As a Dashing Diva nail tech for 2 years now, I’ve seen it all – poorly maintained nails, over-manicured nails, and just about any nail-related issue you can think of! There are definitely a lot of ways you can damage your nails without even realizing it. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
How to Care for Your Nails
First things first, it’s important to understand the basics of nail care. Your nails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin, which can be easily damaged if you’re not careful. To keep them healthy, it’s important to:
- Keep your nails clean and dry. Moisture can weaken your nails and make them more prone to breaking and peeling. Be sure to dry your nails thoroughly after washing your hands or taking a shower.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals. Cleaning products, nail polish remover, and other chemicals can all be tough on your nails. Try to use gentler products whenever possible, and wear gloves when you’re cleaning to protect your hands and nails.
- Use a moisturizer. Just like your skin, your nails need moisture to stay healthy. Apply a moisturizer to your hands and nails regularly to keep them hydrated.
- Don’t bite your nails. Biting your nails can cause all sorts of problems, from infections to ingrown nails. Try to break the habit by keeping your nails short and applying a bitter-tasting nail polish to deter yourself.
- Trim and file your nails regularly. Keeping your nails trimmed and filed can help prevent them from breaking and can also make them look more polished.
Nail Polish Do’s and Don’ts
- Do use a base coat. Applying a base coat before your nail polish can help prevent staining and chipping, and can also help your polish go on more smoothly.
- Don’t forget to let your polish dry. It can be tempting to rush through the drying process, but if you don’t let your polish dry completely between coats, you’re more likely to end up with smudges and chips.
- Do invest in a good topcoat. A high-quality topcoat can help extend the life of your polish and keep it looking shiny and fresh for longer.
- Don’t peel off your polish. It can be tempting to peel off your polish when it starts to chip, but this can damage your nails and leave them looking ragged. Use nail polish remover instead.
- Do experiment with different colors and finishes. Nail polish is a fun way to express yourself and try out new looks. Don’t be afraid to play around with different colors and finishes to find what works best for you.
What to Look For in a Nail Salon
If you’re considering getting your nails done professionally, it’s important to choose a reputable salon. Here are some things to look for:
- Cleanliness. A good nail salon should be clean and well-maintained. Look for salons that use clean tools and take steps to prevent the spread of germs.
- Licensing and certifications. Make sure the salon you choose has all the necessary licenses and certifications to operate in your area.
- Experience and reputation. Look for salons with experienced technicians and positive reviews from other customers.
- Customer service. It should treat its customers with respect and provide excellent customer service.
- Pricing. Of course, pricing is always a consideration when choosing a nail salon. Look for a salon that offers fair and transparent pricing and doesn’t have any hidden fees.
When to See a Professional About Your Nails
If you’re experiencing any nail problems, it’s always a good idea to see a professional. So be on the lookout for the following:
- Changes in nail color or texture. If you notice any discoloration, ridges, or other changes in your nails, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
- Pain or discomfort. If your nails are painful or uncomfortable, it could be a sign of an infection or injury.
- Ingrown nails. If your nails are growing into your skin, it’s important to have them treated to prevent infection.
- Fungal infections. If you notice thickening, discoloration, or flaking of your nails, a nail technician or a doctor can help you treat the infection.