Nail Rehab

assorted doctors tools
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Hello 911, my nails are dying!!!

Long, carefully sculpted and a piece of art. Words that would describe my Ballerina nails over the Spring season.

Short, disturbingly stunted, bare and weak. Words that would describe the current state of my Summer nails.

Sad, how did I get here!!! My nails were perfect. I feel the same way about my nails as I feel about my hair. I take extreme pride in both. To walk around with these unsightly nubs is the most embarrassing thing ever!!! (Don’t mind me, I can get slightly dramatic at things I’m passionate about…)

Long story short, the acrylic and the chemicals of my ballerina nails totally destroyed my natural nails. I extremely enjoyed my “clickity clacks”, however, with all that clickety clacking, I kept breaking my nails. And when I say I would break them, they would break down to the white meat! Painful breaks! I tried, but just couldn’t get used to not being able to type freely. Basically, I got tired of them and was ready to return back to my short, manicured babies.

Ummmmm Not So Fast, WOMAN!!!

I decided to remove the acrylic nails on my own (save some money, right? WRONG!!!). I soaked my nails for like 2 hours in acetone. After soaking my nails, a thin layer of acrylic remained on my nails and I couldn’t get it off. My hands were dry, my nails were dry and they were weak from the abuse! I tried to buff them and file them down. They still were sore, weak and brittle for a week. After about 2 weeks, I finally went to the nail salon for professional help. The nail tech inspected my nails and looked at me like, “Who tried to remove this acrylic off your nails, your grandmother??” She didn’t dare say it to my face though! I looked at her like, “Just do your job!!”

After about 20 minutes of us cussing each other out in our heads, my nails began to see the light of day! All the acrylic was buffed away and I was even allowed to get nail polish on them! Regular nail polish! No gel foolishness!

Words of Wisdom: Gel polish ruins your natural nails as well.

spilled white nail polish on pink surface
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Fast forward one week as the regular nail polish began chipping. I removed the nail polish only to find that my natural nails were still weak and brittle and needed continued rehab. So I realized, this was going to be a long, healing process. I began researching my method for healing.

Below you will find my current nail rehab method:

  • Weekly manicures: Regular manicures, although an additional expense, will help stimulate the circulation of the nail bed, promoting its growth. If you would prefer an at-home manicure, simply fill a bowl with warm water, and allow fingers and cuticles to soak for at least 10 minutes per hand. Follow the nail bath with a stimulating massage on each hand.
  • Cuticle oil: Cuticle oil, such as vitamin E or olive oil, should be applied during the massage, which prevents ridges and increases nail flexibility.
  • Trim nails: As nails begin to grow, keep them trimmed. Don’t be in a hurry to grow your natural nails long. Instead, make overall nail health and thickness your goal. A thin, damaged nail that grows quickly will not last. Rather than deal with disappointment, understand that your nails may need to be kept short while the body rebuilds the damaged tissue.
  • Apply strengthening products: Many nail care base coats have strengthening and stimulating properties, like the OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener (under $20). Find a base coat that will help strengthen the nail bed and apply the product every three days as needed.
  • Avoid color: Although you can still paint your nails as desired, reduced exposure to chemicals is preferable, especially as your nails rebuild their strength. If you must wear nail polish, try alternating one week on, one week off.
  • Treat any infection: Acrylic nails that become separated from the nail bed can become a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. If your nails are thick or discolored, or if you experience redness or pain, see your doctor immediately for treatment.
  • Take care of your body: It is also important to focus on your diet. For instance, knowing what to eat for healthy hair and nails can make all the difference. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day (eight glasses though, rolls eyes), eat foods with biotin (like bananas and salmon), make sure you get enough protein, and indulge in dark leafy vegetables.

Hopefully soon, Ill be able to show you guys some positive progress!

What are some tips that have helped strengthen your nails after Acrylic Nightmare?

Please share!

Reference: Shannon Boyce Makeup and Beauty Expert