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Top tips for healthy nails

healthy nails

Dry nails, brittle nails, nails that have somehow acquired strange dots and ridges that definitely weren't there before... Whatever your nail problem may be, we have the solutions that will get your tips in top condition in no time.


1. Get enough protein

Either from meat or from vegetarian sources, like quinoa, eggs or nut butter. Hair and nails are made of protein, so it follows that this is such an essential part of a healthy diet.


2. Top up your magnesium

To help strengthen nails, eat lots of leafy, green vegetables and consider taking a magnesium supplement like Better You's Magnesium Oil Spray, £8.55 or Source Naturals Magnesium Malate tablets (which also help with general fatigue), £12.20.


3. Ridges? Don't worry

Vertical ridges are simply a part of the ageing process and are harmless, though they may become more pronounced as you get older. If you have dry or brittle nails, avoid buffing out the ridges, but otherwise you can smooth them out this way.


4. Do you need more iron?

A good indication of iron deficiency is 'spooning' of the nails, which means that they dip in the middle (like...erm...spoons) instead of being a regular convex shape. If you see this 'spooning', there's a good chance you need to take an iron supplement.


5. Take a break from nail polish

If you're a polish devotee, remember to give your nails a regular break, and make sure you use an acetone-free nail polish remover, like Superdrug's own, £1.39. 


6. Beat the nail-biting

If you just can't kick the nail-biting habit, try wearing thin gloves at home, like tanith. You could also have a go at conditioning yourself out of the habit. For example, wear a hairband on your wrist, and when you catch yourself biting your nails, ping your wrist with the band.


7. Always use a base coat

If you want to avoid nails discoloured through cheap or highly pigmented nail varnish, this is a must. Not onlky does it keep the nail from drying out, but it provides a barrier between the nail and colour.


8. ...and always use your Marigolds!

Constant washing and drying not only dries your hands, but your nails too. Use rubber gloves, or make sure you invest in a rich hand and nail cream.


9. When to see your doctor

If your nails are ridged horizontally; you have consistent pitting or dents in the nails; large brown areas; dark vertical stripes or completely white nails, there could be an underlying health problem, so best to give your doctor a visit. 

Gransnetters' favourite nail strengtheners

nailnurse perfectionailRimmel London Nail Nurse PerfectioNail, £4.49, Boots

"It strengthened my nails, but takes a couple of weeks. I apply it, then remove it once every few days. It worked for me." 

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Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Growth, £9.99, Boots

sally hansen miracle nail growth"I apply it for two days then take it off on the third. I wait a day and then reapply." 

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Avon Nail Experts 5 in 1 Nail Treatment, £6, Avon

avon nail experts"Avon Nail Experts for brittle and peeling nails has made a huge improvement [to my nails]."

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Miaflora Argan Oil, £14.99, Holland and Barrett

argan oil"Argon oil (neat from Holland and Barrett) helped mine - and also works wonders on cuticles and skin generally. I bought it in the first place on the recommendation of my chiropodist for my grotty toe nails!"

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Images: Shutterstock