these unhealthy nail habits and replaced them with good ones, you will see a remarkable difference in the way your nails look and feel. You can trust the nail professionals at Cloud 9 Spa Salon to give you gorgeous nails and show you how to keep your nails healthy for life.