Tips to Maintain Long Nails
Yes these are my real nails and if you were to ask me years ago if I could grow out my nails I would say hell no. Growing up I actually would bite my nails, my mom would try to put aloe and threaten to cut my fingers off to stop me but that didn’t help. Ironically the thing that helped me stop biting my nails was acrylic nails. I was in middle school when I first tried it and the acrylic prevented me from biting my nails but I didn’t like how it felt on my nails. I didn’t start growing out my nails until last year, I wanted to try acrylic nails one more time and I still hated how it felt and how weak my nails were but I wanted the length so I decided to grow them out. It took a while but I want to explain how I did it.
Nail Polish Is Life: If you want to grow out your nails you need to have nail polish on to protect your nails from breaking. There still is a chance that your nail can break with nail polish but having it on will lessen that chance. Your nails are weak without any polish on and are susceptible to damage, especially when wet. I don’t always have my nails painted with colored nail polish, if I want a break I’ll just put on a clear coat of nail polish. Whenever I stop wearing nail polish they break so easily and I have to start all over.
File Your Nails: Filing your nails is so important. I try to file my nails almost every time I change nail polish. I try avoiding cutting my nails because I don’t want to cut off too much, the only time I cut my nails is when they break. So if you want to maintain length and not take too much off just file them down. When you file your nails, only file in one direction. It prevents splitting in your nails. One of the most annoying things is having a tiny split that ends up breaking your nail. When I’m done filing I buff the edges to make sure they are smooth.
Pick The Right Shape: Pick the right nail shape for you, pick what you are comfortable with and that is functional. I usually file my nails into an almond shape because it is easy for me to manage and I have less splits since there aren’t any sharp edges. I tried the ballerina shape and to me my nails felt weak so I quickly changed the shape back within a few days. I think it’s a nice shape if you have acrylic nails since it’s stronger. I’ve recently switched to a squoval shape because I wanted to change it up a bit and I’m surprised that I actually like it. Another reason why I changed the shape of my nail is because of my new job. You have to pick a shape that is functional and for me the long almond shape became a hassle even though I love it. I want to try the stiletto shape but I fear that my nails will break. I will only try it if I have acrylic on my nails but I don’t see that happening.
Avoid Using Your Fingertips: I know that this is hard to do because you do a lot of things using your finger tips, I’m not saying don’t use them at all because I need to use mine to type up this blog. An example of when you shouldn’t use your fingertips is when you’re at an ATM and you need to put a pin for your card. Instead of using your fingertips use your knuckles to enter in your pin.
Avoid Water: Again I know that this is hard to do, what I should say is avoid water when you don’t have any nail polish on. Water makes your nails weak and they bend easily when wet. So if you are washing the dishes wear a pair of gloves. I sometimes wear gloves when washing my hair. Your nails still get softer even if you have nail polish on but it’s better than that having any on.
Be Patient: Over the past year since I’ve started growing out my nails they probably broke about four to five times and I had to start fresh. There were many times I wanted to just quit or go to the salon and have them put a fake nail on the broken one. You have to be patient and let them grow back. It is so frustrating when a nail breaks but I know that within four months I will get the length back. Here is a slideshow of my journey growing out my nails for a year. I wish I took more pictures but I will now.