White strong nails free from chips and cracks are what every woman wishes for. Most women want a set of natural-looking nails, strong, long, perfectly polished as it enhances the beauty of hands.
Genes play the biggest role. If your parents had gorgeous, long and strong fingernails you’re likely to have as well but beauty expert Shahnaz Husain says nails require to be nourished properly through healthy lifestyle, dietary changes and a proper nail care regimen.
The key to a modelesque manicure goes way beyond polishes and filing: Your nails need to be resilient to conditions like typing, cleaning, sports etc and prevent infections to grow and maintain gorgeous nails. Children’s nails grow at the fastest rate while adult fingernails grow at an average 1/11 inch per month. Growth rate decreases with increase in age.
Nails are made up of laminated layers of a protein called keratin, the same protein as your hair. Pamper your hands with any of the suitable home remedies to get brighter and stronger nails. Some simple Ayurveda home remedies can help fix the most common nail problems such as brittleness and splitting and make your nails strong and healthy.
The only way to protect the nails and keep them looking good is to give them regular care. Your nails can reflect neglect and the state of your internal health.
A pinkish colour indicates good health, while a bluish tinge shows poor blood circulation. A healthy nail is smooth and free from ridges and grooves. Protection is important. Wear rubber gloves for your washing chores. The cuticle (skin surrounding the nail) should be kept soft and smooth. Otherwise, it sticks to the nail and gets dragged as the nail grows. Massage cream or oil on the hands’ nails and cuticle daily, especially after using detergents and soaps.
Daily massage is even more important during the dry season. Pure almond oil helps to strengthen the nails and keep it in good condition. Dip the finger tips and nails in warm almond oil daily for about ten minutes and then massage the oil on and around the nails. The cuticle (skin surrounding the nail) should be kept soft and smooth.
Never cut the cuticle. After soaking the nails in warm water, apply cream on the nails to soften the skin. Then push cuticles back gently using a cotton bud. Never use sharp instruments to clean under the nails. Use a cotton bud instead.
The sun can affect the nails too. Some pastel colours, especially beige and pink, can become yellowish after being exposed to the sun. The nail too can acquire a yellowish tinge. The most common cause of yellow nails is wearing nail polish constantly. Nails should be left unpolished sometimes.
For sun protection, use a clear, transparent nail polish as a top coat. You can apply sunscreen on the nails too, just like you apply it on the hands and arms, for protection from UV rays. UV resistant top coats are also available.
To protect the nails from the discolouring effect of nail polish, apply a transparent base coat first and then apply the colour of your choice. Thus, the nail is protected.
To get rid of the yellowish tint on the nails, scrape the surface of the nail with the finest-grain side of an emery board, so that the nail is not damaged and then use an UV-resistant or clear polish for protection. It will also add shine to dull nails. The nails can also be “buffed.” This is usually done with a piece of chamois leather. It should be gently rubbed with the chamois leather. It helps to remove the yellow tinge and also makes the nails shiny. It will be available at a cosmetic store.
To remove the yellow colour, add baking soda to water and soak your fingers in them daily for 15 minutes. You can also take pieces of lemon and rub them on the nails. Or dilute lemon juice with water and soak your hands in it for 10 minutes every day. Use nail clippers for cutting nails to avoid splits. File in one direction only. If you have brittle nails that break or chip easily, include adequate protein and calcium in your diet. Take skimmed milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish and sprouts.
For weak and brittle nails, follow a 10-day programme of taking gelatin. Dissolve one teaspoon gelatin in a little boiling water. Cool the water and add it to fruit juice. As far as nail colours are concerned, dark colours are in trend. Or, you can try colours like pink, mauve or ivory and then dress them up with nail art. Or, go for shades of brown, like coffee, bronze, copper, or sea shell and then add on glitter.