This blog post will be dedicated to basics about your nails and nail care! Also, I will answer, as best as I can, the most frequently asked questions about having and keeping healthy nails. I 'd love to hear your input.
Nail anatomy - have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions:
Okay, so to answer the majority of these questions, nails come in all shapes and sizes. It is another part of our bodies that is unique to each individual (just like fingerprints).
Our nail beds, cuticles, smile line, and curve are all different. While some nails can be very slender and curved, others can be wide and curved, others slender and flat, others wide and flat. And the pink part of our nails (the part attached to our fingers) can be long or short.
When nails become longer, the corners of the nails can grow inwards, and sometimes dig into people's skin. The degree at which it curves inward varies from person to person, and it can curve differently on each side of one nail. Also, nails don't grow straight forward for most people. So if you start gaining length and notice your nails are growing towards the left or right, just know that it is something you can't change. You can definitely file your nails to help shape them to look a certain way. For example, my middle finger nails grow VERY crooked to the right, so when I used to have square nails, they were actually filed in a crooked angle, but when I applied polish to cover the pink and white, they looked very straight.
I have met people with thick and strong nails whose white part is very white. Mine have always been a bit transparent. When I come out of the shower, the majority of my free edge in all my nails will be completely see-through.
On the topic of yellow stained nails... if you wear a lot of polish, your nails will most likely stain yellow. Why yellow? I actually don't know. I could google the scientific explanation of why yellow, but this blog is long enough, and there's still plenty more to talk about. All you need to know is, polish carries pigments... pigments that get drawn into the different layers of your nail. Of course, there are are some particular polishes that are so pigmented that they will STAIN YOUR NAILS SO BAD (I'm talking about you, Sinful Colors unicorn). But really, if you are using polish, it will stain. Using a good base coat, or doubling up on base coat can help some in this matter.
Some people choose to buff their nails, which of course takes away the discolored layer, but then that means you are losing a layer of your nail, and I don't like that, so I don't buff my nails. It's a personal choice.
(Nail Strength- How about this question?
Let's try a riddle. Which house will withstand an earthquake better? A house built with bricks, or a house made of wood?
I was asked this as a trick question once when I was younger. Of course I answered brick, and I was wrong. We think strong and thick are always best, but there are instances where that is not the case. For this particular question, the best answer is a wood built house. In theory, wood lends itself to be more flexible, hence allowing more movement in a home, where as brick has no flexibility, so when it is pushed and pulled, it simply breaks.
Our nails are supposed to be able to be a bit flexible.
I used to be a nail biter, and trust me, it is not good! I have done blog posts before about how I stopped biting my nails (here and here), so I won't go into detail on here. What I will say, is that I tried a lot of things. When your nails are so damaged and broken, I guess it is okay to use hardeners until you have a good amount of "healthy" on your nails (if you want to... I mean, I did, so that's why I am saying it now. I am not contradicting myself, I promise, but seriously, don't do it... just let them grow), but for long term, or every-day use, I personally don't recommend it. WHY, you ask? Because I realized my nails were hard and brittle, and they were very easily breaking and chipping when I was using Nail Envy by OPI or similar products. I remember once I was reading a book, and my nail just broke off... I hadn't even hit anything!!
My nails stopped breaking when I focused more on moisturizing my nails and cuticles. I started using Sweet Baby By Donna Cuticle balm and oil, and have never looked back. And my nails just don't break any more. Please note that are also rounded now, so there are no corners that can snap off, but still... ZERO breaks in over a year :).
Now, as I said, everyone is different, so unfortunately, not everything that worked for me will work for you. What I do know is that you can NEVER go wrong with moisturizing. I do it constantly. I apply balm at 2-3 times per day on average. I apply it during swatching between each polish. I use it as a hand balm as well.
For reference, I think if you would like to read more, here is a good place to go. Ana from Nail Care HQ has a lot of important information for nail care.
I would love if you shared any tips or tricks that have helped you, any products that you love, or things you'd like me to try out. Thanks for reading