How to Take Care of Your Nails | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

How to Take Care of Your Nails

Life&Style's Charlotte Gill shares her top tips for a healthy nail-care routine

Keep them Neat and Tidy: Just like your hair, nails benefit from a regular trim. Try to clip them once every two weeks and then file them as and when is necessary in between. Keep your nails short and neat (and an even length), especially if your nails break quite easily.

File the Right Way: Only file your nails in one direction otherwise nails can split and peel. I would highly recommend a glass nail file; though they tend to cost more than regular nail files they are a very worthy investment because a) you can clean a glass nail file very easily by soaking it in hot, soapy water, giving it a gentle scrub and leaving it to dry, meaning that it can stay in great condition for up to a year before you need to consider replacing it and b) a glass nail file is far better for your nails. Not only can you file both ways (lucky you!) but glass nail files help to seal the layers of the nail together which prevents peeling and chipping. They are also much more effective than regular nail files so you'll save yourself time and effort. 

Moisture not Trim: Trimming your cuticles is cardinal nail sin no. 1! Cutting your cuticles makes them more likely to tear and become red and sore, as well as leaving the cuticles vulnerable to bacteria and infection. The cuticle and surrounding skin will grow back harder and more uneven, too, so try to avoid touching them at all if possible. If you do want to neaten your cuticles, the best way to do this is to carefully push your cuticles back after a shower using a cuticle stick. Then moisturise them with a cuticle cream or oil (lip balm can work too).    

Protect your Hands: Invest in some rubber gloves for cleaning and washing up – Marigolds are your friend! Cleaning products, water and washing up liquid will all weaken your nails and will likely dry your hands out, too.

Use the Right Remover: When removing nail varnish, use acetone-free remover as this prevents your nails drying out. Be aware that it pays to pay more for nail varnish. Better quality nail varnishes are less likely to contain toxic chemicals which can cause brittleness, splitting and cracking. Try to avoid gel and acrylic manicures if you can as these are tough on the nails. If you do get gel nails or acrylics, and even if you don’t, remember to give your nails a rest from any products now and then. If you really can’t bear a bare nail then try not to take off and reapply nail varnish more than once a week.

Prep and Prime: Always, always use a base coat! Your nails may look fab now but they won’t when you take your nail varnish off and your nails are tinged that very colour (and plus, a base coat helps the nail varnish colour to look more saturated and opaque after only one coat).

Balanced Diet: Nails are made of keratin (a type of protein) and eating well can help your nails to grow strong. Seeds, beans, eggs, fish (particularly salmon), superfoods like blueberries, nuts (such as almonds due to the magnesium in them) and milk can all give your nails that extra boost.

Third year Modern Languages student currently living in Paris. Interested in fashion, fitness, languages and travel. I love reading and listening to podcasts and would count 'trying out cool cafés' as a hobby.


14th March 2017 at 9:00 am

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