Do I need to let my nails breathe?
“Do I need to let my nails breathe?” Do you ever ponder the vitality of your nails? Perhaps you’ve wondered if they breathe, or if they tire like the rest of your body. Well, here’s a revelation: your nails are already lifeless! Yes, it might sound alarming at first, but don’t fret unnecessarily. It’s a natural fact. They neither breathe nor sweat, but fear not, for there’s more to the story.
The Nail Bed
The truth lies in the nail bed, also known as the matrix, and the cuticles—they’re alive and kicking! Just like any other part of your body, they thrive on oxygen and nutrients. While your nails can’t directly absorb oxygen from the air, they receive their vital supply through your bloodstream. So, fret not about oxygen deprivation causing brittle or split nails; it’s not in the cards.
Let’s delve deeper into the structure of your nails. Picture them as a meticulously arranged series of keratin cells called onychocytes, akin to slates on a roof. When these cells face damage or dryness, they exhibit telltale signs such as whitening and peeling—a common woe known as split nails. But fear not, for understanding the culprits behind this can lead us to solutions.
Ever pondered why your toenails turn white after reluctantly removing last summer’s pedicure in the heart of autumn? It’s likely due to keratin granulation, a consequence of leaving nail polish on for too long. Additionally, the overuse of acetone, a potent drying agent, can wreak havoc on your nails. Hence, it’s crucial to handle acetone with care and opt for acetone-free nail polish removers whenever possible.
Nails—they’re not just a canvas for vibrant polishes and intricate nail art; they’re a reflection of our overall health and well-being. Whether you’re a nail enthusiast or someone looking to up their nail care game, understanding the fundamentals of nail health is key to achieving strong, beautiful nails that are perfect for showcasing your favourite polishes and nail designs. Here’s how you can improve your nail health:
1. Nourish from Within:
Just like your skin and hair, your nails need proper nutrition to thrive. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein can work wonders for nail strength and growth. Incorporate foods like leafy greens, nuts, eggs, and fish into your meals to provide essential nutrients for healthy nails from the inside out. Check out Good Housekeeping Magazine’s list of 5 top foods for nail health here.
2. Hydration is Key:
Dry nails are prone to breakage and splitting, so keeping them hydrated is crucial. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain hydration levels, and don’t forget to moisturize your hands and nails regularly. Look for hand creams and cuticle oils enriched with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E to lock in moisture and promote nail health.
3. Protective Measures:
Shield your nails from damage by wearing gloves when doing household chores or working with harsh chemicals. Exposure to water and chemicals can weaken nails, making them more susceptible to breakage. Invest in a pair of gloves to keep your nails safe and sound while you tackle your cleaning tasks.
4. Gentle Care:
Treat your nails with care to prevent unnecessary stress and damage. Avoid using your nails as tools for tasks like opening cans or scratching surfaces, as this can cause chips, cracks, and breaks. When shaping your nails, opt for a gentle file and avoid rough, back-and-forth motions that can weaken the nail structure.
5. Strength in Supplements:
If you’re struggling with weak, brittle nails, consider adding a biotin supplement to your daily routine. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is renowned for its ability to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s suitable for you.
6. Mindful Manicures:
When it comes to nail care products, opt for formulas that are gentle and nourishing. Take guidance of your trusty Nail Technician and the arsenal of products they recommend. Strengtheners and hardeners act as external shields, safeguarding the keratin in your nails from the abrasive effects of soaps and detergents. Much like how you nourish your hair, the external surface of your nails craves conditioning. Enter cuticle oils and hydrating hand creams, ready to replenish moisture levels and fortify your nails against brittleness and breakage.
7. Embrace Nail Treatments:
Treat yourself to indulgent nail treatments occasionally, to pamper your nails and promote relaxation. Whether it’s a hydrating hand mask, a soothing cuticle treatment, or a revitalizing nail soak, incorporating these rituals into your self-care routine can leave your nails looking and feeling their best.
In essence, understanding the intricacies of nail health can empower you to embrace effective care practices. So, let’s bid adieu to myths like ‘Do I need to let my nails breathe?’ and welcome a new era of nail enlightenment—a journey towards healthier, stronger, and more vibrant nails.
To book yourself in for a pampering manicure at Nail Divas, please contact us, we’d be delighted to help.