Nail Care Basics

Nails are one of the primary indicators of good health. So, you definitely want to make sure they reflect your true health. Although there are numerous ways to enhance the beauty of your nails, inculcating some basic habits and following some general guidelines can go a long way in ensuring strong, healthy nails. Read on…


It may come as a surprise to you but nails often don’t get the care they deserve. Even those who go for regular manicures and pedicures only focus on the aesthetic aspect of nails. Although that’s important, you cannot ignore the underlying condition of your nails. And the good news is nail care doesn’t require too much effort. Just keep some simple rules in mind and you will have envious nails in no time!


Nail_CareNail Basics

Never Bite Nails

I am sure we were all taught that nail biting is a dirty habit when we were kids. But somewhere along the way, we forgot all about it and can’t seem to give up the habit now. It’s not only gross from health point of view but also bad for your nails.

Maintain Clean Nails

Make sure you wash your hands with soap regularly and keep your nails clean always – it’s the favorite place for dirt!

Keep Nails Short

Trim your nails frequently – short well shaped nails look very professional and elegant. Insanely long nails just look trashy.

(Image by: Stephen K. Willi)

Always Use Nail Clipper for Trimming Nails

Regularly trim your nails using a nail clipper (a.k.a nail cutter) If your toe nails are tough, you can buy a separate toe nail clipper just for your feet. This way there is no uneven nail surface, bleeding or damage to your nails.

Never Play With Chipped Nails or Peel Soft Nails

Resist the temptation to peel off chipped nails or really soft nails. Use a nail clipper instead. It will ensure the rest of your nail isn’t damaged and the chipping will also stop.

Learn Proper Use of Nail File

When you are using a nail file, only go in one direction. Going back and forth will damage your nails. It will require some getting used to since we always file in both directions. But

Never Abuse Your Nails

We often forget that nails aren’t meant to be used for opening a tight lid or unscrewing a nail no matter how strong they might seem.


Tips for Healthy Nails

Do the Once a Week Routine

If you regularly polish your nails, here’s a good practice you should adopt. Once a week, remove the polish and apply a cream or a regular moisturizer and leave it overnight. Olive oil is great too. This will ensure you nails get some fresh air and remain healthy. This will really improve the quality of your nails and you will see a real difference in the long run. There will be no yellowing of nails and your nails will remain strong and look healthy even if you choose not to apply polish. I know it is not desirable for someone who gets regular manicures but how many manicures are chip free for more than a week anyway? So when your polish starts to chip just remove it and give your nails some breathing time. And then reapply the polish at home. Watch out for my article on At-home DIY manicure.


Say NO to Artificial Nails

Think twice before you go for artificial nails be it gel filling or just those dollar shop stick-on stuff. Though they look good at first, prolonged use damage your natural nails. There would be a time when you can’t stop using artificial nails coz your natural nails have turned ugly – you need them to cover your flaws!! Also, people can easily make out they are not your natural nails – so why bother when you can get great results without compromising on your nail health!!


Buy Good Quality Products Only

This is usually a problem with teenagers who want a whole bunch of variety but have only a limited allowance to get everything. The easiest option for them is to buy cheap stuff. What you don’t realize is that you will be spending a lot more on repairing damaged nails later on in life than you ever managed to save by buying inexpensive products. I am not saying you should go for the best designer or pay a premium for brands alone. But good stuff does come at a slight premium. Since it lasts longer and doesn‘t damage your nails, it’s totally worth the extra cost. Fortunately, nail polishes are one item of cosmetics you can share with your friends. So if you all make a pact to buy quality stuff in different colors, you can get all the variety without burning a hole in your pocket. And if you come to think of it even the best brands like Essie or O.P.I cost about 5-8 dollars a bottle, which is minuscule compared to what you would pay at a nail salon for one mani/pedi! And each bottle lasts a really long time – at least till you get fed up of the color!


Indulge Once in a While

Even if you are the kind of person who prefers doing your own manicures and pedicures, it’s nice to spoil yourself once in a while. Treat yourself to a professional mani/pedi, every once in a while. It feels nice to be pampered and you might learn a thing or two. You can check out the latest and the best nail care products coz salons usually get them first. And there are nail colors that are only sold in salons – so you get to see their newest shades!


Avoid Cheaper Salons

Quite a few women who like to get their nails done every 2 weeks cannot afford the prices charged by the high end salons. So they end up going to the cheaper ones. You might be able to spot a gem if you are lucky.

But, most of the cheap ones keep their cost low because they compromise on a number of factors – the most important being hygiene. Their staff may not be certified or even moderately trained. The facility will be dirty; the stalls may not be disinfected after each use. Why, even the tools and towels may not be changed for every customer. Do you really want mani/pedi that bad that you are willing to overlook such basic factors? What if the manicurist (another word) clips your skin while trimming your cuticle and you start bleeding? Aren’t you more likely to catch an infection in such an environment?

Do a thorough inspection of the place and go only if you are satisfied on the above grounds. Ask customers about their experience or try to read reviews before you walk in. If you can’t find the gem, go to an expensive place whenever you can afford and do the maintenance yourself at home – it’s a lot easier than you think and definitely the most hygienic way to treat your nails!


Use Olive Oil

Olive oil is excellent for your nails. It helps remove discoloration, makes the nail surface smooth and shiny, promotes strong, healthy growth of nails and is great for your cuticles too. If you don’t use polish, rub olive oil on your nails every night before you go to bed and it will result in a dramatic improvement of your nail quality over time. If you regularly paint your nails, rub olive oil around your nails for smoother skin and softer cuticles. And don’t forget to apply on your nails during your weekly break.



  • Keep nails clean, short and neatly filed
  • Avoid biting, peeling and abusing nails
  • Only buy quality products and avoid artificial nails and cheap dirty salons
  • Pamper yourself when you can afford
  • Give your nails a weekly break from all the chemicals and don’t forget the olive oil!


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