Try as you might, your nails never seem to make it past the nail bed without chipping or breaking on you. It’s frustrating, we know. (Especially when your colleague is always complaining about hers grow too fast. Wah.) Here, some trusty tips on how to make yours long and strong within a month.
Every morning: Use a growth serum.
They’re packed with biotin (which helps to strengthen weak nails while also keeping your cuticles healthy). Massage a drop onto bare nails—or over any nail color—once daily.
Every afternoon: Apply cuticle oil.
Cuticles are there for a reason: To protect your nails and prevent infections—which is why it’s important to keep them healthy. Keep a bottle of oil at your desk as a visual reminder to put some on between meetings (or when you’re mindlessly scrolling Facebook during lunch).
Every night: Slather on some lotion.
Stick to a thicker formula and really work it into your cuticles and over your nails, too, since most of us tend to just apply it onto our hands. Parched nails peel and become brittle, whereas hydrated ones stay smooth and shiny.
Every few days: Use a nail hardener.
They have proteins and conditioning ingredients in them that strengthen your tips while also nourishing them. We like this one from Perfect Formula because it has a slight tint to it that makes our nails look immediately brighter.
Every weekend: File them into round or squoval shapes.
Pointy tips or square edges are more likely to catch on things and break. Curved, slightly rounded edges are a much safer bet (and have the added bonus of making your nails look longer).
Always: Wear gloves when you’re doing chores.
Constant exposure to water and harsh detergents (like your dish soap) can be extremely drying. Luckily, the fix is simple: Wear a pair of rubber gloves and always apply that aforementioned hand cream afterward.
And don’t forget to: Use a conditioning polish remover.
Look for something without acetone in it. Bonus points if it also has conditioning oils in the formula (like Priti NYC’s version). Though you’ll likely have to work a bit harder to get the polish off, it’s much better for your nails because the chemicals aren’t as harsh.
In the meantime: Swipe a neutral polish.
While your nails are growing out, go for a creamy opaque shade that’s similar to the color of your skin (or one shade lighter). It will make your nails look longer in the in-between stages. Then later, you’ll be ready to bust out the bright hues.