Due to the effects of COVID-19 on the beauty industry and every other industry for that matter, most nail and beauty salons are currently closed, which has left a lot of people to resort to taking care of their nails themselves. This includes manicures and pedicures, well, unless you want to look like a cave man/woman.

Before the corona virus hit, it will not be an exaggeration to say that some females no longer knew what their natural nails look because of the constant fixing of artificial nail extensions and nail polish. Other than fixing artificial nails, majority of people don’t do their manicure or pedicure themselves, because there are technicians for that, plus they don’t have either the patience or the time to do it themselves. 

Truthfully, if you try to do your nails yourself, you’ll realize two things. The first is that nail technicians have one of the hardest jobs in the world — removing artificial nail extensions, or nail polish can be very hard. You should tip them more the next time you have a face to face appointment

The second thing is that if you’ve spent the last five – ten years constantly fixing nail extensions, you’ll noticed that your natural nails have become something nearly unrecognizable, because they most likely have become so brittle and thin.

Brittle nails

This is so because the nails only seen the light of day for a few minutes while my nail technician gets the next colour ready, or the next set of extensions.  

How about we make a pact that we’d use this time in self-isolation to heal your nails and try to get them back in decent condition.

So, how can we achieve this? According to a few experts, there are a few ways to grow nails long and strong after the damage is done.

Keep your nails short

Just like when your hair needs a trim to grow (for those who have it though), so do your nails. By cutting the ends off, you are freeing nails from damage and keeping them healthy, says Mona Gohara, a Board-Certified Dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor Of Dermatology at Yale University.

Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers

While you should be washing your hands more often than usual right now, Mona recommends staying away from harsher soaps and cleansers as they can further weaken and irritate the nails.

Protect your nails

That said, during this time of frequent washing, your hands are going to get dried out. Wearing gloves to do the dishes and hydrating your nails after washing and sanitizing can help protect them from becoming more brittle and broken. Using cuticle creams formulated with Shea butter is advisable to deeply hydrate the cuticles, which are prone to drying out quickly even under normal circumstances. We also recommend pairing cuticle cream with your favourite hand lotion for double the moisture.

Apply a strengthener

It is also advisable to apply a nail strengthener, which is a type of base coat that deeply heals the damaged nail, every few days. Some nail strengtheners have a protein called keratin in their formula. According to Mona, this protein is already naturally found in your nails and hair, and applying it creates a protective barrier for your nails, which helps make them strong and resilient over time. We suggest applying a strengthener one to two times a day until you feel they’re strong enough to be without the strengthener.

If you are going to remove your manicure at home, follow these guidelines to minimize damage. Once you successfully removed any polish, consider the above tips to keep your nails strong for your next in-person manicure appointment. 

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