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Nail care guide: tips for maintaining nail health

Hands with drying nail polish

Yes, we know we all want the most dazzling digits in the business, but hear us out… Taking care of our natural nails and keeping them healthy, strong, and nourished will give them greater longevity and have fewer implications, meaning they can be fighting fit and ready for whatever nail treatment you choose next.

A bit about our nails

How often do we actually sit and think about our nails – what they are, why we have them, what happens if we don’t take proper care of them?

Our nails are like our built-in suit of armour, a strong shell that strengthens our hands and feet, allowing us to grip and reach for things and protect our bodies from viruses and infections that may pose a threat to our internal ecosystem. 

And did you know that our nails can be one of the best indicators of illness? Our nails may change colour, become ribbed, pitted, spotted, lined, bumpy, clubbed or concaved, all signs that something may not be quite right inside us – pretty neat, right? Our own set of traffic lights tells us when we need to hit the brakes and check something out.

Both humans and primates have fingernails, and while we may use them for different things, similarities are present.

Our American neighbours over at Healthline offer a brilliant article all about nails and why they do what they do.

Nails can be a indicator for illness infographic

Nail care must-haves

Caring for your natural nails will always be number 1 in our books. Proper nail care and management should be an absolute priority when it comes to your beauty routine. Our hands are so often neglected and forgotten from our self-care, yet we use them daily for nearly everything! 

Here is a list of some of the best nail care tips and products to get to grips with:

  • Diet and lifestyle – nail nourishment begins before we even get to the fingers! As we mentioned before, our nails can tell us if something is amiss inside our bodies, whether we are ill, deficient in nutrients or perhaps something internally is not working as it should. Taking stock of your diet and ensuring you are feeding yourself regularly with nutrient-dense food, supplementing with vitamins if you are lacking in any, as well as staying properly hydrated is absolutely vital if you want strong, healthy nails. It all starts from within!
  • Nail and cuticle oil – the use of dehydrating products such as acetone which are commonly used in nail tech practice, can leave cuticles and the skin around the nail dry and sore, as well as being prone to cracking, which can later lead to infection. Finding a decent quality oil with essential vitamins will help nourish your nails and keep them strong.
  • Hand cream – nail care for beginners 101: invest in decent hand cream. One of the best ways to start nourishing your nails from home using hand cream should be an essential part of your nail care routine – creams and lotions are imbued with moisturising ingredients, and so when using, try and focus on rubbing the cream into your nails and cuticles. Look for products with extra moisturising properties and essential vitamins, particularly the renowned Vitamin E, which is essential for nourishing dry nail beds, cuticles, and the surrounding skin. This will help to strengthen and nourish your natural nails, giving you a healthy springboard from which to jump into some nail art creativity.
  • Filing – getting yourself a good quality nail file will stand you in very good stead. Regular filing and shaping will help reduce the risk of breakage and splitting; often, when our nails get too long or misshapen, we can catch or rip them, resulting in damage and discomfort. Many nail care tools are available today, from nail clippers and files to orangewood sticks and nippers for cuticle management. You are sure to find everything you need to keep your nails spick-and-span.
  • Cleaning your nails – avoid unhealthy nails like a pro, and be sure to keep keeping nails clean and free from dirt and bacteria. This can be achieved by regular hand washing and being sure to clean any dirt or grime out from under your nails, reducing the risk of infection and nail diseases.
  • Ask your doctor about biotin – biotin (also known as Vitamin B7) is often used as a supplement to strengthen hair and nails – be sure to always consult your doctor before trying new supplements.
  • Give your nails a break between nail treatments – last but not least, maybe the hardest pill to swallow – you need to give your nails a break between salon trips. Regular nail treatments can be damaging, and your nails need time to recover after each one before the next. You wouldn’t start running another marathon the minute you finished the first one; you need time to catch your breath and build your strength back up, and nails are no different when it comes to treatments.

There are products available to help stimulate nail growth and are tailored to increase strength efficiently. However, we believe that regular care and commitment to a sustainable routine is the best way to achieve results that will stay. Good old-fashioned TLC is just the ticket, and regular clipping, filing and moisturising will keep your natural nails in tip-top condition.

Nail care must haves infographic

Have we sparked your curiosity?

Enjoyed our tips for nails and their care and maintenance? Thinking you might want to take your passion for nail care further?

Then why not start training with a nail course online? Here at New Zealand Beauty School, our Certificates in Nail Tech and Manicures and Pedicures will give you all the best, professionally tailored skills and knowledge to properly care for and manage nails, teaching you to empower your clients to show their natural nails some love.

You will have 24/7 access to your studies, giving you the flexibility to work your learning around your schedule and lifestyle. And best of all, our nail courses come with a custom-designed kit delivered straight to your door, with everything you will need to start you on your journey!

All our courses come with a downloadable brochure with further information about course content, modules and assessments, accessing your learning online and tutor support. Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate of attainment, adding that touch of impressive professionalism to offer to potential employers.

Nail care and management infographic

Enrol in a New Zealand Beauty School nail art course today, where natural nail care tips are all just part of the package.

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