If you think your nails are no judge on your dressing and style, think again. Nail care is as important as skin care. Healthy nails are a sign of good health as well. A group of researchers from Ireland found a link between thinning nails and osteoporosis.
There are many myths about nail care. What many people don’t understand is that their diet also plays a significant role when it comes to nail care. Try to include fresh fruits, dairy products, nuts, and other healthy food items in your diet and see the difference yourself. Here are five tips for healthy nails:
Manipulating cuticles, a big no-no: Let your cuticles be, don’t try to manipulate, either at a nail salon or at home. The cuticle has an important function: it is the natural barrier that prevents the entry of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. If this protective barrier is wounded, you risk the possibility of an infection.
Moisturise like your life depends on it: Keep your nail moisturised for glowing and healthy looking nails. Although, there is little research on its effects on nail health, dehydration, which is the cause of brittle and flaky nails, is addressed. With regular application of moisturiser, incidents of nail breaking and chipping significantly reduce.
Make biotin your friend: Biotin is a vitamin that is known to increase nail thickness. When nails get stronger, the chances of nail chipping and breaking reduce. Consult a doctor before you start off with the supplements. There is a cut-off limit on the daily dosage of biotin, exceeding which there is more harm done than good. Other nutrients that are beneficial to nail health are silicon and MSM. On the other hand, gelatin is not good for your nails. Soaking your hand in a bowl of gelatin will clog the cuticles making it weaker. Apart from gelatin, yeast, calcium and fluoride are also ineffective in boosting nail health.
Limit the manicures: While a manicure is relaxing, research showed that brittle and dry nails were common in women who got regular manicures. This may be due to the repeated exposure to chemicals. An easy test to detect nail cuticle infection is by holding your finger out and looking at it from the side. If the nail cuticle appears bulged or puffy, it is a sign of infection. Women who get regular manicures have puffy nail cuticles apart from chronic nail bed infections. If you cannot do without regular manicures, carry your own manicure tools to your next appointment.
Switch your shampoo: Yes, shampoo affects your nails too. If a shampoo doesn’t suit your hair or even if it does, it might be the hidden culprit for brittle nails. Detergent based shampoos that are regularly used on oily scalp are designed to strip the scalp of oil. While they are effective on the scalp, the same cannot be said about nails. If your nails are dry to begin with, a detergent shampoo will only make it worse.