Caring for fingernails requires more than just clipping and painting. Regular care, also known as manicuring, will help keep them in good condition, but this need not be done by a professional. Basic care of the fingernails can be done each week at home, to keep nails healthy and strong.
Rather than waiting until they are long and in need of shortening, set aside one day each week to file your nails down a bit. Most people own a set of clippers, but clipping is not good for them. Soft, pliable emery boards are best for shortening and shaping the nails. Metal files and clippers are damaging and harsh. Never bite your fingernails; it is unsanitary and it will likely cause hang nails.
Many professional manicurists claim that polish protects fingernails, while others believe it causes them to peel, crack and break. If you choose to polish your nails, use a clear base coat as well as a clear top coat or sealer. If your fingernails are inclined to peel or if you pick at them, leave the polish off. Use nail polish remover as seldom as possible, as it dries out the nails and causes them to split.
Washing and moisturizing hands are some of the most important treatments for fingernails. Wash hands regularly with soap and clean under the nails each time you wash. Use a manicure stick or small nail brush, if necessary. For stains, use a small amount of bleach mixed with water and scrub gently. Use moisturizing lotion on your hands, fingers, nails, and cuticles often, and remember to always drink plenty of water.
The best care you can give your fingernails is to have a healthy body overall. Eat raw fruits and vegetables, and keep your diet rich in foods with silicon and calcium, such as carrots, milk and fish. Consider taking dietary supplements such as vitamin E and other oils to keep your fingernails strong and healthy. Regular aerobic exercise keeps the blood flowing freely to all parts of the body, giving the nails the nutrients they need.
Fingernails are an important part of the body, protecting the tips of the fingers and assisting us in picking up small objects. Keep them in good condition and they will serve you well.