“I don’t understand why my nails won’t grow! They are super thin and break all the time. I’ve started taking biotin and try to keep polish on them but they still break. My mom has these really long and strong nails (I’m 14). How can I get those?” — Lily, Etobicoke
Hello Lily Your comment is appreciated. Reading your question brought back vivid memories of being fascinated by my mom’s nails when I was growing up. To me, they were an emblem of sophistication. They looked great, even though she didn’t care much about them. These were her favourite thing to do. They were her favorite thing to do. She was able even to clean and garden them. What’s the best part? Today, I am proud to say that her nails have grown faster than I thought possible.
But first, let’s deal with how to make your nails grow long, strong and healthy from the inside out. We are grateful for your time. Each stage in life brings new nutritional considerations. To fill us in, I spoke with Maude Morin, a registered dietitian who works with Toronto’s JM Nutrition (but is based in Saint John, because everything is virtual now). Morin stated that eating enough food and enough protein is the main priority. Teens’ lives are busy, says Morin, and eating habits can be forgotten. “Three square meals a day, plus healthy snacks, with two litres of water,”She is willing to share her expertise. “If your diet is not balanced, you are missing vitamins and minerals that are building blocks for hair, skin and nails.”
If you aren’t giving your body enough fuel, she says, that “will put your nails far down on the list of the things your body has to do in a day. The energy will go to your red blood cell count, your heart beating, your brain, breathing and digestion first. Your nails will suffer.”
Collagen is made up of protein. Morin recommends eggs, whole-milk Greek yogurt and nuts. You note you are taking biotin supplements — Morin advises making sure you are getting biotin in your diet as well. “Biotin is vitamin B7, so go for dark leafy greens, cooked eggs, legumes, beans and lentils. Avocados have some biotin, but also healthy fats that maintain skin barrier and help with nails,”According to her, “A multivitamin is always a good idea,”She said, “but not gummies, as they don’t contain iron.”
Now is the exterior. The number 1 nail nurturing secret is to wear gloves when doing dishes and extended cleaning, says Toronto-raised, New York — based Rita Remark, an editorial, red carpet and runway nail artist, and global educator for Essie. Water weakens nails. It is essential to hydrate properly. “Cuticle oil and hand cream are like eye cream and face cream,”Remark: She uses Essie’s apricot cuticle oil, because “it mimics the natural sebum, so it is easily recognized and easily absorbed. Plus it smells good, so there is a reward for using it.”Add cuticle oil into your daily routine at least twice per day. Keep it with you in your backpack or bag so that you don’t forget to use it.
You can stimulate blood flow to help grow your nails. Massage the skin gently and push the cuticles to stimulate blood circulation. A light buffing is also a good idea. “Energy goes where blood flows,”Note: Avoid filing or buffing too often, as it can lead to weakening of the nail beds.
“To grow your nails long, you should be regularly giving them a little file,”According to her, “It is counterintuitive, but when you file regularly, you smooth the tip, so any snags can’t develop into peeling or cracking.” Just be sure to use a nail file — not an emery board, those are too coarse — that is no less than 180 gauge grit (the higher the grit, the finer the file). Tweezerman is a good choice, she says. To smooth out any possible cracks, keep a file in your bag.
Nail strengthening products can be used to strengthen your nails. Remark recommends Essie Hard to Resist, which is meant to be worn alone; there is one with a violet tint that neutralizes yellow in brittle or stained nails, and one with a rosy undertone that’s good for brightening dull nails.
You can have your nails painted if you like nail colours. Note: You don’t need to nail polish “break”The modern lacquers are free of harmful substances. Essie Start Strong should be your base colour. “It has MSM compounds, which don’t sound sexy, but they naturally strengthen the nail. They repair the nail right under the polish.”Your nail polish should be changed every two weeks.
Let’s get to the fun part: fall color trends! “It’s been a very green year,”According to her, “It’s so versatile.”She loves a great khaki (such Essie Precious Cargo–go) and a deep hunter (like Force of Nature). Classic reds are back, as is the classic or colourful French manicure, à la Beyoncé’s customary almond-shaped version. Remark loves fall for the chocolate brown Remark. Remark cites Take the Expresso, and Cold Brew Crew (as her top picks).
Note: You will only see minimal nail art with a handful of tones such as beige, brown and chocolate. The most important news in nails may be its new length: it’s shorter! It’s great news Lily! It’s also good news for me because I keep mine short and square with rounded edges. “It is musicians leading the way here,”Comment: Have you seen Rihanna and Meghan with shorter nails recently? “Very long nails have been a trend for a very long time,””She says. It is obvious that trends are always changing. Remark “I’m here for classic.”
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A few tools and some love can help keep nails strong.
Amazon.ca: Tweezerman nail file, $9 per pack SHOP HERE
This case protects the dual-sided file and allows you to take it with you everywhere you go. Here is the place to use 180 grit grit. Always file in the opposite direction.
Dior Huile Abricot DailyNutritive Skin Cream, $39 Nordstrom.ca SHOP HERE
This luxe cuticle serum is fortified with argan oil, Vitamin E and apricot oil and won’t spill in your purse, thanks to its clever squeezy-pen format.
Amazon.ca: Essie is Hard to Resist Nail Strongener Violet Tint SHOP HERE
You can also use the strengthener to protect your nails from everyday wear. Violet tint neutralizes yellow or brittle nails.
Yves Rocher nail varnishing block $5, yvesrocher.ca SHOP HERE
This four-sided file can be used for polishing, smoothening, and shining nails. You can increase blood flow to the nails by buffing. Be gentle. You can inflict damage if you exercise too much or too quickly.
Essie Expressie Nail Polish in Precious Cargo-go, $14, shoppersdrugmart.ca SHOP HERE
In an age where green nails are a hot fashion, this neutral color will be a fashionable everyday option.
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