I’ve seen people recommend the most random things to increase the speed at which your nails grow. From toothpaste to garlic juice. I’m not saying I have proof that these and other unusual methods don’t work, you just won’t find these types of “secret formulas” in this article.
The most effective way to grow healthy nails fast is to:
- Be extra careful not to break them.
- Don’t shower or swim without nail polish.
- Apply jojoba oil to your nails and cuticles.
- Don’t bite your nails.
- Increase your biotin intake.
- Don’t use nail hardeners.
- Avoid toxic polishes.
That’s the short version of how to grow healthy nails fast, but it’s not that helpful without some additional information and explanation. Let’s look at all the advice given above in more detail.
1. Be Extra Careful Not To Break Them
Of course, you use your hands to do pretty much everything so this can get tricky. Here’s some advice on how to do everyday things without putting your nails at risk.
- Use your knuckles when you can, instead of your fingertips/nails. You can pull on cupboard doors, press buttons, and many other things with your knuckles.
- Use a spoon to open soda cans.
- Use knives to open packages.
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes.
- Keep your nails as dry as possible.
- Use a nail file to even out the lengths of your nails instead of a nail clipper as you can easily damage your nails accidentally with clippers.
2. Don’t Shower Or Swim Without Nail Polish
This advice is similar to the previous but has its own section because it’s so important.
If you shower or swim without nail polish, your nails will become soft, weak, and flat. This will put them at a higher risk of breaking. Make sure to have nail polish fully applied and wrapped around your nails before exposing them to water. Of course, this only really protects your nails if it’s lacquer based polish.
Your nails are still going to get a bit soft even with lacquer-based polish so be careful with them shortly after your aquatic experience.
Make sure to lube up your nails, cuticles, and under the fronts of your nails anytime after they get soaked with water.
If you’re using mostly water-based polishes as suggested further in the article, wash your nails off last of all and be quick to get your nails polished up again and protected before bed.
3. Apply Jojoba Oil To Your Nails and Cuticles
Jojoba oil is made from the nuts of the jojoba plant that grows in North America. This oil has properties that are very similar to the human body’s natural oils. This allows your body to easily absorb the oil, which has loads of fatty acids to feed your cuticles and keep them soft and healthy.
You might find that jojoba oil is a bit runny; this is actually better than thicker oils because it helps the absorption rate of the oil into your skin.
Treat your fingernails with the oil by massaging one drop into each nail and cuticle. Try and get some of the oil under the front of your nails as well.
Buy yourself pure jojoba oil in bulk, to treat your nails and cuticles at least 2 to 3 times a day. Distribute the big bottle of jojoba oil into smaller bottles that you can have in different places, home, work, handbag, etc.
This will not only keep your fingernails and cuticles hydrated and facilitate growth. The more you keep them nourished with oil, the more flexible they’ll be, and the less likely they are to break.
4. Don’t Bite Your Nails
It might sound pretty obvious, but biting your nails can keep them permanently short no matter what you do to try and make them grow.
It can be a difficult urge to control as it’s usually a sign of an emotional problem of some sort and you land up doing it subconsciously.
Here are some ways to prevent chewing on your nails:
- Paint your nails; you’ll remember to take your hand away from your mouth when you feel the polish on your lips, teeth, and tongue. If you spent a lot of time applying the polish, you’re more likely to remember not to ruin it by chewing on them.
- Try using some anti-nail biting treatment. This will make you remember to stop biting once you get the bitter taste of the product in your mouth.
- Bite on to something else. If you absolutely have to bite down on something to satisfy the urge, bite onto the back of cheap plastic pens that you can throw away after destroying them. Biting onto something hard through the can lead to other health issues like damaged teeth, but all I’m saying is that if you can’t stop biting, and also want long nails, you’ll have to replace the nail-biting with something else.
5. Increase Your Biotin Intake
Biotin is a B vitamin that assists with nail and hair growth. The healthy way to get all the biotin your body needs is by eating the foods that contain biotin. Here’s a table showing the top 10 food sources of biotin.
|Food||Micrograms of biotin|
|3 ounces of Beef liver||30.8|
|One whole, cooked egg||10|
|3 ounces of canned, cooked, pink salmon||5|
|3 ounces of a pork chop||3.8|
|3 ounces of ground beef||3.8|
|¼ cup of sunflower seeds||2.6|
|½ cup of sweet potato||2.4|
|¼ cup of roasted almonds||1.5|
|3 ounces of canned tuna||0.6|
|½ cup of boiled spinach||0.5|
These are just the 10 most biotin-rich foods, there are many more. With such a wide variety of foods containing biotin, it’s not difficult to include them every day in your meals.
6. Don’t Use Nail Hardeners
You might be advised to use just the right amount of nail hardener to give your nails extra strength. I suggest not using them at all. This is because nail hardeners are going to make your nails more brittle and dried out.
It’s possible to use hardeners just enough for them not to make your nails too brittle, but it’s a “balancing act” where you might use too much and make your nails brittle or use too little and not make any difference. So my advice is just to use a base coat before polishes. The base coat and polish is enough to give your nails the extra protection they need.
If your nails are very thin, you could try using some hardener under your polish for a couple of weeks to try and strengthen them a bit. However, it’s certainly not something you should be used indefinitely.
Some people may think that hardeners assist with nail growth, but they’d be wrong. Nail growth comes from within the finger and adding a hardener to the exposed part of your nails that has already grown out won’t affect the growth rate within your finger.
If there’s any reason why you can’t apply coloured nail polish to your nails for extra protection, apply a clear coat of polish to them.
7. Avoid Toxic Polishes
It’s best to avoid nail polishes that contain toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). These are found in lacquer-based nail polishes and shouldn’t be used too often.
These chemicals are toxic to your nails and might cause them to crack and break. You could still use them on special occasions while making sure to add an undercoat of protection. Rather use a water-based polish for everyday use.
There’s no secret formula for growing your nails much faster than they naturally do. The techniques discussed in this article are for protecting, nourishing, and looking after your nails properly.
By implementing this advice, after a few months, your nails will have the best chance at growing naturally at the best speed they can. Your nails are going to grow at a rate of around 1mm to 3.5mm per month, but there isn’t any specific number that you should compare yourself to.
Everyone’s different, but one rule applies to all, if you don’t break or bite your nails, they will get longer.
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