5 Nail Care Tips: How to Keep Healthy Nails at Home
In an attempt to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19, many states have closed non-essential businesses, which includes nail shops and hair salons. It’s a difficult decision and many workers will suffer, but these are the precautions the country has to take in order for things to return to normal eventually. Many people have weaved these businesses into their routines from bi-weekly appointments to monthly touch-ups, making this an awkward phase for many consumers who have spent so long being committed to salons that they don’t know how to take care of things at home.
That includes nails. For many, whether they get acrylic nails, shellac, Gel X, or just a gel manicure — often times they place trust in their nail tech and leave all the work up to them. So what do you do when there’s no salon to go to? How do you care for your natural nails? Teen Vogue spoke with experts on the topic and even explored options of what to do if you absolutely must express yourself through your nails. But, remember while maintenance and upkeep is important, it’s just as important to tend to your natural nails because at the end of the day that nail bed needs to breathe and there’s no better time than now.
“Caring for your natural nails under your nail enhancements is an investment that will never fail you honestly. Maintenance of your skin systems like your hands significantly reduces bacteria, and accumulation of skin tags, and hangnails which can be painful and impact the mobility of your hands,” says Kia Stewart, a nail specialist of Lux K. “Nail enhancements perform better when the foundation of the nail is healthy and thriving. Less breaks, less nails coming off protects your investment for longer wear time." Think of this time as a prerequisite to get your nails back on track for when you go back to adding enhancements.
1. How To Strengthen and Grow Your Nails
For starters, what you put into your body has a lot to do with the health of your nails. Both Kia and nail artist Trenna Seney of Very Shameless Nails agreed that water intake and diet has a lot to do with the strength of your nails. “What you take in internally, will always surface externally,” Kia says.
2. Take Care Of Your Cuticles
Following proper care for the strength and growth of your nails is just the first step, caring for your cuticles is just as important, if not more. “Over the next few weeks, your cuticles are going to grow. If you don’t have cuticle oil in your home use this old trick: take olive oil and put it around your cuticles. It’ll keep them moisturized. Apply at night before bed so they can sit overnight while you’re sleeping,” says Trenna.
3. Moisturize Your Hands
Not only do you have to worry about your nails, but your hands are also an essential part of nail care. Now more than ever, washing your hands is being more enforced, which can result in drying out your skin. The best way to tackle dry hands is to keep them moisturized. Kia’s main advice for a hand care regimen is to get creative, “Play with lotions you like, create mixtures of oils your skin responds best to. Track your progress with your custom mixes and see what changes your nails and hands are making.”
4. How to Do an At-Home Manicure
If you’re reluctant to just keep your nails simple with a few strengtheners and oils, then you can give yourself an at-home mani. While Kia admits they can be intimidating, she says you only need four items to keep it simple: a 180 grit file is perfect for shaping natural nails, a buffer, and a base coat top coat combo.
5. Try Press-On Nails
Now if you’re really going through withdrawals of having nail enhancements then press-ons are always an option. For times like these Lisa admits she “really likes press on nails..it’s an easy way to keep your hands looking and feeling good.” Influencers like Jackie Aina have raved about press-ons, and we’re now seeing how they can come in handy. Luckily, Trenna specializes in luxury handmade press-ons. “They are a good substitute and can last for up to 3 weeks and I include a nail kit with everything you’d need to apply the press-ons along with instructions,” Trenna tells Teen Vogue. While beauty supply stores are closed in addition to nail shops, these are a great option to have some extra allure during your Zoom chats and FaceTimes. And, because they are easily applied and have as many layers of applying, UV lights, etc., it’s a bit more caring for your natural nails under. However, nothing is as good and strengthening as leaving them together all alone to let them breathe, but if you must, these are a great alternative.
“The nails you desire will take work, but that investment will yield you a favorable result and nails just in time for warmer weather upon us,” Kia tells Teen Vogue. Maintaining your nails in their most organic form will be worth it in the long run when you’re back to your bi-weekly appointments. And, you never know what skills you’ll pick up during this time that may transform you into a natural wearing nail girl from here on out.
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