The condition of the nail like that of our skin reflect the general health of the body. A normal healthy nail is form and flexible and is pinkish in colour. The nails should generally have a smooth surface, be curved and unspotted without any hollow or wavy ridges.
The actual function of the nails are to protect the end of our fingertips, now can you just imagine the amount of abuse they get without us even realising, therefore we have to care and treat them just as we would our skin. Regular and attentive care is necessary if immaculate hands are to be maintained.
Our nails normally grow faster during spring and autumn and also in youth (ages 20s and 30s). It goes without saying that our nails grow especially fast during pregnancy.
Causes of weak nails
When nails are being formed and the circulation is impaired in any way then the actual nail formation will be harmed as a result we can experience ridges across the nails, white markings, very soft or brittle nails. If the nails are kept moist then the cells in our nails will start to absorb the moisture and separate and then flake (as in housework), this is because the nail cells are made up of protein which is called keratin, which easily absorbs water.
- Exposure to harsh products
- Over use of caustic nail products
- General ill health
- Hands immersed in water for long periods
- Incorrect filing
- Nail biting
- Poor circulation
- Using the nails as a tool
A well balanced diet is essential to healthy growing nails. Zinc is an important mineral for healthy growing nails (seafood is an excellent source of zinc). Other helpful foods are fish, dairy products, spinach, liver, vegetables and lots of fresh fruit and juices and don’t forget water.
Carry out regular manicures to maintain healthy, beautiful looking nails as it improves the overall appearance of the hands and nails.
If you have any damaged or broken nails make sure they are repaired and filed correctly. Manicures also improve the softness of the hands by treating dry rough skin and increases the blood circulation to the hands and arms.
With regular manicures you will notice an improvement in the nail growth, your cuticles appearance and condition will improve, dead skin cells from the nail plate and surrounding skin will be removed.
If you wear nail varnish then you will certainly see a big improvement as the application of nail varnish will be more even, and last but not least, having a manicure whether it be by a professional or by yourself is very rewarding and most certainly relaxing.
A quick guide to a Manicure
- Remove all old nail varnish or nail treatment from the nails using either cotton wool or lint free nail wipes (be careful not to rub the nail area as this will only cause the nail varnish to go under the cuticle area, stroke the nails downwards to remove varnish).
- File the nails until the desired shape has been achieved using a fine nail file or alternatively a glass nail file which is excellent as they last forever and do a great job. (Only file the nails in one direction rather than backward and forward as this can cause the nails to split).
- Apply a cuticle cream to each fingertip and massage in to the cuticles to soften them. (There are some great cuticle products on the market that exfoliate the cuticles and surrounding skin). Soak the hands in a bowl of tepid water for about five minutes.
- If you have rather a lot of excess cuticle you can remove this with a cuticle nipper but be careful not to cause bleeding.
- Wipe the surface of the nails for any excess creams that may be left on them as this could leave a residue making application of treatments or varnish uneven and apply your basecoat, some basecoats act as nail treatments as well and are good for when you need to speed things up.
- Now you are ready to apply your nail varnish or if you are doing a french manicure, your white tip nail varnish. Always apply two coats of nail varnish to the the nails. Finish with your topcoat.
- Remove any excess nail varnish from the surround skin using an orange stick with a thin layer of cotton wool on the end dipped into nail remover.
- If you use a quick dry spray or any other quick drying solutions, make sure you wait at a minute or two before applying these as you could cause the nail varnish to bubble if applied to soon.
Tip: If you do not wear nail varnish it is still necessary for you to have regular manicures. Always wear a nail treatment suitable for your nail condition.
Tip: If you prefer to do your own manicures at home then always make sure you use the proper nailcare products. Try to have a professional manicure from a salon at least once a month as the manicure will involve a more intense treatment and is relaxing at the same time. You should have a manicure once a week.