Consider this your master plan for healthy, stronger nails...
Whoever invented acrylic nails should be simultaneously kissed and shaken. Yes, we love admiring our long, glossy Shellac nails day after day, nary a chip in sight. But then the dreaded two-week mark hits, and the shine starts to fade, chips start to show, and cuticles suddenly start growing in at breakneck speed. The only solution is to remove them and start all over…sigh.
But with salons being shut thanks to the coronavirus, that's a little harder to do. Many would have picked off their gel manicures by now (but if you haven’t, follow our guide on how to do it safely here), and as a result, you may be left with damaged and weak nails.
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If you've got weak, bendy and flaking nails...
The Issue: They might grow alright but there’s no strength to them. If your nails are soft and bend easily, it could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency. Soft nails have been associated with a lack of vitamin A and vitamin D so try upping levels in your diet.
The Fix: You can get vitamin D from sun exposure - yes even in Ireland, or try oily fish sources like salmon and vitamin A is in green, leafy veg and eggs.
If your nails snap or break easily...
The Issue: Nails that snap and break easily are often inflexible and too hard. There is a misconception that nails like this need to be strengthened with a hardener, however, this isn't the case.
The Fix: A hardening treatment will only make the nail break more often and lower down, which can be painful. Instead, you need to treat this with a product that strengthens whilst increasing flexibility. Use a nail oil regularly and protect your hands too. That means no scraping or opening a can with your nails, and using washing up gloves if you're doing the dishes. It can be helpful to increase your protein intake too.
IF YOU'VE GOT White spots ON YOUR NAILS...
The Issue: It's usually thought that the white spots - known as leukonychia - that turn up all of a sudden as a sign of a calcium deficiency. That's not the case. Mostly they are a sign of an injury that happened while the nail was growing in the nail bed. They're like nail bruises, of sorts, and will grow out with the nail.
The Fix: Just like a bruise on your arm or leg, there's sadly nothing you can do about them. Since these bruises happen below the surface of the nail, you can't actually do anything about it except let them grow out, or yes, paint over them.
If you've got yellow or discoloured nails...
The Issue: Nails turn an unnatural colour as a result of a few different things: smoking, illness, or by not wearing a basecoat with a strong nail polish colour.
The Fix: To brighten and lighten the nail, try making a homemade scrub using lemon juice (there are loads of recipes on the Pinterest, but mixing it with sugar and olive oil will work).
If your nails just won't grow...
The Issue: If it seems like your nails never, ever grow this could be down to bad circulation in your hands. If you have cold hands, your nails won't grow as fast.
The Fix: One way to encourage growth is to treat them daily with a product like the Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Serum. Massage into the root of the nail to help feed it, whilst increasing circulation and therefore stimulating nail growth.
Main image by @shahdbatal on Instagram