Rehab your nails: Make-over March5:21 PM
So if you're anything like me you've basically been living in a tundra the past three months. It's been one snow storm (or worse--ICE storm) after another, and even on days when there isn't snow the temperature is brutal. It's REALLY wreaking havoc on my nails. So I wanted to do a little mini series for you guys with some quick tips on how to keep your nails hydrated when it's stupidly cold, which lotions are the best to use and some general health tips to keep your nails in tip top shape any time of the year. I'm starting today and the series will continue throughout the week. I want to hit on just some basic nail care tips today and tomorrow I'll tell you why your moisturiser might be causing you more harm than good. On Friday I'll show you how to do a paraffin dip at home and how to save money by doing them yourself rather than at the spa. So here we go:
Lesson of the day: nail health starts at the ROOT of the nail. It's kind of like when you're growing a flower or a vegetable. If you plant it and then you do nothing with it, it's going to die. If you plant it and then care for it and then give up on it...well, it will be great for awhile but then it will start to wilt, and I'm sure ALL of us are guilty of seeing that wilted flower drop off (or close to!) and then hastily gluing it back on and starting up a routine again. Unfortunately, it's just too late by then. The things you do to your nails now, you may not actually SEE on your nails for four to six weeks. So even if you're using oils like crazy now if you weren't four weeks ago then it may seem like it's not doing much. Look, your nail is not alive. I mean, it's just like your hair. Once your hair has a split end, you wouldn't glue it back and let it grow would you? You can moisturise the crap out of it but it's not going to do much. There isn't really a fix for nails which are already damaged.
That said, you CAN make them a little better while at the same time improving the health of the nail which is still growing! One thing I see people do a lot and I REALLY caution against is using a strengthener to try to "boost" nails when they're in a state of disrepair. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't use them at all but they should never be used as a last resort. Why? While strengtheners work on the surface of nails (ie the part which you can see) they also dehydrate nails. That means if your nails are peeling let's say, the strengthener can actually make this worse. It can also hide peels which means you can't really see what you're working with. If you HAVE to use a strengthener I would advise STRONGLY that you use a really good cuticle oil daily in times when nails may be dehydrated by other factors (like weather). A good way to start out with a strengthener is to cut nails as short as you can and then start with it for two weeks. If you need more time, take a week off and repeat another two weeks. Continue as needed so long as there are no side effects. Be sure to remove EVERYTHING from nails once a week or every other week and take a good look at your nails to be sure that they're on the mend rather than worse off! You can also curb peeling nails without the strengthener by just giving them a quick coat of clear polish OR better, a hemp or fiber infused base coat (I like this one, by Duri) under a colored polish. These will add strength without stripping moisture. Remember that health starts on the inside, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water as well! :)
Stay tuned tomorrow to find out why your lotion could be causing more harm than good!