Most of us forget that like the rest of the body our nails too reflect our inner health and it is essential that we look after them to keep them strong and healthy. Besides a manicure once in a while, there are not many people who actually take nail care seriously and very often I have seen both men and women suffer from unhealthy, discoloured or chipped nails.
So let’s try and elaborate some of the nail problems that plague many of us and how we tend to ignore them. Nail care is obviously an integral part of hand and foot care. The nail plate from where your nail grows is several millimeters below the base of the nail and it takes about nine months for a new nail to grow - almost as much as a baby!
Nails indicate your state of health just as clearly as the condition of your skin, eyes and hair. Pale nails with vertical ridges indicate anaemia or extreme dryness from using too many detergents. Blue nails point to inefficient circulation and not enough oxygen in your blood. If your nails are thin and constantly breaking, this may indicate inadequate vitamins, minerals and protein as well as insufficient nail care.
Here are 5 quick tips to start taking care of your nails -
1. Strong Nail Diet
Calcium, gelatine and B-complex vitamins are vitally essential for healthy nails. Vitamin D cures nail ridges, folic acid and Vitamin C cures hangnails and split nails. Nail ridges are cracks in the skin along the sides of the nails that can be particularly painful. Drink diluted cider vinegar to strengthen the nails and paint them with two coats of fresh lemon juice daily to strengthen them externally.
2. Cracked and Chipped Nails
These can be extremely embarrassing and I have seen many women apply nail polish to different nail lengths which look like a complete nightmare. Try the following remedies to keep your nails strong and smooth –
- Warm a little olive oil and use it to massage your nails thrice a week. Doing so will help in strengthening them. - Never throw away lemon peels after you have squeezed out the juice. Instead, rub them onto your nails daily. This will help reduce yellowness and also make them shiny and smooth. - Take 3 tsp of vodka with 1 tsp of lemon juice and store in a bottle and rub onto nails and cuticles daily.
3. Cuticle Softener
Fresh pineapple and vinegar helps soften the cuticles. Mash the pineapple and add vinegar to it. Dip the nails up to the cuticles in this mixture, massaging every now and then.
4. The Goodness of Papaya
Papaya contains enzymes that soften the protein tissue and are good for the cuticles. Mash papaya and add lemon juice and 1tsp vodka or vinegar. Soak your nails in this mixture for at least 20 minutes and massage into the skin regularly. This treatment needs to be done daily for atleast 7days for effective results.
5. Callouses and Brittle Nails
Warm 250ml of olive oil or castor oil, add half a cup of sage leaves and heat this mixture for 5 minutes. Let it stand for a while until cool, and then strain it. Rub it frequently into your nails.
There’s another remedy for damaged nail – take 125 ml honey, 1 egg yolk, 125 ml avocado oil or castor oil and 2ml sea salt. Beat the ingredients together and keep in a screw top jar in a refrigerator. Rub into the nails daily, leaving it on for half an hour before washing.
Now that you have some magical remedies to have healthy nails, conjure up these easy to do recipes and take care of them.
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