1. Keep your hands very clean
Before you apply anything on your hands, it’s important to make sure your nails and the skin around them are clean and thoroughly dirt-free. Remove all traces of your last nail paint with an acetone-free remover. This will prevent your nails from unnecessarily drying out. According to doctors, it is recommended to apply soap to a toothbrush, then gently scrub your nails and skin. This will remove dirt from the skin around nails and exfoliate any dead skin. This saves your hands from the harsh, drying chemicals or expensive scrubs.
2. Always be gentle
Your nails are very delicate. Scrubbing them too often and too roughly can actually expose you to infection. Never use metal nail tools under the nail. Too much digging under the nail plate will lead to its separation from the skin. This may cause an irregular white arching nail tip that looks unattractive.
3. She trims regularly
Regular trims are as important to your nails as they are to your hair, says Dr. Prystowsky. So set aside time to clip them every two weeks, adjusting to more or less often once you see how your nails respond.
4. Value nail health over length
No doubt, long nails look very beautiful, but if your nails are prone to snags and breakage, Dr. Shamban recommends that you value their health more. For this, you need to keep them short, at least in the beginning. Keep them short with rounded edges, which makes tending to them easier. In addition to that, they also look neater. Now, you can focus on building strength without worrying about the snaps and breakages. As long as each nail is uniformly shaped and looks alike to its nine neighbours, you won’t crave for the length.
5. Always keep an emery board on hand
If your work or gym routine wears and tears your nails a lot, Dr Prystowsky suggests keeping a nail file handy. They can smooth away any rough edges that happen on the spot. The best way to do it is to work in one direction. Take the help of the grain of your nail for a smoother finish.
6. Don’t cut your cuticles
The cuticle serves a very important purpose. It seals the base area of the nail. When you cut or remove them, it breaks the seal. This leaves your nail unprotected and at the mercy of the bacteria. This increases the possibility of infection. If you are able to leave your cuticles alone, your nails will stay protected.
7.Take care of your tools
Taking proper care of your nail tools is equally important. Disinfecting your nail tools between uses is as essential as regularly cleaning your makeup brushes. This becomes important for the same reason — bacteria. In order to keep your nails happy and infection-free, thoroughly wash the metal tools with soap and water. Follow this step, by wiping them with rubbing alcohol. Remember to regularly replace disposable tools like emery boards just like your toothbrushes. Use new tools when the old ones become tattered.
8. Do not forget to use a base coat
Doing a home manicure is not an excuse to skip the base coat while applying nail paint.
Even experts point out that this step effectively protects your nails. They help the colour look more saturated and nearly opaque by just applying one coat. If you are ready to put an extra bit of effort, Dr Shamban suggests adding a coat of clear gloss between each layer. This not just add an extra shine but also protects nails.
9. Do read the labels
Just like makeup and skincare, some nail polish brands are superior to others. Ensure that you’re buying or using a good product. Dr Debbie Palmer suggests you not to use nail polishes that contain toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene. These toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking of nails.
10. Seal the deal with a top coat
Make sure you don’t forget using a top coat to seal the deal. This step is exceedingly important. The top coat seals in the nail polish’s colour and adds to it a much-needed gloss finish. Dr Prystowsky recommends adding an extra top coat layer every three days to decrease chipping effectively. By this, you’ll get the most out of your manicure.
After all, what’s the sense of spending all that time getting a manicure if it only lasts a day?