Don’t you want to flaunt your long and strong nails in front of your family and friends? People often try to grow nails but in vain. Weak nails don’t grow at optimum speed, they chip and crack even at the slightest pressure. At times people will fall for their own habit of biting nails. It can result in infections and repeated biting can slow the growth of nails.
Polishing nails to make it look elegant is a very common practice. Dermatologists advise to add protective coating before nail polish. But adding a protective varnish is a controversial talk, it may do harm to the nails.
Chemicals used in the formulation of nails and also nail remover may make the nails brittle. It is particularly harmful for nails which are weak. It is quite important to nourish your nails.
You should eat healthy and also topical use of natural ingredients can nourish nails and help them grow healthy and lengthy. Properly nourished nails are thick and hard. Nails superficially look like a sheet over the finger tips, but it is actually composed of layers.
They are made of proteins, the main ingredient of which is keratin. Hence eating proteins is quite beneficial for nails. A diet should contain balanced amount of fruits and vegetable having vitamins and minerals.
How to Get Longer Nails
Nails are actually dead cells. The part of the nail which is live is matrix; it is the part where the new cells grow. The new cells formed pushes the old cells making the nails lengthy. The cells lose contact with root and get extended as dead cells. This is the reason why we don’t feel any pain when we cut or trim our nails.
The nails grow 2-3mm in a month. Few people may have higher growth rate than the others. Nail growth doesn’t mean elongation of existing cells but it is the growth of new cells which pushes the old cells, increasing the length. Once the new formed cells grow and loose contact with the matrix, the cells die.
Factor affecting nail growth:
Blood Circulation: There is clinical evidence that improving blood circulation and metabolism has improved nail growth. This is the reason why older people have less growth. This can be confirmed by analysis of Oxford dermatologist Rodney Dawber, the nail growth was slow in player with injured hand than the other hand. The injured hand had less blood circulation so growth was less whereas normal hand hair growth was normal and
So increase your finger activity may be massages and healthy diet for lengthy nails.
Emery board (thin wood or card coated): It should be smooth, rough board can result in cracks in your nails which can lead to tearing of nails. Go for smooth files and file only in one direction to avoid cracking of nails. File smoothly to get the desired shape.
Use of chemicals: Regular use of chemicals can result in weakening of nails. Be cautious when buying nail polish and nail removers. Buy only the high quality material which does not have any negative effects on the nails. Nails will become opaque when cleaning. Even when using chemicals for household use, wear glove to avoid adverse effects on the skin and also nails.
Cuticle care: cutting of cuticle is not a good idea as it is responsible for matrix. As we know matrix is the place where living nails cells divide and multiply increasing the length, cutting of cuticle will expose matrix. If the cuticle is cut and removed, matrix is exposed to external environment and can get infected with bacteria and germs. It is advised to sufficiently nourish your cuticle. Make sure your manicurist doesn’t cut off your cuticles. The cuticles may turn dry and stiff which stuck with nail plate if not taken care. Keep your cuticles moisturized and push back after showers.
Supplements: Biotin supplements are recommended to improve nail growth. Biotin 2.5 mg is recommended for this indication. There is clinical evidence that Biotin increase nail thickness. A thick nail will be stronger and is difficult to break.
Nails as tools: One of the reasons of nail break is excess pressure and stress on nails. Superficially nails may appear strong but it is actually present as number of layers. The layers may get affected when you try to remove stickers or do other things/
You might have noticed that your nails will soften after in touch with water like after showering, swimming or doing water activities. But putting nails in water for long hours can result in weakening and splitting of nails. When your nails are soft, avoid work which can add stress on the nails and result in chipping and cracking.
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How to get long nails fast naturally at home?
As we know natural ingredients are best for health. The chemicals, if used have its adverse effects. Here is the list of natural ingredients which are available in the household and are helpful in growing nails faster and longer.
Lemon: This is the common household ingredient used in cooking. It contains ascorbic acid and is a potent antioxidant. Ascorbic acid is involved in growth and multiplication of cells hence it is useful in nail growth. Apart from cooking it does have good cleaning ability. It is also useful in removing stains from nail because of its bleaching effect.
Method: Lemon can be used in two ways to help you grow long nails naturally.
- A mixture of lemon and olive (1:3 ratio) should be heated in an oven for about 20 sec and then applied on the nails. The mixture should be allowed to stay on nails for 10 mins. Repeat the procedure daily to get the best results.
- Alternatively you can cut lemon and rub it on the nails for 5 mins. Wash the nails with warm water. Apply it daily to get good results.
Caution: Incase of cuts and burns, do not apply lemon juice as it may sting.
Coconut Oil: This is another household ingredient which is used for applying on hair and skin preparations. Coconut oil is rich in nutrients which helps is moisturizing and nourishing your nails. It helps you in getting healthy and long nails. Coconut oil is of particular importance for people who suffer from fungal infection. It has antifungal activity.
