Having naturally curly hair is a blessing that often curses our nails. You shouldn’t ever have to choose between having a gorgeous full set or a hairstyle that slays.
Prior to wearing my hair natural, I was completely against gel polish and acrylic nails. The price and the rigid state of my nails when returning to a regular manicure had always given me a bad feeling. So I stuck to what I knew. Every time I got my nails done, they would last about 4 days before becoming chipped due to me styling my hair. During that time, I was also taking swimming classes two days a week, which required me to wash and style my hair more often to protect it from damage. Soon enough it got to the point where I began to paint my own nails due to the money I felt was going to waste by getting my nails done every two weeks. But my nails were not getting proper maintenance, which is when I decided to get gel manicures and document my results. The goal of my journey was to have strong, healthy nails.
What are healthy nails? In my definition, healthy nails are not thin and do not break easily. Because nails grow at different rates, length was not the most important factor for me. Over the span of four months, I experienced greater nail health as I practiced self-care techniques. Here are a few things that helped me maintain my nails without neglecting my hair:
- Make an informed decision on what nail polish type you want to put on your nails, and where you’ll get them done. Google and yelp will be your best resources. I chose gel because it dramatically decreased the amount of breakage of my nails and added another week in between appointments. Do what works for you!
- Don’t be afraid to bring your own polish to the nail salon. This nail polish has been a godsend for forming nails that don’t bend and break. They never supplied it at the nail salon, so I added it for no extra charge!
- Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Drink water to moisturize your skin. And always keep a good lotion for on the go. This will change your skin dramatically if you have peeling nail cuticles.
- Hot water is a known enemy of nail polish. At times where our hands will be wet for long periods of time(i.e. Washing dishes or our hair), we can simply wear gloves or reduce the temperature of the water.
- Make a habit in creating routine out of your nail appointments.Whether you get gel or regular polish, pencil in time to get your nails done monthly. Leaving nail polish and picking it off yourself can do more damage to your nail bed than an acetone polish remover (*shudders*). If you’re unorganized like me, this could be a great first step to living a less sporadic lifestyle. And who doesn’t appreciate a little pre-planned TLC ?
We can all achieve healthy nails by being mindful of what we consume. All of our bodies are affected by what we eat, and also how we feel. An improper diet can cause brittle nails that (in my case) break easily. Extreme stress, for example, can lead to a pause in tryout body creating nail cells, causing grooves in the nail called Beau’s Lines. Being mindful of the way we are treating our bodies can impact our lives in a major way.