Having healthy nails is important for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it’s a sign that you’re taking care of yourself in general. When your nails are healthy and strong, your body is functioning well. You’re getting enough nutrients and vitamins. Also, you’re able to absorb the nutrients you need, etc. But beyond that, having healthy nails is important because they can tell us a lot about what’s going on inside our bodies.
If your nails are brittle, flaky, discolored, or chipped, that could indicate that something else is going on with your health. Or if your nails are growing very slowly or not, that could be because there’s something off in your diet or lifestyle habits. However, this article will give tips on how to grow healthy nails.
READ ALSO: Benefits Of Keeping Longer Nails
What Do Healthy Nails Look Like?
Healthy fingernails have a smooth, even texture and no ridges or pits. The color should be consistent throughout, and there should be no irregularities. Sometimes fingernails acquire cosmetically innocuous vertical ridges that extend from the nail’s cuticle to its tip.
9 Tips to Grow Healthy Natural Nails
There are various ways to get your nails to grow naturally, but if you’re like me, who prefers to keep things simple, you can achieve this without spending a dime. YES, you heard me right. All you need do is follow the below ways religiously. So shall we? OK, let’s go.
1. Eat healthy balanced diets
- Photo credits: essentials.co.za
As with our body, if you must experience growth in your nails, you must learn to eat food rich in the six food classes. In other words, eat a healthy balanced diet if you must see a shift in your nails or grow long natural nails.
For example, Eat or take food rich in vitamins for healthy nails (vitamins B, 12, A, C, and D are natural nail strengtheners). For vegetarians, take plenty of Veggy like broccoli, spinach, and kale. This veggie contains a reasonable amount of all the necessary vitamins for growing healthy, strong-looking nails. The absence of any of these vitamins might result in brittle nails.
2. Regular nail trimming
- Photo credits: Stylepresso.com
Trimming nails regularly has been proven to aid nail growth. Regular trimming helps to prevent nails from breaking too often. If you’re in the category of people with long curvy nails, you must have encountered nail breaks on one or two occasions. The reason why most nails break is that they are way too long.
So, as a rule of thumb, it is always better to keep these nails short (1 inch is most preferable), naturally, and strong because there’s no point in keeping long nails when you know they will break anytime soon.
For Christ’s sake, we’ve passed the era of keeping long curvy nails as someone sent on a mission. So short is always better.
3. Take care of your cuticle
- Photo Credits: Nailbees.com
The cuticle is that tiny soft skin that helps to seal the nails. They can get dried or peeled at times when not correctly moisturized. Apart from that, unhealthy cuticle creates room for bacterial infections. When this cuticle is not taken care of, bacteria might find their way into the matrix. The cuticle can be moisturized using essential oils (cuticle oil, cuticle cream, olive oil, or coconut oil).
To moisturize, place a small quantity of the above oil around the cuticle, then gently massage for about 2-3 minutes. When you do this for a month, you will be amazed at the result you’ll get.
4. File your nails the right way
- Photo credits: Beautycarechoices.com
I see a lot of people guilty of this same case. Months ago, I watched one of these soap operas then I saw some ladies on the balcony of this big mansion chatting and laughing their asses out to one random dude telling some random jokes.
As I drew closer to my TV sets, I noticed this skinny one among them. She was filing her nails, which isn’t a bad idea, but what surprised me was that she was doing it wrong.
She was using the nail filler to run through her nails back and forth, and I’m like, Damn, this lady doesn’t know what she’s doing.
See, when it comes to filing your nails, there are specific rules that you must follow. Nails are supposed to be filed in one direction and not the other way around.
For example, if you start to file your nails forward, which is the right thing to do, you should keep up with that pace. Never, in any case, file backward. Sawing your nails back and front renders them weak.
Furthermore, the choice of nail filler also plays a role here. Not all nail filer is good enough for your nails. Most recommended on this list is Glass or crystal nail file. This filer can be washed after use, and to think it works great for weak, brittle nails is amazing.
I have experienced a lot of success using this amazing Glass Nail filer over the years, so this is a good filer for you to buy if you must grow healthy natural nails in 2020.
Note: There may be lots of brands that sell nail files, but the truth is, they are not the same. Although they have both sides, each side has a different grit level. The higher the grit level, the better that file.
So the next time you want to go after a nail file for your nails, you should consider certain things like your nail type, the grit sizes, and how to use them properly.
5. Clean underneath your nails regularly
- Photo credits: Wikihow.com
Regular washing of your nails is good, but more attention should also be focused on cleaning the underneath of your nails.
