I’m so excited to finally get to share these pointers with you. I had this post planned months ago but then my nails became a disaster. I’ll get to that in a bit, but I ended up needing to put my tips into practice again. It was really helpful to go through rebuilding my nail health so truly test out my tips. I’m happy to report that THEY WORK!

Let me start off by saying that I don’t have naturally strong nails. My natural nails are fairly weak and the grow in a fan shape. I don’t have straight nail beds or thick nails. So when I say longer and stronger, I mean it. My nails have never been as healthy as they are now. I know it may seem silly, but having longer nails makes me happy and makes me feel feminine. So, if you’re looking to improve your nail health and boost your confidence, here’s my advice.

Take care of your cuticles. – This was something I used to neglect. By neglect, I mean totally forget about. The only time I ever though about them before was when I had a hang nail or the rare occasion I went to a nail salon. By then, it was a dire situation. So how can you take care of your cuticles at home? Moisturize! Make sure that your nail beds and hands are moisturized. I use a cuticle cream, oil, and a 15 second remove gel.

When it comes to removing them, the gel basically makes it easier to push them back and off the actual nail (the healthier way to take care of them). The cuticle cream I apply just like lotion whenever I think about it or notice dryness. The oil is great for the deeper health of the skin since it’s infused with vitamin E.

Collagen Supplement – I’ve raved about this stuff before but its the best. It gets bonus points too because it does wonders for your hair, skin, and joints in addition to your nails. I use the unflavored powder kind and just dissolve it in my coffee. Zero taste and tons of benefits.

Learn how to shape your nails. – Since my nails grow in more of a fan shape, I’ve learned to file down the edges to make them straight. This doesn’t mean that they magically start to grow that way so I have to keep up with the shaping. Another great tip for filing is that you don’t want to shorten your nails with filing only. I used to do this a lot and it actually weakens the nail. Clip them first and then file to shape.

Use a hardening base coat. – I’ve used a number of nail hardeners and I finally found one that I like and have recommended before. THIS ONE dries super fast and you can get on with whatever you’re doing. This stuff is great for when I don’t have time to paint/repaint my nails. It makes them glossy and keeps them stronger than if they had no coating. However, when I do have time to paint my nails, I always use it as a base coat.

Paint your nails or have them painted. – This one is way easier if you opt for the salon. Learning to paint my own nails and not have them look like a toddler did them definitely took some time. Most of the time, my left hand has no idea how to function. However, whichever one you go with helps to keep you from biting them, putting them in your mouth, or just generally being more cautious with them. If my nails aren’t painted, I totally forget to be careful when I’m strapping Ro into his seat, gettin’ my DIY on, or doing chores around the house.

Don’t get gel manicures. – While we’re on the subject of painted nails, stay away from gel polish. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE gel polish. It’s quick and stays on forever. It’s just that the removal process wreaks havoc on my nails. If you can go on a regular bases, about every two weeks, then that may work for you. But if you’re working to build up your nails and you can’t maintain the gel manis, it’s not the best option. Gel Manicures are what caused me to have to rebuild my nails for a good couple months. After I didn’t go back to the salon, the polish peeled off layers of my nails making them so much weaker than they were in the first place. So I kept them short for the next two to three months, filing and using the hardener. I painted them as well because I tend to chew on my fingers/nails when I’m anxious, bored, watching TV, pretty much any time.

I hope you find these tips helpful! What are some of your favorite ways to take care of your nails?