11 top tips for great nails
We all want well groomed, healthy finger and toe nails, but this can be difficult, as they can get dry and brittle and even infected, without attention. We’ve put together some top tips, based on using natural ingredients, which will help you to grow perfect nails
1. Olive Oil is an excellent remedy for weak nails. The oil helps moisturize the nails and the cuticles, which leads to strong and healthy nails
- Put 3 tsp of olive oil in a small bowl and
- Add 1 tsp of lemon juice
- Mix together well
- Apply this mixture with a cotton bud to your nails
- Allow it to dry
- Put on a pair of gloves – cotton ones are best – and leave overnight
- Take some warm olive oil and massage it onto your nails, covering both the top and the underside of your nails. After 15 minutes, wash it off with water. Do this 2 or 3 times daily
2. Green Tea: The antioxidants in green tea help prevent brittle nails as well as strengthening them and helps get rid of yellowing
- Brew a cup of green tea and allow it to cool. Soak your nails in the tea for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a week
- Make a nail soak by mixing 2 teaspoons of green tea, a pinch of salt and a few drops of wheat germ oil.
- Soak your nails in this mixture for 5 minutes, and then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
- Repeat this procedure twice a week
- Mix a few drops of green tea essential oil with coconut oil or aloe vera gel and massage your nails with it once or twice a week
Tea Tree Oil is another versatile ingredient and its antiseptic properties help to prevent and treat fungal infections, which are often the cause of weak and brittle nails. It can also repair and strengthen damaged nails and can also helpget rid of discoloured or yellow nails.
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil in a small bowl of warm water. Soak your nails in this solution for 3 minutes several times a week.
- Make up a solution with ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil or jojoba oil and 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil. Massage gently for a few minutes on your nails and allow it to dry, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. This is best done once a week.
Flaxseeds and their oils can make your nails stronger. The micronutrients in flaxseeds, such as B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, zinc and protein, are necessary for nail health. These seeds also have omega-3 fatty acids, which are required for healthy nails.
- Rub some flaxseed oil on your nails and massage gently for a few minutes before going to bed. Wear gloves to retain the moisture
- Include flaxseed in your daily diet. You can add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your cereal or smoothies.
Vitamin E Oil has excellent moisturising properties that help keep your nails hydrated and healthy
- Break open a vitamin E capsule to extract the oil massage gently on your nails and for a few minutes.
- Do this daily before going to bed for a few weeks.
- For added benefits, take vitamin E capsules orally (only after consulting a doctor)
Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic and therefore can help treat and prevent nail fungus
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water in a small bowl. Soak your nails in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes, once daily for a few weeks
- Drink a glass of water 3 times a day with 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed into it
7. Vitamin B: Researchers In several studies found that supplements of biotin (a member of the vitamin B family) increased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking
- Take 300 micrograms of biotin, a B vitamin, four to six times a day with food. If your nails are weak or brittle, biotin might be all you need to strengthen and thicken them. This will not work overnight as you will need to take this treatment for six months or more before you see a noticeable difference
8. Careful as you file: Something as simple as keeping the edges of your nails filed and rounded means they will be far less likely to peel. It is said that an oval shaped nail is the best shape to prevent peeling.
- When filing, only file in one direction, as a back and forth motion actually weakens the nail. The expert advice given is that you shouldn’t share nails files, as they are a breeding ground for germs, which could cause infections
9. Drink a cup of nettle tea once a day, as these herbs are high in silica and other minerals that nails need to grow
- You can even make your own tea by picking nettles – but make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands
Applying Vaseline to your nails at night is a simple trick to help keep them hydrated and prevent them from splitting
Treat nails from the inside: Despite all these nourishing topical treatments, you can also make a big difference to the strength of your nails by eating the right foods
- Eating food rich in the B Vitamin Biotin, for instance, can work wonders on strengthening nails. It’s found in a wide range of foods including cauliflower, peanuts and lentils. Saturated Fats are also essential for healthy strong nails, so add avocado and coconut oil into your diet