How to grow nails longer and stronger

All of us, at some point in our lives, have faced the problem of dry and brittle nails. Today I am sharing 10 tips on how your nails can grow stronger and longer by keeping in mind just a few factors–

1. Use lemon and honey Soak nails for 20 minutes in warm water that has lemons and honey in it. Try doing this once a week. This helps nails grow longer, stronger, and it cleans them as well.

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2. Protect them – Wear a pair of rubber gloves next time you’re washing utensils in the kitchen. The detergents are very harsh for your nails and affect its growth. The same happens in cold temperatures – to keep nails from drying out, always wear a pair of cozy gloves.

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3. ‘Garlic up’ – Did you know that garlic, alongside having tons of health benefits, is great for nails too. Cut one pod in pieces and rub them in the nails. Of course they’ll smell like garlic, but will also help nails grow! Follow this process 3 times a week, for a minimum of a month to notice a difference.

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4. Take biotin – Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, is a b-complex vitamin that promotes healthy hair and nails. You can take it as a supplement or find it in peanut butter, whole grains, eggs, yeast, cheddar cheese, soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, green peas and brown rice. Other nutrients that may help nails grow are Vitamin A (carrot,spinach,broccoli), Vitamin C (guava, oranges, kiwi, capsicum), calcium, folic acid, protein and zinc.

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5. Drink LOTS AND LOTS of water – Drinking enough water is a solution to many problems. It can help hydrate dry, damaged or brittle nails. Keep a large water bottle with you and sip throughout the day.

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6. Apply Vitamin E – For women who get gel manicures, Vitamin E is strongly recommended as it helps repair the damaged nail underneath. But even otherwise, Vitamin E can help moisturize the nails and prevent breakage. Just prick the Vitamin E capsule and apply it directly to the nails. Try this especially during the winter months, you will be surprised at how quickly the nails will soak ‘em up!

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7. Massage and condition – Massage the cuticle – blood circulation would be better which would promote healthier nail growth as the actual nail forms below the cuticle. Add a few drops of olive or coconut oil or to a bowl of warm water and soak nails for 15 minutes. Pat dry with a towel and use the same oil to gently massage each nail and their cuticles (you could also massage cuticles with your favourite lip balm).

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8. Nail strengthener – Nails are made of keratin and so are nail strengtheners. They create chemical bonds that tie the protein chains together, thus making the nails harder. The only disadvantage is that once you stop using the strengthener, the nails go back to being their original self. So this might just be a temporary solution. Try the Sally Hansen Nail Protex Vitamin, Clear or Sally Hansen Protex Vitamin – Fortified Strengthener.

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9. Load up your plate with proteins – Fill all your meals with a well-balanced diet to promote healthier nails. Pick foods like milk, cheese, dahi, rajma, chana etc for vegetarians and eggs, fish, pork chops etc for non-vegetarians that help in building nail strength.

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10. Keep nails short and trim regularly – This would help get rid of any weak parts on the nail bed. Use nail polishes of good/reputed brands that do not contain formaldehyde, toluene and sulfonamide that ruin the nails. Allow nails to breathe by keeping nails polish free for atleast 3 days in a week.

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