Nail Care Beauty Secrets
Basic nail care involves understanding what nails are and how
to look after them.
Nail Care - What Are Nails
Nails are a horny extension of the skin. The visible part of the nail, the hard plate, is only about half of the actual nail. The other half is called the matrix, and this is
not visible except for the uppermost tip which we recognize as the half-moon or lunula.
The rest of the matrix is oval, rather like the nail itself, and extends right down to the first joint. This is where the nail is formed, and where the body turns protein plus a few trace elements into fingernails.
Nails are composed of horizontal layers made up of keratin and how strong or brittle your nails are is partly a matter of inheritance, but nutrition also plays an important role.
A protein-high diet rich in iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin B, and iodine will help
you grow strong healthy fingernails. Foods such as yoghurt, celery, carrots, soya, eggs and seafood are particularly good.
Nails are also good indicators of circulation: if you put pressure on the nail, watch how quickly the blood returns.
Nail Care - Nail Irregularities
From time to time we all get a few ruts, bumps and marks. Horizontal ridges, regular on all nails, denote a past illness – though if only on one nail, it means you’ve given it some rough treatment and possibly damaged the cuticle by using a sharp instrument. Good nail care will eliminate most horizontal ridges.
Vertical lines tend to be hereditary and the older you get, the more they show; sometimes they indicate dryness.
White spots can be a sign of disease or stress or caused by air pockets forming in the nail as it grows in which case they eventually grow out.
Yellowing of the nail corners comes from smoking or medicines or because of nail polish pigment
- that is why it is important to apply a base coat.
Split or Broken Nails
Ill health, poor nutrition or lack of nail care causes split or broken nails.
Nails grow at the rate of a quarter of an inch a month, so a new nail takes about four months to reach the tip from the cuticle. If you start helping your nails now, you will soon see results. Nail growth varies with each individual: usually fastest in youth and decreasing with age.
Pregnancy increases nail growth, so does warm weather, any activity of the fingers (like typing, piano playing), and massage of the fingers towards the tips. The middle finger nails grow the fastest, and nails on your right hand (if you are right handed), which indicates the greater the activity, the faster the growth.
Nails become brittle if they are exposed to extreme cold, too much sun, chlorine or cleaning chemicals. They become soft if you use too much soap and water. Cutting nails with scissors encourages splits and fractures.
Nail polish is not harmful, it protects and strengthens as well as beautifies. A few women are allergic to nail enamel; for them there are formulas free of irritants.
Nail polish remover, however, is very drying. To use neat acetone is false economy; even an oily remover should be used sparingly just once a week when you
manicure. It is better to touch up polish when there’s a chip rather than remove it every time.
Cutting the cuticle is generally bad since it protects the nail base from infection
- when cuts appear in the cuticle, if they are too deep, an infection can occur.
More Nail Care Tips:
To Give A Manicure
Manicures Made Easy
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