How to repair damaged nails (and then keep them in tip-top condition)

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  • Here at woman&home, we love perfectly manicured nails. But we often find that once we remove our polish that our nails are weak, brittle and prone to breaking.

    This is made far worse if you are prone to picking off your polish or even worse, biting your nails! Luckily we have the answers to keeping your nails in perfect condition, and to help you repair damaged nails…

    Repairing damaged nails

    Keep nails short and rounded

    The best shape for strong and healthy nails is rounded. File your nails from the outer edge into the center so that each half is filed in one direction. This helps keep nails even, which prevents snags and breakages.

    Push back your cuticles, don’t cut them

    Although it’s tempting to cut off unsightly cuticles, your cuticles are what protect the growing part of your nails so cutting them will stunt nail growth and means an infection is more likely to develop. Instead, push cuticles back using an orange stick or cotton wool bud.

    Use a cuticle oil

    Use oil on your cuticles to keep them healthy and to stimulate nail growth, and prevent damaged nails. Dr Lewinns Renunail, £11 is one of our favourites, it’s full of vitamins and contains a mixture of sweet almond, jojaba and apricot oils to provide nourishment to your cuticles.

    damaged nails

    Eat plenty of protein

    Nails are made from a protein called keratin. Eating foods rich in protein will help keep your nails strong, so tuck into chicken, tofu, fish, beans and eggs! Also drink plenty of water to keep your nails hydrated.

    Don’t bite your nails!

    If you have a terrible habit of biting your nails you need Mavala’s Stop, £9 in your life! It has a nasty, but harmless taste that will discourage you from nibbling those nails.

    Always use a basecoat or hardener

    We never go a day without coating our nails in a basecoat to protect them. Like a personal trainer for your nails, Ciate’s Nail Gym, £12 will stop your nails from flaking and will build up their strength.

    damaged nails

    Keep a travel size hand and nail cream in your bag

    Moisturising your nails is essential to keeping them healthy, so keep a travel-sized hand and nail cream in your bag so that you can moisturize on the go. We love L’Occitane’s Pivoine Flora Hand Cream, £8. It’s enriched with Shea Butter and smells incredible!

    Carry a Tweezerman on the go nail kit

    A snagged or broken nail when you don’t have a nail file to hand is a recipe for disaster! We keep Tweezerman’s Nail Rescue Kit, £22 in our bags for moments like this. The mini trimmer, cleaner and file mean you can easily fix any on the go disasters!

    Use a gentle nail polish remover

    Harsh chemicals are a key cause of damaged nails, so when you remove any polish use as gentle a nail polish as you can. Ciate’s Mint Chocolate Remover, £7.50 contains vitamins E and B5 to nourish and condition nails, and once dry leaves behinds the delicious scent of chocolate!

    damaged nails

    Give your nails a soak in something nourishing

    We all know how great facemasks are for your skin, so why not give your nails the equivalent pampering! Soak nails in milk to whiten them, in warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice to remove stains, and in olive oil to moisturise them.

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