Incredibly though, for the first time since I was an infant I currently have a full set of strong, semi-healthy nails that I managed to grow all by myself. Yes, they're short and modest but this is literally the first time they've been long enough to tap on my desk. Win.
They haven't been growing for very long but I suppose I'm a bit overexcited and wanted to share how I've got this far. The points below may seem obvious but they've worked for me! Here's how I've stopped attacking my nails:
Falsies are your Friend!
Fake nails are notoriously bad for your nails because frankly, they don't give a damn about your natural nails underneath. If you get gels or acrylics done professionally it's usually extra detrimental to your real nails because they use those industrial strength electrical tools to file them into oblivion. It's a bit of a juxtaposition really because if you're trying to grow your nails, sticking on some falsies can actually be a great first step. With this in mind, I popped down to Boots and got a couple of packets of really short DIY glue on nails so I could control how much I annihilated my natural finger nails. Each set stayed on for 5 to 7 days at a time and once they started falling off/ getting gross, I just replaced them with fresh nails. I did this for about two weeks, allowing my natural nails to grow underneath. The temptation to rip them off was real but somehow I managed to persevere and once I (carefully) took them off for good using acetone, I was pleasantly surprised by the nails underneath.
Give them Strength
If you're a nail biter/picker/peeler you'll probably have really weak nails that won't grow very much without a little extra care. When I first removed the falsies, my pinky nails were pretty long but I had to file them down because they were so bendy and weak they would have fallen at the first hurdle (ie when I did the washing up). To make them as strong and least prone to breakage as possible, I applied a super thick protein rich coating in the form of Perfect Formula Gel Coat. My boyfriend's mum gave this to me last Christmas (think she may have been trying to tell me something) and it has pretty much saved my nails. I'm sure you can get other colours but I like this light powder pink shade because it was subtle enough to not look ridiculous on my growing nails. I recently bought the Essie Grow Stronger fortifying growth base coat which is thinner in consistency but basically does the same job.
|Perfect Formula Gel Coat Colour|
Nourish your Nails
I've made a conscious effort to apply hand cream throughout the day and it's now compulsively become the last thing I do before I get into bed. Not only is it a nice little pampering ritual I can do any time, it's good for my hands and great for my nails. I was using Clarins Hand and Nail Cream but I've now run out so I'm using Burt's Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Cream and CicaBiafine Creme Mains Reparation Intense alternately. Also, something I've read so many rave reviews about - Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream! I'm so pleased I've added this to my new nail care routine. It's super moisturising and smells lemony and fresh.
|Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream|
One of the best ways to stop myself attacking my nails is to keep them painted. For some reason, if they've got a colour on them I'm less inclined to bite or pick. Maybe it's because I subconsciously know I don't want to ruin the paint job. Whatever the reason, it works for me! I've been alternating between classic reds, fuschia pinks, black cherries and the nearly nude wonder that is Essie Ballet Slipper.
Are you a nail biter? Have you overcome the habit or did you never start? Any tips? Let me know your thoughts!