Beautifully manicured long nails can make any girl feel like a glamour queen. And while I was a-ok with splurging £70 on acrylics for my wedding, as a millennial I can’t squeeze that into my normal monthly budget. Nail growth is influenced by a few different things: genetics, overall health, diet and nail care. While most of us can’t do anything about our genetics, we can influence the other factors on this list. So, if getting acrylics every month isn’t quite available to you, here are three tips on how to promote nail growth, naturally.

 

Number 1 Watch your Diet

 

Our nails are made up of three separate parts. The nail plate, the area that you can see and that you paint is made up of keratin. Contrary to what many products will have you believe, this part of the nail is already dead. Applying anything to this will do nothing for your nail growth. Clear nail polish or hardener may toughen up your nail a little to stop it from breaking, but this is a short-term fix. And if you add acetone to remove the polish, you’re doing your nails more harm than good.

 

The second part of the nail is called the nail bed. This is the living tissue under your nail which hurts like crazy when you cut your nails too short (stop doing this). This is the part of the nail that is going to benefit most from a healthy diet. At the base of the nail, is what is called as the nail matrix, and this is where growth begins. If you want to help your nails in the long-term, support your body to keep this part of the nail and the surrounding skin healthy.

 

A lack of iron in your diet can make your nails brittle, while a protein deficiency may cause ridges in your nails. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin and nails hydrated.

 

Number 2 Develop a healthy relationship with moisture

 

To keep the skin surrounding the nail in tip-top condition, make sure you moisterise your hands. This is especially true in winter, but if you live in a sunny place with a pool, moisterise in the summer to fight the damage from chlorine. Speaking of the pool, make sure you always gently towel dry your hands when you come out of the water. In fact, keep your hands as dry as possible, as often as possible. If you are someone who cleans a lot, always wear rubber gloves, for both the chemicals and the water you are putting on your hands. Try to keep your hands out of the bath too, saves them looking all wrinkly too!

 

Never cut your cuticles, instead remember to moisterise them with some cuticle oil. This is the part of the nail that protects that growth matrix, so don’t go risking infections here.

 

Number 3 Groom regularly

 

Remember to trim and groom your nails regularly with a nail file or clipper – not your teeth! This is important for hygienic and aesthetic reasons. Make sure you always wash your hands before cutting your nails too. And do not cut them too short, it’s painful and could cause infection. Make sure you never clean under your nails with sharp objects either, instead, use a soft nail brush.

 Trimming your nails regularly will make sure you don’t get uneven breakages and will help your nail grow longer.

 And that’s it. Follow these three tips for life and you should see some solid improvement on the nail-growth front.

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