Method: Take some coconut oil in a bowl and warm. The warm oil should be massaged on nails and fingers. Massaging increases blood circulation which helps in nail growth. Coconut oil can be applied daily before sleeping.
Horsetail Extract: This is another important product which is widely used by Greek and Roman people. Horsetail extract is rich in calcium, silica, and other important nutrients which are helpful in growth of nails.
Method: Prepare horsetail extract by taking 3/4th teaspoon of dried horsetail with water. Allow the water with stems to boil for about 15 mins. Let the mixture get cools. Add your hands in the cool mixture and keep it for 20 mins. You can repeat the procedure 4 times in a week. People also opt to drink horsetail extract tea once a day.
Orange Juice: Like lemon juice, orange juice also contains ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid helps in production of collagen, an ingredient for healthy growth and development of nails. The Vitamin C in the orange juice can help in the production of collagen that keeps your nails strong and healthy.
Method: Extract juice from orange in a bowl and soak your nails in the juice for about 10 mins. You can wash your hands thoroughly with water after 10 mins. Moisturize your nails. The procedure should be followed once in a day.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E. This vitamin improves circulation of blood. Also olive oil as such contains many nutrients which help in nourishing and moisturizing your nails and hence improving nail growth
Method: take olive oil in a bowl and warm it in oven. Massage the oil into your nails and cuticles for 5 mins. Do not wash your hands, wear gloves in the oily hands and let olive oil be for the night. If find it uncomfortable to wear gloves for whole night, you can put your fingers in warm olive oil for 20 minutes. Do regularly for good nail growth.
Tomatoes: They are rich in lycopene, biotin, Vitamin A and C. These ingredients helps in growing hairs thicker and giving a shiny look. Cooking of tomatoes may decrease its nutrient value hence raw tomatoes should be used.
Method: Take juice of raw tomatoes and rosemary oil and mix well. Soak your nails in this mixture for upto 10 mins. This results in moisturization of your nails and also adds shine to nails.
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Diet and Nail Growth:
Apart from topical application of natural substances, your diet should be rich in nutrients to get longer and stronger nails
Eggs: Biotin is an important B vitamin which is crucial for healthy hair, skin and nails. Eggs are rich in biotin. Apart from biotin, eggs are also rich in Vitamin D and B 12. Biotin helps in strengthening of weak nails, preventing break and increasing length.
Beans: Like beans are also rich in biotin. They also have essential role in healthy hair, skin and nails. According to a study, a diet rich in beans increased thickness of nails by 25%. So increase consumption of beans in your regular diet to have healthy nails.
Oats: Oats are rich in minerals copper and zinc which are important for growth and maintenance of bones and nails. You can add a bowl of oats in your daily diet along with fruits to get good health and also long nails.
Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are rich in copper and manganese which are essential for production of healthy bones and cartilage. It can be used by sprinkling on food items.
Salmon: This seafood is rich in Vitamin D and is useful in development of healthy bones and nails.
Banana: They are rich in potassium and also contain Vitamin B6, silica and zinc. Banana as such boosts energy levels and supports growth of healthy nails.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are potential antioxidant rich in Vitamin A. They are important for maintaining immunity and prevent infections. Vitamin A is present in the form of beta-carotene in sweet potatoes. Vitamin A is essential for long healthy nails. You can eat sweet potatoes by boiling, baking or roasting. You should consume atleast 3 half cups of sweet potatoes.
Other foods which are rich in biotin are cucumber, milk, whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, almonds, cauliflower, soybeans, strawberries, lentils, oats and walnuts.
Few don’t for healthy nails
- Don’t rip of your nails if it is hangnail, delicately cut the hangnail, ripping may result in damage to layers of nails. Nail files will be very useful in such situations; you can carry a nail file in your purse.
- Don’t forget the base coat when you apply the nail polish. This will protect nails from the harmful chemicals in the nail polish and also protect top layer of nails
- Don’t remove your nail polish with sharp objects such as blades, as this may chip-off the outer layer of the nails. It is like chipping your outer shiny protective layer. This will result in weakening of nails.
- Don’t use gel and acrylic nails, as these nails slow down the growth of cell. Because these nails are nibbled in the bud, it reduces nail growth.
- Don’t dig and cut your toe nails
Tips for healthy nails:
- Nails should be kept neat and dry
- Cut the nails straight and shape properly with the help of file
- Do not bite fingernails and also do not remove cuticle
- Toe nails are harder, before cutting soften it with water
- Eat healthy diet rich in proteins. Biotin supplements are also helpful
Be cautious when your nails change in color, swell or cause pain. This can be because of infection or poor circulation or metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Seek medical advise and consult physician immediately.