I always get complimented on my nails and often people mistake them as being fake but they are actually my own nails. Strong nails run in my family, my mum and my grandma both have always had long strong nails so a lot of the reasons why I can grow them so long is because of my genetics. Another reason why I think my nails are so good is due to my diet, I've been vegetarian for almost four years and recently turned vegan. Ever since I've been vegetarian I really have noticed an increase in the strength in my nails and how fast they grow and I'm not just saying it! I truly believe a vegan plan based diet is the best for optimum health and I believe this has also contributed to my overall nail health.
A few tips that you could use to help your nails grow and become strong are -
Getting a lot of nutrient dense foods in your diet - Whole plant based foods are full of essential vitamins and minerals to promote over all health, and if your whole body is healthy, your nails will be too! Nails are made up of the protein keratin, but I'm not going to tell you you need to consume loads of protein for healthy nails! We really don't need as much protein in our diets as people like to tell you that you do! If you're eating enough calories you will be getting enough protein. Vitamin H aka biotin is amazing for nail health, it is found in bananas, mushrooms and avocado. Plant based foods rich in zinc and ion will also help with nail health.
Giving your nails a break - I work with animals so I can't wear nail varnish for about two days a week and I feel that this is important in keeping my nails strong. If you're constantly putting nail polish on or have fake nails on all of the time you will not be allowing your nails to breathe! You will be staining them and constantly putting chemicals on will encourage them to become brittle. Give them a break and in this break treat them with things like coconut oil. Soak your nails in liquid coconut oil for about 5 to 10 minutes to restore their moisture and strength.
Don't bite your nails - This is a bit obvious but I have never had a problem with biting my nails and never felt the need to do it, but for those that do your nails will obviously not grow. You can get clear polishes that taste disgusting which try to stop you biting your nails as really it is a habit for a lot of people. So when you feel the urge to bite your nails or you catch yourself doing it try to make your hands busy so you can't bite them.
Always use a base coat - Whenever you're wearing nail varnish use a base coat under the colour, not only is this going to allow your polish to apply more evenly it will act as a protectant to your natural nails. You can get base coats like the Sally Hansen one I mention below which help to strengthen your nails while you have a nice colour on.
Keep your nail edges filed smooth - Occasionally this will happen to me where my nail has chipped or it is rough around the edges and it catches on things. Rough edges will increase the chance of them being broken so always keep a nail file with you to file them down if you need. Not only is catching your nails on your hair and clothes super annoying you may also break the nail off if it gets caught.
File your nails correctly - When your filing your nails never file back and forth, always go in one direction from left to right or right to left which ever is easiest for you. When you file back and forth you rip the nails making them more prone to split and break.
Never pick off your nail polish - Never ever pick of your nail polish, I know it can be tempting if your polish has chipped but this is so so bad for your nails, it leaves them thin and removes the top layer of nail as well as the polish. If your constantly picking your nail varnish you'll end up with very weak nails and uneven layers.
Even though I have good nails to begin with I still take steps to look after them and I wanted to share them with you. The main products I use to take care of my nails are pictured below.
Treatment - I love to condition my nails regularly so I either use coconut oil or apply Jessica phenomen oil all over. They both are extremely moisturising and restore my nails to healthy condition if they're feeling a bit weak. The phenomen oil contains vitamin E, jojoba and almond oil which help to bring back moisture to your nails and helps to promote growth.
Base coat - Whenever I wear nail varnish I apply a base coat before the colour, this helps the coloured polish apply more smoothly and acts as a protecter for my own nails. Base coats also help to prevent staining of your nails. My favourites are the Sally Hansen green tea and bamboo base coat and the Jessica reward base coat.
Top coat - My favourite top coats include the Sally Hansen mega shine and insta-dri. The mega shine gives an almost mirrored look to your nail varnish as it is that shiny! Whenever I wear it people think that I have got gel nails on! I use the insta-dri whenever I am in a hurry as it sets your polish in minutes!
Nail varnish remover - To remove my nail varnish I use the Fresh Therapies natural nail varnish remover wipes. These are a lot better for your nails as they don't contain a load of chemicals that can weaken your nails over time and leave them feeling brittle.
Hand cream - After I've done my nails I use the Soap and Glory hand food all over my hands to make them lovely and smooth. Also make sure you apply hand creams to the base of your nails to avoid dryness.
This is all I do to protect my nails as I am very lucky to have healthy nails, I have never bit my nails and I have never taken vitamins or supplements for my nails. I love my nails being long and I love the stiletto shape, all I do to shape them is file the edges of each nail until it forms a point and smooth the point so its not too sharp.