The underneath is a perfect hideout for dirt. This dirt may invariably hinder the growth of your nails. Cleaning the underneath of your nails can be done using a nail toothbrush.
To clean, ensure your nails are well dipped in a bowl containing Hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes, then scrub gently. Don’t scrub too hard to avoid damaging your nails; remember, it’s your nails, not your teeth. In the absence of hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste can as well be used.
6. Protect your nails with gloves
- Photo credits: Aliexpress.com
If you’re among those whose hands are always submerged in the water because of the nature of your work, please do well to protect them by wearing protective gloves consistently.
The reason for this is simple. Most cleaning agents like your liquid soaps, detergent, the shampoo contain very active chemicals capable of stripping the oil found around your cuticle and nails off, thereby rendering your nails that are supposed to be naturally strong and weak.
When this happens over time, you are creating room for your nails to become weak, which might cause your nails to chip and break easily. I know you wouldn’t want that.
So what do you do then? Always wear protective gloves when doing the dishes, and when you’re done, don’t forget to moisturize your nails with body lotion or olive oil.
7. Avoid using Acetone nail polish remover too often
- Photo caption: Amazon.co.uk
Acetone is one of the primary ingredients for almost all nail polish removers. The work of this acetone is to strip the nails of their natural oily form, making them look pale and brittle.
Apart from that, the leached paint can also migrate to delicate parts of the nails and interrupt the normal activity of the nails, which in turn can drastically affect how your fingernails grow.
To avoid this ugly scenario, look for a non-acetone-free nail polish remover, preferably five free or more. What do I mean by five free? (This one does not contain 5 of the chemicals ordinary nail polish remover has) and remember to moisturize your nails once you’ve done the cleaning.
8. Let your nails be
- Credits: Bruisedupdollienails.blogspot.com
Yes, you heard me right; as important as it is to care for the nails, the nails themselves deserve to have some space for them to grow well. Habitual nail biting, cleaning with sharp objects, and trying to pull out hangnails from your nails all have side effects on your nails.
Sometimes it’s best to learn to read between the lines and let your nails be for them to grow out well.
Letting your nail be involved allowing nature to take its course. I can’t remember the last time I picked at my nails, and I’m amazed at how beautiful they are today.
9. Nail infections should be taken seriously
- Photo credits: Theconversation.com
No matter how carefree you try to ride on with your nails, getting infected at some point is one thing you can’t do without. At some point, nails are bound to be infested, and when this happens, it is recommended to see a dermatologist for a possible prescription.
Though Nail bacterial infections may include swelling around the cuticle, redness, or pus, these are some of the early signs of Nail fungal infection we don’t pay attention to, which may include irritation around the cuticle.
When this happens, it is recommended to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Now that we are halfway towards rounding up these actionable tips to take if you must grow healthy natural nails in 2019, let’s quickly answer some questions our blog visitors ask.
How Do I Know If My Nails Are Healthy?
Well, if you are new to growing nails, you might need help to tell an unhealthy nail from a healthy one. I know you might be thinking, how’s this possible? After all, I have eyes that can see, but the truth is, there’s more than what you see. Below are a few things every healthy nail has. The absence of these the moment you look at your nails simply means that your nails are far from being healthy.
1. They have a consistent color which is usually pinkish
You know your nails are healthy if they’re consistently pinkish. Healthy nails rarely experience any kind of discoloration and are usually a consistent color. If you find your nails turning brown or yellow, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
2. They are devoid of ridges
Healthy nails are smooth and even, without ridges. If you have ridges around the nail bed, this is a sign of dehydration or malnutrition. If you notice your nails have become more brittle or fragile, it could indicate that you need to increase your biotin intake.
3. No dark lines
If you have healthy nails, there should not be any dark lines running through them. If you have dark lines in your nails, it could mean you have health issues.
4. Your cuticles are intact
Your nails are healthy when the skin around them is called the cuticle. This makes it easier for you to clean and maintain your nails, but it also gives you an opportunity to spot any health issues early on.
5. They usually don’t break easily
Healthy nails are usually strong and flexible. They don’t break easily, and they aren’t brittle. Healthier nails will also grow uniformly and should be smooth, without ridges or discoloration.
Growing healthy natural nails is still very much achievable if only you can follow the tips for nails to grow faster. The reason why a lot of us always find it extremely difficult to grow our nails the natural way is simply that we overlook these little but yet actionable ways of growing nails.
Now that we’ve brought to your notice some of the ways to get healthy nails naturally, we hope you’ll take into action all that has been said and put them to work so that you can grow nails faster and longer sooner than expected without any home remedies.