Thursday, July 7, 2016

Growing Long Nails

So, everyone's got a favorite part of themselves. Mine, as you know, is my hands. And my claws. Most people say "I wish I can grow my nails that long." Yes, your anatomy will determine how resistant to breaking your nails will be. 

I think this was my longest
Other sites say if you eat more protein, you'll grow stronger nails. I eat a small portion of protein once a day (about the size of my palm, rarely red meat). That's not really a lot, so I don't know if changing your diet will help.

My main advice is to be mindful of times you're more likely to break your nails. Water weakens your nails, so the shower is probably the #1 time I break my nails, especially since I have thick hair. So I got myself one of these scalp brushes from the asian grocery store:


That solved most of my breaking problems. If you have false nails, using one of these will also keep your nails from breaking. (I got this tip from a gyaru blog, and you know they love their false nails.) If you are serious about not breaking your nails, I highly recommend this. 

Other water-based activities like doing the laundry and washing dishes also used to break my nails, so I am just mindful of my hand positions when I do those tasks. I usually just grip things in my knuckles or am just careful. Putting my hair up in a ponytail also used to break my nails, so I switched to hair sticks. 
I did a hair stick post a while back


I also transition from different nail shapes as my nail grows. While you are starting to grow a free edge (the part that grows over your fingers) I find that a square or squoval shape is stronger. The weak point for a square-shaped nail is just at the base of the free edge, where you nail and finger meet. You'll notice that's always where the chip begins.   

from this post


All is not lost when you get that chip. If it's small enough you can transition to the next nail shape: the stiletto or almond shape (the pointed one). Just cut or file (I cut with strait-edged clippers) beyond the chip into a pointed shape. Ideally, you'll switch to the almond shape before the breakage starts.


The almond/stiletto shape is easily the strongest shape for extralong nails (talking 2cms/0.5 inches or more, measured from root to tip). If your nail breaks, it will break at the tip, the weakest point. But if it does, you don't really lose a whole lot of length.

Sometimes, though, you will break at the base of the free edge. If it's small, you can still save the nail. behold my crappy drawing below. Basically, if that happens, I just cut into the nail so there's a zigzag pattern. That will sometimes prevent the break from continuing across. Then, over time, your nail will grow and as you continue to file and cut into a stiletto shape (indicated by the slash lines below in the third nail), the right angle of the once-broken nail will disappear.

1) chip 2) cut away your nail 3) shape as your nail grows.

Nail polish will strengthen your nail. Use a lot of coats for extra strength. I usually leave mine on for a week or so. I know to reapply my nail polish when my nails start feeling "wobbly" or when they're more flexible.
from this post
Aside from nail polish and nail clippers (and the amazing scalp brush for the shower), I don't use any special products. No creams or pills or whatever.

Any tips on growing your nails?

11 comments:

  1. Your nails are amazing! I've only had slightly long nails once, usually mine break pretty easily

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've heard using hybrid nail polishes helps nails grow. Apparently the layer of such polish is very durable and thick and lasts around 3 weeks without chipping. But I can't really confirm that, I prefer traditional polishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer traditional polishes too. The gel polishes kind of make your nails look fake, and I've heard the chemicals in then are iffy

      Delete
  3. I always wondered how the hell gyaru girls wash their hair! Your nails always look so pretty, that red and black design is beautiful. I can't have long nails without injuring myself or others... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol oh, I injure myself plenty with them

      Delete
  4. Love your long nails! I used to have very long nails since elementary school, even when I played recorder, but since I began playing bass guitar things had to change! I love how people get impressed by your nails, it's a matter of genes in my opinion, if you don't have it there's not much you can do about it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want one of those scalp brushes now! I usually don't grow out my natural nails anyway but when I do they often get broken washing my hair. I am very impressed that you can get your natural nails so long!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Loved this post! Instead of weird or funny 'special tricks to make your nails longer' you point out the actual problem: people not being careful with their nails. :) I had not even thought about that the square-shaped nail is weakest from the part it is attached to skin, but now that you wrote it it totally makes sense. ^_^

    ReplyDelete