Health And Beauty: How To Make Your Nails Grow

Health and nutrition tips and techniques for growing strong, beautiful, and long fingernails without using press-ons or acrylic.

Despite our best efforts, many of us find at some point in our lives that our nails are not looking their best. They break, peel, and develop ridges, sometimes for no apparent reason. The truth is that many factors dictate nail health from environment, behavior and nutrition. Luckily, no one needs to feel doomed to a life of stubby fingernails, since there are plenty of easy ways to keep them looking their best. Cancel your acrylic nail appointment and follow these simple suggestions. In no time, your luxuriously long nails will be the envy of all your friends.

Nutritional Changes

Diet is the single most important contributor to fingernail appearance. Like the hair and skin, fingernails require certain nutrients to thrive. More importantly, the nails are excellent indicators of overall health since they show signs of deficiencies before they may be apparent elsewhere. Nails are largely composed of a special kind of protein called keratin and need adequate supplies of dietary protein to stay strong. Some say that calcium is also essential for beautiful nails, although recent studies have shot down this idea. However, including it as part of a balanced diet offers other benefits like strong bones, so do not skimp on dairy foods. Essential fatty acids like Omega-3, which is found in fish, will support nail growth, as will a diet rich in vitamins C, D, E, B-12, and A. If you do not always eat as well as you should, it easy to meet these requirements by taking a multivitamin supplement, which should also contain a day‘s supply of zinc, iron, and sulfur. Finally, remember to drink eight glasses of water daily, both for nail and overall health.

Nail Don’ts

Few people realize how much stain they put on their nails on a daily basis. Despite common belief, fingernails are not the original Swiss Army Knife, ideal tools for every job. In fact, they are strictly there to protect your fingertips from damage. Using your nails to perform tasks like scratching a label off a jar or pulling a nail out of the wall can potentially do them a lot of harm. Either their attachment to the nail bed will be strained or they will crack or bend in response to the pressure. In short, find another gizmo to do those random jobs and leave your nails alone if you want them to grow.

It is also common for people to expose their nails to extreme conditions, even when they would never of dream of doing so to another body part. For instance, many women do not wear latex gloves when washing the dishes. Think about how your face would feel if you washed it with dish detergent instead of a mild cleanser. It would dry out, become irritated, and look awful. Why, then, would you put your fingernails through that torture? Prolonged contact with water and harsh detergents depletes moisture, which leads to weak nails, dry cuticles, and the development of hangnails. Likewise, cold and heat, and cleaning chemicals are the enemies of healthy fingernails, so always protect them with appropriate gloves. After you wash your hands, make a habit of applying a moisturizer to the hands and nails.

Some of the greatest damage done to nails comes from a person’s efforts to enhance their beauty. A popular myth is that regular applications of nail polish provide a protective barrier, which strengthens the nails over time. In truth, constantly applying, reapplying, and removing enamel is detrimental to nail health. Substances are absorbed through the nail plate (the top layer of the nail) and can enter the body easily, so exposing them perpetually to any foreign substance can be dangerous. If you like to wear nail enamel, thoroughly remove it every few days to allow the nails to breathe. Use the most gentle nail polish remover you can find, preferably one fortified with vitamins. In between applications, treat your hands and nails to rich moisturizing lotions, spending extra time on the cuticles. An age-old nail treatment involved rubbing almond oil into them and wearing gloves overnight. This also makes an ideal daily conditioning treatment.

If you are a regular nail salon customer, you may be unwittingly destroying your chances of beautiful nails. Although most salons have expertly trained technicians, they are in the business of giving clients exactly what they want. This means that they might trim your cuticles on request, a dangerous practice that can allow dangerous bacteria to grow around and beneath the nail. Salons also offer acrylic nail application, which exposes your real nails to many dangers. The glue dries out the nails and can find its way into your bloodstream. Even worse, these fake nails often remove layers of the underlying nail when they are removed. Do your fingernails a favor and wait for them to grow instead of applying artificial ones.

As you can see, nails are not always as tough as they seem. It can take a great deal of effort, not to mention patience, to achieve long and healthy fingernails. Luckily, making dietary changes to promote their growth will have benefits throughout the body. Typically, beautiful nails go hand in hand with shiny hair and clear skin, so your diligence could lead to a full body makeover in time. It will take time to see the progress since nails only grow about one-tenth of an inch per month, but the results will be well worth the wait.

Written by Melissa Wilt – 2002 Pagewise

This entry was filed under Beauty, Nails . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Be the first to leave a comment.

Your Thoughts