1. Don’t Buy Into The Rule: ‘Nails Need To Breathe’
Despite what people say, nails do not need to breathe by taking breaks from polish. With gels, yes you need a break, but not from regular polish. So, keep them covered with a solid base coat, preferably one with nourishing ingredients. This will work like a shield to prevent breakage or splitting of the free edge.
SL Recommends: Jessica Reward Basecoat For Normal Nails; Nails Inc Nailkale Superfood Base Coat; OPI Base Coat
2. Understand Why Brittle Nails Happen
Brittle nails is usually down to a lack of nutrients in the diet. Sometimes, medication can have a profound effect on the condition of your nails too. If you find they’re thick and shattering low down on the nail frequently, seek advice.
SL Recommends: Avon Strengthening Treatment; Solgar Natural Vitamin E
3. Invest In A Cuticle Oil, And Lots Of It
It’s the simplest way to keep nails healthy and strong, yet it’s often neglected by many. Always keep one in your bag or car. Applying an oil not only helps soften cuticles, but also helps the nails to grow as well by adding nutrients and instant nourishment. Massage oils in to your cuticles to feed the nail and stimulate circulation and growth.
SL Recommends: Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil; Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème; Jessica’s Phenomen Oil
4. File In One Direction Only
I always see people filing their nails in both directions – don’t. Keep your file on one side of the nail, use the full range of it moving to the other side in one swift stroke. So not a forwards and backwards sawing motion as this can separate the fibres and cause peeling. Make sure you file them regularly too, it helps and encourages them to be strong, just like trimming the ends of your hair.
5. Choose Your Nail File Carefully
Each nail type needs a different file, just like skincare. Soft, normal and hard nail files are now available and the one you pick all depends on how hard your nails are. If you’ve got a really soft base, you won’t want to file with something too harsh, so it’s worth looking at glass files which are naturally a bit gentler and don’t bend the nail too much. Thick, hard nail files tend to tear and cause premature breakage.
6. Take Simple Steps To Prevent Gels Peeling
Although gels are dry after all layers have been cured, it is still so important to know about the aftercare. Avoid hot water treatments such as steam, sauna and jacuzzi for the first 24 hours as water can get underneath, causing the gel layers to peel and lift sooner than they would normally. You should steer clear of harsh chemicals too, such a bleach or cleaning products, hair dye and even perfume can cause lifting and discolouration, as can the sun, so look for a top coat with UV filters, like Jessica’s Brilliant Top Coat, and apply liberally when away on holiday.
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