Stop Breaking Nails
How to Stop Breaking Nails
I’m often asked,”How do you keep your nails so long?”
I have many strategies and techniques to strengthen my natural nails, which I will share at the bottom of this article.
Let me start off by saying that my nails are incredibly thin. I was not blessed with thick nails.
Sadly, this is not something that can be changed since the thickness of your nail plate is determined by the size of your nail matrix.
The nail matrix is where new nail cells are created right behind the cuticle line.
Tortoise or Hare?
But—the most important thing I do is—Slow Down.
There is no part of our body that is used more frequently during our life than our hands. We do everything with our hands.
Most of us wouldn’t make it through the day if we couldn’t pry, pick, or scratch with our nails. They take a lot of abuse, especially if we use them as tools.
Nails will only tolerate a certain amount of bending before they tear or snap.
A woman with long, natural nails moves through life very consciously. She pays attention to where her hands are moving at all times. I know it might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t.
I have found that being in a rush can be the most damaging times to my nails.
If I’m in a hurry and I am rushing to get everybody into the car, throwing jackets and bags, and slamming doors, I’m
not paying attention to what my hands are doing.
One misplaced finger on the car door handle will result in a broken nail. All because I wasn’t paying attention.And that’s when accidents happen.
Another example; a busy, preoccupied woman will talk to a friend and blindly dig through her purse trying to find something. She’s not paying attention, and that’s how a nail tears or breaks.
When I’m looking for something in my purse, I look inside, I carefully move things around until I find what I want.
Every move is conscious. Every move is deliberate.
Will the Guilty Task Please Stand Up?
If your nails are breaking a lot, try paying attention to how you use your hands all day long.
You might be surprised.
Are you actually using your nails to remove the frustrating, security plastic wrapping around the salad dressing bottle, or mascara tube?
Are you opening soda pop can lids with your nails?
Do you peel stubborn sales stickers off of packages meant as gifts?
If you do any of these things, it’s time to become friends with paring knives, scissors, handles of forks or spoons, and some brand of sticker adhesive dissolving product. (Goo Gone™, Goof Off™, Un-Do™, etc.)
And if you are in the DIY frame of mind using 2 ingredients from your kitchen, I found a great tutorial at DIYNatural.com
What You Can Do
1. Know Your Proper Nail Length
If you are a mother of small children, or have a job that requires a lot of tough use with your hands, make peace with a shorter length that looks nice.
Now that my children are older and I spend most of my working time on the computer, I can maintain a longer length.
Keep your nails the same length. Short nails can be beautiful when maintained and polished well.
2. Reduce Water Absorption
Water is the most dangerous chemical affecting your nails.
I’m not kidding.
On average, we have about 100 layers of keratin that makes up our nail plate.
Our nails also have the capacity to absorb three times their weight in water.
Where does that water go? In between every single layer and it pushes them apart.
Our nails do have the capacity to dry out, but it doesn’t take too many exposures to water for those layers to start peeling away from each other.
Polish is an integral part of blocking water absorption.
3. Increase Nail Strength and Flexibility
Oil is the glue that holds our nail layers together. We wash our hands on average 20 times per day! This strips the oils from our nails and skin.
Regular use of a jojoba wax ester based nail oil will increase natural nail strength, while improving flexibility.
Strong nails bend when exposed to external forces.
If you use nail strengtheners or hardeners on already dry, brittle nails, your nails are going to be too hard and snap with any external pressure.
4. Keep Nails Polished
Polish is a resin that bonds to and protects your nails.
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t like to wear colored polish, it’s important to wear at least one layer of base coat to reduce water absorption.
5. Wear Gloves
“But I hate gloves! I won’t wear them.”
I hear this all the time. Especially right after I’m asked how to grow longer nails or get them to stop peeling.
I guarantee you, there isn’t one woman on the planet who loves to wear kitchen gloves, myself included.
Yep, they’re annoying.
You have to remember to put them on and you don’t get the same grip as with your fingers. You sweat in them causing them to be a pain to remove.
Gloves protect your skin and nails from the drying effects of water and soap. Gloves also help protect your nails from breaking.
I even use them when doing the laundry. I’ve broken too many nails transferring heavy, wet towels to the dryer.
Every decision we make has a natural consequence.
It simply won’t work to desire beautiful nails and refuse to wear gloves.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The few seconds you gain by rushing around only shortens your temper, increases your blood pressure, and leads to annoying chips and painful breaks.
Long, beautiful natural nails don’t just happen.
Gorgeous nails require time, care, maintenance, and just a few extra, deliberate seconds through the day.
I know you can do it! … now … go buy some gloves … slowly.