I have been a acrylic nail girl since the 90’s, getting infills religiously every 2 weeks. Of course I knew that this could be bad for my nails, I have always tried to go to reputable nail salons but with my work schedule I ended up having to visit different salons and my nails suffered. I have thin nails naturally and the years of filing and having no breaks probably made it worse.
I feel like this is therapy…. but in September last year was the last time I had acrylic nails. I researched and talked to my beauty therapist who advised me on how to remove them. I soaked them off using acetone to reveal my natural nail. They were very thin bright pink and incredibly sore, they even hurt when I washed my hands!
Once they were removed I started to have shellac manicures, it seemed to put a layer of protection on top on my very sore nails, this worked for a little while but nails seemed to get softer and almost peeled away. My worst time was when I was skiing in January, every time I put my hands in my gloves it seemed to catch my nails. By the time I got home I liked like I bite my nails.
When your having acrylics every two weeks you feel like your nails grow really quickly but everyone’s nails grow at different rates, with the average being around an eighth of an inch every month. It took six months of TLC for me to start to get healthy nails.
I am now just over 6 months and I am so happy with my natural nails and I won’t be going back, these are my top tips of healthy natural nails.
This is my top advise I was given, although it’s a lovely excuse to have an hours pamper session having regular mani will remove rough edges, dry cuticles and any hangnails. For me it stopped me from picking and kept my nails healthy and promoted growth.
To be honest I had no idea they are so important to healthy nails. Having healthy cuticles will help to have healthy nails. The magic happens just below the cuticle line and you need to have them pushed back and trimmed along with using cuticle oil. It is recommend that you use cuticle oil before you go to bed.
Being a hairdresser I have always suffered with dry hands, I have also noticed that I need to moisturize more as I get older too. Hands are a big give away of age! Moisturising will to only keep your hands looking soft but it also helps to promote healthy nails. I have many favourite hand moisturises at the moment I am using the L’Occtaine Almond Delicious hands £16.00.
I have never given much thought into filing my nails but my nails were so soft at the beginning I found an emery board would shred my nails. I have been using the OPI crystal nail file £13.40, it is much gentler on my nails. Moving the the emery board back and forth in a sawing motion will shred your nails. For best results start from the outside edge, pull it towards the centre, then continue to carefully swipe the file across your nail in that one direction.
This was my nail savour, when I started to use the OPI nail envy original formula £19.50 I could not believe the difference within days of applying the the clear strengthener my nails looked and felt better. I applied multiple coats and carried this everywhere with me. I truly believe this is was the turning point for my nails. Now I have progressed to colour and gels I have learnt that a good base coat is key for long lasting nails.
I hope you enjoyed my nail story and if you are thinking of rediscovering your natural nails be prepared for 6 months of TLC but you will not regret it! Thanks to Mark Stacey Hinckley for giving me the confidence to make the move.
Would you like some nail inspo? have a look at my nail Pinterest board.
Love Jo x