When people see my nails, they always ask me two questions: Are they real? How come they don’t break all the time?

Since I was six or seven, I had an uncanny interest in my mom’s nail polish. By the time I was 11, I wanted beautiful long nails, and I knew how to take care of them. But as it happens, having long nails wasn’t without its challenges.

Start with shorter nails

Your nails won’t be strong when you decide to grow them. So start with shorter nails and wait until they are strong enough to the length you want.

If your nail breaks, get rid of the broken part

Breaking a nail is never fun, but there is nothing you can do about it. So just cut the broken part and end your pain. Otherwise, you’re at risk of breaking your nails even more and hurting yourself. I know because I’ve done it more than once. So just take a deep breath and cut it out.

Don’t remove nail polish with your teeth

It seems obvious, but I still do this here and there. And I regret it every time. My nails look so bad after I do it, and they might even break in the process. So just use nail polish remover or banana oil to remove the nail polish.

Taking care of your nails requires work

It’s not a lot of work, but you need to apply base coat at least once a week. Not only it protects your nails from nail polish, but it also protects your nails from day-to-day damage. If you hand wash your dishes without gloves or cook a lot, I would increase this to two or three times a week. Other than that, just a quick filing every week is enough to keep your nails healthy and strong.

What you eat is just as important

You are what you eat, and to have healthy nails, you need a balanced diet with enough nutrients to help your nails grow healthy and strong.

Pay attention to what your nails are saying

Having trouble with your nails can indicate other health issues. I have hypothyroidism, and one of the symptoms is brittle nails. There is nothing I can do to prevent my nails from breaking until my hormones are under control. And this is just one example. Many other health problems can be diagnosed by nail irregularities, so keep an eye out.

Don’t remove your cuticles

Your cuticles are natural protection for your nails, and they are there for a reason. When you remove them, they will grow thicker, and it doesn’t look nice. I never took mine, and you can barely see them. If your cuticles are in bad shape, try to use oils and moisturizers overnight to help repair any damage.

Be patient

When I started growing my nails, they were weak and broke often. There were times I lost my temper and cut all of them because I didn’t believe they would look the way I wanted them to. But I’m happy to report that with time and care, I have beautiful and healthy nails. They hardly ever break and are very easy to care for.

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