Clipping the fingernails and toenails should be a part of a regular hygiene routine, even if they are kept longer or painted with nail polish. The best methods for clipping nails involve using tools that are clean and sharp, and making sure there are no sharp edges left behind on the nails. It is best to purchase different nail clippers for the fingernails and toenails, because each are shaped differently.
It is best to clip nails when they are clean and dry. Though some recommend soaking nails before clipping them, this is actually not one of the best methods for trimming nails. When the nails have been soaked in water, they get very soft, and could rip or tear instead of being clipped neatly. Instead, simply wash the hands or feet thoroughly before clipping them.
Next, find a location that is well lit and a wastebasket to catch the clippings. Now, decide what shape the nails should be. Some people like to make their nails squared off, and leave some of the white tip. Others clip their nails into a rounded shape, and clip off most or all of the white tip. Most people's nails fit more naturally into one shape or the other, and one of the best methods for clipping nails is to cut the nails into a shape that seems most natural.
When clipping nails, it is important to never cut the nail below the quick. This could cause injury, bleeding, and an infection. One of the best methods for clipping nails is to depress the skin on the fingers away from the nail, and gently press down with the nail clippers to ensure there is no skin caught in the clippers. If there is no pain or discomfort, it is then possible to clip the nail.
Clipping the fingernails usually requires three small clips with a rounded-edge nail clipper; make one cut on top and one cut on each side. When clipping the toenails, however, use a nail clipper that is straight across, not curved. It is best to only make one cut on the toenail and not create a rounded edge, which could lead to an ingrown toenail.
The best methods for clipping nails are fairly straightforward. After the nails have been clipped, take a nail file and gently file away any rough edges. Only file in one direction; do not file in a back-and-forth, see-sawing motion, as that can damage and weaken the nail. It is a good idea to file the toenails as well to avoid snagging socks or hosiery.