There are some parts of human body which do a lot and say a lot about us but we don’t take them with a grain of salt. Irony? It’s true. Nails are one of them and they depict a lot about our health and deficiencies. That is why nail care is very important. Nails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin which makes up hair as well. However, the composition and arrangement is different in both of them which makes nails tougher and stronger than hair. Nails grow from an area at the base under the cuticle called matrix which is the whole causative for nail growth. An interesting fact is, finger nails grow about 4 times faster than toe nails. Well, nails do a lot good to us , not merely helping us scratch and itch whenever we feel like.They protect finger tips, surrounding skin and tissues. Besides everything they add beauty to our fingers like a crown to each of them. Taking care of them is quite necessary and easy as well. Here are some simple tips , dos and don’ts that will help you keep your nails healthy, strong and beautiful!
1. Moisturize frequently
Everytime you moisturize your hands, don’t leave the nails behind. Infact, nails are to be moisturized more frequently than fingers, hands or legs. Don’t forget to moisturize them after bath or handwash particularly as they tend to get softer everytime they get soaked in water and even worse when treated with soaps and detergents. So the first and foremost tip for nail care : Moisturize
2. Care the cuticles
Cuticle is the skin at the base of nails. It’s quite delicate. Many do the mistake of trimming or removing them with tweezers or cuticle removers very often. Do not ever do that! These are the barriers that keep bacteria and other microbes away. They deserve utmost care and attention. Mositurize the cuticles with any cuticle moisturizer or natural oils and keep them stiff and healthy always.
3. Clean and massage regularly
Nails are to be cleaned and massaged gently atleast once in a week to keep them tidy and healthy. Try to use luke warm water to clean your nails and fingers. Add some lemon juice to the warm water to add a little shine to your nails. After cleaning , moisturize your fingers and nails. Then massage your cuticles gently by dipping a cotton ball in any of the natural oils like coconut, mustard , olive or any other oils and pressing it gently at the cuticles. This improves the blood circulation in your nails and makes them stronger and healthier.
4. Trim, file and protect
I know many of you’re against this specific thing especially the nail-art addicts. But young ladies, when you grow your nails too long, they get thinner and weaker and get easily prone to breaks and cracks. If you cannot cut them to whole, keep optimum length but do not go for extra long , it’s more dangerous than fashionable. Trim them properly and without keeping the tip narrower as this may hurt you when unnoticed. Everytime you cut do not forget to file them , otherwise they remain unfinished and sharp. Filing must only be done from outer side to inwards. Spare some time to trim and file every now and then carefully.
5. Wear gloves whenever necessary
Don’t confine the uses of hand gloves for driving, travelling or winters , use them to protect your nails too. Put on your gloves ( rubber ones preferably) before dealing with water, washing utensils, washing clothes, cooking, going out in sun, playing with colors etc. By this you can protect your nails from chemicals, water and sun which soften or weaken them.
6. Avoid harsh nail paints and removers
Few chemicals present in nail polishes like Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde etc. degrade the health of nails. So avoid polishing nails to much, minimise the frequency to once or twice a month. You can go for water based polishes instead, they don’t last for many days but they’re way safer than the others. When it comes to removers, acetone removers are the major harm for nails. Always go for oil based removers and natural oil removers. One best natural oil remover is soy remover which takes little more time to remove the polish but is very harmless. It moisturizes when used thus proves itself the best natural oil remover.
7. Use sterilised tools
The tools you use to cut, file or tweeze your nails should be clean, sterilised and free from rust, microbes and any dust as this would affect the health of nails. When you go for a salon manicure , make sure every tool there is clean, neat and sterilised. Keep changing the tools once in 6th months to ensure proper functioning and cleanliness.
8.Fight deficiencies with proper diet
For every problem, diet is the solution. Nails become fragile majorly due to deficiency of iron, vitamin D and calcium. So eat foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of foods you must eat to keep your nails healthy : milk, egg yolk, fish, red meat, raisins, dates, apricot, green leafy vegetables, soy products, beans, lentils, turkey, liver, whole grain, beet roots. Maintain proper balanced diet inorder to maintain proper nail health.