Did you know?

  • Fingernails grow at an average rate of 3.5mm a month as compared to toenails at 1.6mm.
  • Nails are composed of the same protein as our hair- keratin.
  • The tip of your finger is a living tissue, and oxygen penetrates through the nail plate to the nail bed.
  • The condition of your nails can act as an indicator to the general health of your entire body.
  • According to dermatologists around the world, 10% of dermatological problems are related to the nails, mostly fungal and bacterial infections.
  • Nail manicures date back to as far behind as 5000 years ago.

And despite the fact that our nails form such an essential part, we often tend to ignore taking care of their health as we do for the other parts of our body. So take a closer look at your nails and decide the way ahead, today!

The nail care essentials

 Here are a few simple tips and tricks, so you can easily take care of your nails and ensure their longevity and good health.

Maintain a proper diet- As the saying goes, ‘You are what you eat’. Protein-rich foods such as eggs, red meat, lentils, green vegetables and nuts should form an essential part of your diet. Also, always keep yourself hydrated.

  1. Trimming- Regularly trim your nails in order to prevent them from tearing and damage.
  2. Keep them clean- Squeeze a lemon into warm water and dip your hands and feet in it for about a minute. Then, scrub the nails with a brush or sponge. Doing this activity even twice a week ensures cleansing of your nails.
  3. Moisturize- Nails tend to lose moisture due to cold weather or because of excessive usage of nail polish. Always use a good moisturizer over the area around your nails and the cuticles. You could also also natural oils to do the same.
  4. Use gloves- We use our hands for almost all our daily activities and our nails often have to face the brunt of it. It is essential to keep your nails dry for as long as possible. Use rubber gloves while washing or gardening to protect those precious nails from excessive exposure to water and dirt.
  5. Strengthen your nails- Nail hardeners and other products such as calcium gels are easily available in the market. Dipping your nails in warm olive oil also helps to strengthen tender nails. However, you require patience with these remedies as you don’t see miracles happening overnight.
  6. Go easy on the nail polish- While all ladies love to colour their nails to make them look bright and stunning, the acetone present in the nail paints and nail polish removers can quickly and easily dry up your nails. So make sure you give your nails at least a day’s worth of breathing time between changing colours. Also use oil-based nail polish removers to prevent drying.

The nail care Don’ts

Bite your nails- Though it may be a sign of bigger problems such as tension and anxiety, biting nails can cause irreparable damage over long periods of time.

  1. Use your nails as tools- People often use their nails to scrape objects, open bottles or to dig. Refrain from doing so as it can seriously damage your nails.
  2. Ignore problems- Discolouration, whitening, bluish tinges, folds, abnormal thickening are just a few of the common nail problems that may have dire repercussions in the long run. Never ignore such problems and consult a dermatologist immediately to prevent the condition from getting any worse.
  3. Use harsh products- As mentioned above, acetone and alcohol based products are very harmful to the nails and should be avoided as much as possible. Also, old, expired and low quality nail paints should be immediately disposed off.

The DIY manicure kit

If you don’t quite like the idea of visiting a salon for a manicure or pedicure every now and then, you can easily get the following tools and make yourself a personal manicure set. You could also carry it along on your next trip to the salon to avoid using their kit which may cause bacterial infections.

The nail cutter- Inevitable and the bare minimum!

  1. Nail File- In order to give your nails, that perfect shape.
  2. Cuticle cutters- In order to gently remove the cuticles rather than biting them off or leaving them hanging.
  3. Clear Nail Polish- To provide your nails with that shine and protection.
  4. Cuticle/Hand cream- Select the cream that best suits your skin type and use it after every treatment to keep your hands moisturised.
  5. Cotton- 100% cotton balls for nail polish removal.
  6. Nail polish remover- Preferably oil based.

And there you have it, your DIY manicure kit!

A dash of colour

Every manicure and pedicure treatment is generally concluded with the application of a coat of your favourite nail colour. So keeping in mind the breathing space between two colours, you can go ahead and explore all you want. Top makeup brands such as L’oreal, Revlon, M.A.C., Maybelline, etc. offer over 1000 shades in nail paints, whose quality you can totally trust. You can also go all out and experiment with Nail Art, which is the latest fad these days and is catching on in a big way. Nail Art sets are easily available in the market at very nominal prices, with several tutorials available online to help you get started.

Remember, a little effort and awareness on your part can go a long way in maintaining the life of your nails. So take care and nail it!