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Nailin’ It: The Dos and Don’ts of Repairing Your Fingernails

One of the most frustrating things you see as a manicurist or skin care specialist is when clients leave your salon or spa with beautiful, articulately painted nails and come back a few weeks later with nails that are dry and damaged.

Help your clients take care of their nails between treatments with the following dos and don’ts.

Do . . .

Use cuticle cream. Nourish those nails by taking a dab of your favourite cream and massaging it on and around your nails before bed.

Soak your nails in olive or castor oil to strengthen and soften them. With olive oil, you’ll see better results if you soak your nails for 15 minutes daily for a month before using more sparingly. You can also try an easy DIY strengthener using these oils :

  • Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with one teaspoon of lemon juice. (The lemon juice will brighten your nails.) Microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds or until it’s warm to the touch. Stir and apply the substance to each nail and cuticle with a cotton swab.
  • Put 1 teaspoon of castor oil into a glass container. Break 2 vitamin E capsules, and combine the liquid with the castor oil. Mix and dab onto your nails with a cotton ball. Use twice daily for about 5 minutes.
  • Load up on biotin, also known as vitamin H. You can take daily supplements, or you can simply eat more foods containing this vitamin. Biotin-rich foods include cooked eggs, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, whole grains, tuna, liver, and peanut butter.
  • Wear gloves while you clean or do other chores. The harsh chemicals in detergents and household cleaners can dry hands and nails and damage them over time with repeated contact. You should also wear gloves while gardening or working outdoors.

Don’t . . .

Abuse or overuse your fingernails. If you want dazzling hands, you have to be nice to your nails! Don’t bite or pick at them, and don’t use them as a tool to open cans or items like plastic clam-shells.

Use nail polish remover often—but avoid harsh chemicals whenever possible. Nail polish remover, especially brands containing acetone, will dry out nails if used too often. Look for organic brands or use a homemade solution. A couple of options are rubbing alcohol (which is still less harsh than store-bought removers) or a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice. If you go out for a manicure, check which products your manicurist uses, and make sure they aren’t causing more harm than good.

Become a pro in nail care and other beauty regimens like hair styling, skin care, or makeup at Canadian Beauty College. We offer training in Vaughan, Barrie, Newmarket, Oshawa, Bolton & Toronto. For more information about our aesthetics program, start here.

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