Most Frequently Asked Nail Questions & Answers by Michelle Humphrey, Celebrity Manicurist

Vitabiotics | Published: 23/01/2024

Most Frequently Asked Nail Questions & Answers by Michelle Humphrey, Celebrity Manicurist

I’m a celebrity manicurist, and the below questions are the most asked nail questions I get from my clients – from nail breakage, to gel polish, to yellow nails. I’ve also shared some tips to maintain healthy nails.

Why do my nails keep breaking? And how can I stop them breaking all the time?

There can be many reasons for nail breakage, including damage to the nail plate, poor nutrition/diet, sometimes certain medications can affect nail growth and strength, and sometimes genetics play a role. Breakage and snags can sometimes cause the nail to tear or rip low down, so having a nail file to hand is helpful for these situations as you can smooth any breakages out and potentially prevent a tear or rip from travelling across the entire nail plate.

An excellent way to avoid this is to opt for rounder shapes, which tend to be stronger and usually suffer less breakage. You can also try a nail strengthener, which protects and coats the nail. Another critical factor to prevent nail breakage is wearing gloves when performing manual tasks, e.g., washing up, cleaning, gardening, etc. Washing/cleaning can be hard on the skin and nails because of the sulphates and other chemicals which can cause dehydration of the nails and skin.

Does gel polish damage nails?

It's a myth that gel polish ruins your nails. Unfortunately, poor application and aggressive removal are the culprits for nail damage, not gel manicures.

How can I protect my nails from gel polish?

Don't 'grow your gels out' - this can cause the nail to become unbalanced and stress the nail plate, especially if you're wearing a builder gel. Opting for a safe removal when due will help prevent damage to the nail plate.

Avoid using DIY gel kits as improper application, improper cure (there's a science behind it all), and improper removal, which can lead to nail health and strength issues and even cause allergic reactions.

Maintenance is essential when you opt for nail enhancements of any kind - you can go for regular appointments; 2/3 weeks is best, depending on the rate of nail growth.

Oil your nails and cuticles when wearing gel nails, as this helps maintain the product's flexibility. One of my favourites is Perfectil Biotherapy Body Oil. The formula contains eleven all-natural botanical oils, and it smells delicious!

How can I strengthen my nails? What are your best tips?

Oil your cuticles! Oiling your nails and cuticles helps keep the nail plate flexible and supple; this, in turn, prevents nail breakages, cracking, etc. This also helps nourish the surrounding skin and can prevent hangnails and dryness. You can use body oil if you don't have cuticle oil. Perfectil Biotherapy Body Oil works a treat on cuticles and smells divine.

Hydrate! Ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as this promotes the flexibility of the nail plate. Long-term dehydration can lead to brittleness of the nails alongside other health issues.

Take to support and maintain healthy nails from the inside. I'm a massive fan of Perfectil Nails, which contains selenium, copper and vitamin C, which contribute to the maintenance of normal nails. They also help support your skin and hair as they contain biotin, which contributes to the maintenance of normal hair as well as normal skin.

Your diet is also crucial for strengthening your nails, so eat a diet rich in nutrients that support nail growth. Think nuts, iron-rich foods, seeds, leafy greens, avocados, and oily fish.

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Why are my nails peeling & what can I do about this?

Nails can peel due to several factors, including:

  • A dehydrated nail plate.
  • Constantly wearing nail polish can sometimes cause peeling. If you're a dedicated polish wearer, - take a break now and then if your nails have become flaky.
  • Ensure you remove polish with remover; don't pick off nail polish as this can cause peeling and delamination of the nail plate.
  • Gels and acrylics can encourage peeling if not applied or removed correctly (never pick them off)
  • Over-buffing the nail plate can cause the nail to thin and peel, so avoid using harsh buffers (they should be soft to the touch) and don't buff too frequently. Once a week is more than sufficient.
  • Over washing the hands can dehydrate the nail plate and cause peeling.
  • Avoid using your nails as tools, e.g., opening cans, opening mailboxes, etc., as this can split the layers of the nail.
  • Sometimes, peeling nails can indicate deficiencies if the problem persists, especially alongside other symptoms. Visit a health professional.

Why are my nails yellow? What can I do about this?

One key factor for nails turning yellow is that you're not wearing a base coat. So many people skip this step when wearing nail polish for speed - not only does this stage help with polish adhesion and longevity, but it also prevents the nail plate from getting stained.

Wearing nail polish for too long - avoid wearing polish for extended periods as this can lead to staining (often happens on toenails). Dark Red and Blue polish tend to be bad culprits for staining. Buffing usually removes any discolouration.

Smoking is a massive factor in turning nails yellow and can lead to long-term stains.

Certain foods, like turmeric, can stain your nails. This should fade in time, or you can gently buff the nail to remove it.

If your nails have turned yellow long term, and this doesn't buff out - speak to your health professional, as this can also be a warning sign of an underlying health issue.

Barnabas Santa

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