Growing out nails can be a very difficult process. I know this personally as I too have had to go through the arduous process of growing out my nails. This process however was all the much harder due to the fact I was growing out very damaged and bitten nails from a lifelong nail biting habit.
Despite months of growing my nails are only just past my fingertips, not because of slow growth but because of the two large nail trims I’ve had to complete to get to the healthy nail hidden behind those bitten ends.
In order to make this process easier I’ve managed to compile a list of hints, tips and tricks for growing out short bitten or damaged nails.
- Use a strengthening NOT hardening top coat to protect the natural nail, I use the Rimmel Nail nurse Strengthening base coat. This is because ive found that this strengthens my nails and prevents chipping or peeling, however when I take it off my nails are still flexible. This is what we want to prevent nail breaks.
- Use a Nail oil or cuticle cream. At least twice a day massage nail oil or cuticle cream into your cuticles and nail, allow it to absorb and avoid washing it off. To prevent oily hands I use a drop of my favourite hand cream (Garnier Intense moisture pink pot) all over my hands and nails, once it has soaked in the excess oil will have soaked in with it.
- Once the damaged ends have grown to be long enough to cut, chop them off gently using nail clippers and then file them down. This prevents your nail from splitting or peeling from the damaged part onto the new healthy part. It may be sad to see them go but it will help in the long run.
- When filing your nails do not use a sawing motion, make even strokes across the end of your nail in one direction, this will prevent the formation of splits and hairline fractures in the nail which lead to tears and breaks. If you find you have a small snag at the tip of the nail, file it off immediately to prevent a larger tear. If you have a snag further up the tip either cut the nail short past the snag or use some nail glue to temporarily repair it until it grows out.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and using your nails as tools! This is the leading cause of nail breaks and damage. Only wash your hands when necessary and avoid soaking them in water too frequently, this water is absorbed by your nail leading to separation of the nail layers. This is what leads to peeling and damage.
- Eat well! Good nutrition will mean your nails grow in much healthier and stronger, this will massively benefit your nails in the future.