Hello everyone!
It's time for the next tip of the week and its about nail hardeners.  Many of us have been under the misconception that healthy nails are hard nails.  I used to think the same thing...until one day after using Nutra Nail nail hardener and the free edge of my nail broke off just from pushing myself up off of the sofa.  Yes, you read that right the sofa!!

Like many of you I thought the only way to have long, healthy nails was for them to be "hard as nails".  Boy was I wrong.  After a lot of reading, trying different products and attending nail school I discovered the truth.  Yes, we all want strong healthy nails, but strong does NOT mean hard.  Especially if you have nails similar to mine that are already fairly thick and strong.

Your nails should be flexible...meaning able to be bent and absorb some impact without breaking or tearing.  Don't get me wrong, some of us can actually benefit from nail hardeners, just not all of us.  Whether you need or don't need is based solely upon the condition of your nails.

Who Does NOT Need Nail Hardeners?

Take a good look at your nails now, if you can answer yes to the majority or all of the following questions, then you do NOT need to be using nail hardeners:

  1. Are your nails flexible?
  2. Are your nails thick?
  3. Are your nails strong?
  4. Are you able to allow your nails to grow long without them breaking?
  5. Do your nails withstand impact without breaking?
  6. Are your nails dry and brittle?
Your nails are already healthy and in good condition, so using a nail hardener will only cause your nails to start breaking because they are too hard and lack flexibility.

Except in the case where you answered yes to # 6; using a nail hardener will just make this worse. Opt for a nail treatment that provides moisture and/or flexibility.

Who DOES Need Nail Hardeners?

Take a good look at your nails now, if you can answer yes to the majority or all of the following questions, then you SHOULD try using nail hardeners:
  1. Are your nails very thin?
  2. Are your nails weak?
  3. Do they break often? Like whenever you have the slightest amount of free edge.
  4. Do they split and tear often at the start of the free edge?
Nail hardeners, will provide that needed strength, that will help prevent breakage.  Make sure you pick a nail hardener or treatment that is targeted to treat the nail issues you have.  Not all treatments are created equal, so do your homework before you start spending money.

Here are some additional tips that will help improve the health of your nails.
  1. I think this goes without saying but...eat a balanced diet and drink water
  2. Moisturize your hands and nails often...find yourself bored, apply cuticle oil
  3. Develop a nail care regimen and stick to it
    1. I personally recommend a night time routine; this will allow the products to be thoroughly absorbed overnight...unlike if you apply during the day when you're frequently washing your hands
    2. Use thicker creams or lotions overnight
  4. Part of your regimen should include, cuticle removal...either weekly or as often as you change your polish
  5. Try using a moisturizing scrub to remove the cuticle
  6. Do not pick or peel off polish or enhancements...this removes layers of the nail bed
  7. Opt for warm lotion and/or oil manicures instead of water manicures
  8. Protect your nails by keeping base/top coat applied when you feel the need to go "naked"
Some product recommendations:
  1. Duri Rejuvicoate - My ride or Die nail treatment; adds strength, maintains flexibility, stops peeling and dries quick
  2. Jessica Bend Don't Break - I have not tried this product yet, but I have read good things about it and will be trying it once I remove the builder gel
  3. +Julep Maven Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum - prevents and heals hangnails quickly
  4. +Julep Maven My Cuticles Look Thirsty cuticle balm
  5. Good Ole Vaseline will also do the trick
Have product recommendations, tip n tricks you'd like to share?  Comment below; I'd love to know what you use to keep your nails healthy.

Stay Polished at All Times...by Lo'Rain

Check out the video version of my tip of the week: