Nail health, the do's and the don'ts!

Our nails are often a good indicator of our general health. Your nails need energy to grow and if the energy isn't there then your nails are one of the first things to be affected. If we use too many products on our nails, they can become dehydrated, peel and start breaking. And lifestyle can really effect your nails too. I've always had ridges in my thumbnails, just like my Dad... But amazingly over the last two years, since I've been eating better and exercising more, the ridges have all but gone! So what should we do to keep our nails in optimum health?

The science behind the nail

Your fingernails are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin. They grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Essentially a 'nail' is several layers of dead, compacted cells which cause the nail to be strong and flexible. Your finger nails grow (on average) 3mm a month and they require 3 to 6 months to regrown completely. However, toenails grow approx. 4 times slower than fingernails and require 12 to 18 months to grow out completely.

Nutrition for nails

Vitamin A, D and Calcium are all essential to keep the nails hydrated and strong. Biotin has been recommended for years to aid faster growth of nails and hair (but this is sometimes disputed!). Essential fatty acids (like Omega 3 oils) will help splitting and flaking of the nails too. All easily attainable in a varied and clean diet, with lots of vegetables. Essentially, the mediterranean diet of fish, nuts, seeds and plentiful vegetables and leafy greens are perfect for nails.

Your nails will love you if...

  • You practice good nail hygiene. By using sharp clean scissors and clippers (this is particularly important in nail salons where the utensils are shared) Don't use blunt old files, you'll have to be too rough with the nail to get the results you want!

  • Use moisturiser. This will have such a huge impact on your nails, especially if you regularly wear Shellac, gel nails or acrylic. We recommend using nail oils twice daily (or as often as you can). And this really will transform your nail & cuticle skin health.

  • Try taking biotin supplements. Some of our clients love biotin and swear by it for nail growth, others don't. If you'd rather take food over supplements, then try eating more eggs, almonds, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and spinach. All of which have biotin in.

  • Give your nails a break. We do recommend our clients have a break from using gels and polishes on their nails. How often and for how long depends on your nails. But often your nails will tell you when they're tired of products, can be shown with split nails, peeling nails and products just not lasting that long before chipping. All these are signs that your nails need a break

Your nails will be unhappy if...

  • You bite or pick your nails. All of these things can let bacteria get under your nail bed and cause infections, or dry out your nails further

  • You use harsh nail care products for long periods of time. Try to give your nails a break from products and use less harsh products where possible. The harsher the product, or the thicker the 'gel' (including acrylics), the more harm you will do to your nail.

  • You soak your nails in 'Acetone'. Some salons soak your nails in Acetone to remove the products on your nail. But acetone is a harsh chemical and can really dehydrate your nail, but also it can dry out the skin around your nail. Avoid at all costs!

  • You buff your nails. The more you buff your nails, the thinner you'll make them and the drier they'll become. We never recommend nail treatments which buff your nail. Often used with different gel nails and acrylics, I know if the past I've been to salons where they've used electric tools to buff my nails and they've taken months to recover fully!

We have various manicures and pedicures, all designed with 'nail health' in mind. If you're concerned about your nails talk to your therapist and we can recommend the treatment for you.

We love our Revive and Enhance Manicure when your nails need a break from 'gel' treatments but you'd still like to have perfect polished nails for up to two weeks. We treat your nails with 'IBX' which is a heated treatment, to seal the nail layers and prevent peeling, we then use 'Weekly Polish' (which is less harsh than gels) and a thick top coat. You're then given a top coat, which you should reapply every other day to prevent the colour from chipping.

But with any manicure, use a nail oil twice daily to really help your nails stay strong. I would also recommend that even if you don't want to have polished nails and prefer a more natural look, that you regularly have a manicure which will remove hard skin from the nail plate and tidy your cuticles, this will help your nails to look neater and healthier.

Why not book an appointment online >>>> BOOK ONLINE >>>> Or call us on 01904 629121 to find out which the best nail treatment will be for you?

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