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Beyond the Mani: Taking Care of Your Nails

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your nails done only to have one of them break off a day later—a natural consequence of nail neglect. The manicure means various things. It can be a time to relax and chit-chat or an opportunity to get beautified and pampered. What it shouldn’t be is your sole nail care activity.

The best way to ensure healthy, beautiful nails is to think of your manicure as the cherry on top, rather than the main event of your nail care process. After all, you don’t only condition your hair when you go to the salon, so give your nails the same consideration.

To set you off on your journey, here are a few tips that prioritize your health and true nail care.

Keep it CUTEitcle
The cuticle has an important job of protecting the region at the base of your nail from infections. Refrain from removing during manicures. If you absolutely must, then opt to push it back with a cuticle pusher, before moisturizing it with a heavy lotion or oil.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
While we’re on the subject, make sure you are moisturizing your nails on a daily basis. Dry brittle nails can break off, and lead to hangnails. Luckily, there a several oils, creams and lotions on the market that have a specific ‘nail health’ formula. Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated can also help your nails to stay moisturized.

Supplements & Diet
When it comes to nails, you are quite literally what you eat. Foods rich in Vitamin D, C, and B work to prevent dryness and dullness; while protein, calcium, and zinc work to strengthen and fortify. Additionally, consider taking a biotin supplement to make up for the areas where your diet falls short.

Don’t file back and forth
Once you decide on what shape you want your nails to be, file them with a fluid motion from the edge to the center of the nail. Sawing the tip in a quick, rapid movements causes trauma to your nail, weakens it and leads to an overall ragged appearance.

Good Quality Nail Polish
Make a habit of reading the labels on the back of your nail products. Some of them have ingredients that mean your nails no good. Frequent contact with chemicals like toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde can potentially damage not just your nails but your liver, skin, brain, and nerves. The good news is that brands like Revlon, OPI, and Sally Henson have nail polishes out that are free of these harmful substances.

Nail technicians aren’t miracle workers; they can only work with what you give them. With regular maintenance, you can start giving them primo quality raw material. This leads to less time spent at the nail salon.

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