The first step to nail care is to avoid cutting off the cuticles, a common mistake done by many in order to get cleaner and bigger nail beds. The cuticle exists for a reason, which is to create a barrier from fungus, but when cut excessively, it can lead to fungal infections. Cuticles are sometimes pushed back in order to reduce damage, but that too, can be harmful; so best to let them be. If you are suffering from raised or damaged cuticles, cuticle oils and conditioners can be of help. Vaseline or hand cream does a similar job too; in case you cannot get your hands on cuticle conditioners.
MOISTURISING IS NOT ONLY FOR THE SKIN
Winter does not only dry your skin and hair, your nails see a similar effect, and tend to be more prone to breakage. Regular creams do cut it, but for prolonged care, shea butter, vitamin E, olive oil and beeswax are the ingredients one should be on the lookout for, for the healthiest nails. When on the run, a chapstick can double as Vaseline for the time being. It is especially important to moisturise after using soaps.
GO EASY ON THE FILE
Filing the nails is necessary for a proper outlook, but one should go in with a light hand to not overdo it. Filing in a single direction is also recommended instead of both, as it puts lesser pressure on the nails, and prevents the nail fibres from tearing. It is important to file dry nails, as nails after a shower tend to be softer, when filing can do more bad than good.
PROTECT THE HANDS
While doing jobs that require your hand to be exposed to chemicals, soaps or cleaning products, it is wise to have hand gloves on. Every different chemical harms the nail in a different way, and precautions to not let them get to your nails in the first place is important. As a bonus, you save your hands the trouble as well.
For a complete nail care routine, a lot has to be taken into account. From a healthy diet that incorporates proteins, omega-3s and vitamin E, to ditching bad habits like tearing off the cuticles, can all affect your nail's health. Basic care starts at home and little steps can transform brittle dull nails into healthy ones.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed