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Nail Care & Manicures/Inquiry: How to Maintain Long Nails

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Question
Hello Kathy,

I am Kaitlin Green, a graduate student enrolled in the master of Arts in English program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am currently writing an article for a course, for which I am researching advice for maintaining long fingernails.

I would very much appreciate correspondence with you regarding how to grow and maintain long fingernails for the purpose of quoting within my article. My questions for this article are as follows:

1. What substances weaken your nails, and should be avoided?
2. How should you treat a crack in a nail? Can it be sealed? Can breakage be prolonged?
3. What substances and/or treatments promote stronger nails?
4. Are there nail filing practices that can promote healthy, longer nails?
5. What day-to-day habits can strengthen or weaken long nails?

Thank you very much for your correspondence regarding any or all of these questions. I very much appreciate your time and advice. Again, my article will be used for a course at Duquesne University, and I will be happy to send a copy of the article at your request.

I will gladly anticipate your reply until Wednesday (9/18) at 1:00 P.M. EST.

Thank You and Regards,

Kaitlin Green
College Lifestyles™ Duquesne University Satellite Writer
Website: http://collegelifestyles.org
Twitter: @collegelifestyl, @kaitie_g
Duquesne University
College Lifestyles™ is an online magazine bringing nutrition, fashion, etiquette, career, and lifestyle to the classiest of co-eds.  Friend us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Answer
Mending A Cracked Nail
Mending A Cracked Nail  
Hi Kaitlin.

Well, let's to answering some of your questions:

1.  What substances weaken your nails, and should be avoided?
The major causes of weak nails are excessive buffing and improper product application.  Nails grow from the matrix, located underneath the skin below the cuticle area.  Unless the matrix is damaged, the nail grows healthy.  Once it is the actual 'nail' we see on our finger, that's when most damage is done.  Filing the top or edge of the nail with a coarse file can cause serious damage.  Even cause damage equivalent to a nail drill.  Nail files lower than 220 should not be used to buff or file the nails.  Also the improper application and removal of acrylics, wraps, gels or gel polish can thin the nails causing them to break as soon as they become free edge. (white tip of the nail that usually extends past the fingertip)

2. How should you treat a crack in a nail? Can it be sealed? Can breakage be prolonged?
This is my magic fix to a cracked nail.  Take a piece of cotton (small) and place in the crack (like threading a needle).  Apply a small amount of nail glue and spread the cotton across the crack.  Once dry, clip the loose ends of cotton and buff the cotton on the nail until smooth.  Apply a base and top coat.  This mends the nail together until it becomes a desirable length or easier to trim.

3. What substances and/or treatments promote stronger nails?
Believe it or not, garlic is an excellent ally to healthy nail growth but not to a great dating life, lol.  Look for nail treatments that include garlic.  The best thing anyone can do is to apply cuticle oil (olive oil works great, too) to their nails at night before bed.  This allows the oil to penetrate and hydrate the nail area.  You don't want to apply cuticle oil in the morning or throughout the day because before it penetrates, it will be on your phone, your hair or your clothes.  If nails grow out weak, apply a base coat.

4. Are there nail filing practices that can promote healthy, longer nails?
Absolutely.  File your nails in one direction.  Do not file your nails in the see saw fashion.  Also, a crystal or glass file is the best for natural nails.

5. What day-to-day habits can strengthen or weaken long nails?
Well, truthfully, if nails are really weak they won't be long at all.  (little joke, I hope you laughed).  The best way to keep nails strong is to not use them as tools.  Do not open bags, screw in screws (yes, screws), do not bite or peel off polish and any other products from your nails.

I hope this helps and if you need me to elaborate or answer other questions, please let me know.

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Kathy Watson

Expertise

HEALTHY NAILS AND LASTING COLOR. My name is Kathy Watson and as a natural nail care expert, I can answer any question as it pertains to nail care treatments. I can discuss all aspects of natural nail care including but not limited to nail disorders, nail diseases, infection control, manicuring, pedicuring and product awareness. I have worked with a podiatrist and have an extensive knowledge of nail disorders addressed by a podiatrist however I am not a medical physician nor podiatrist and am not qualified to give medical advice or make medical diagnoses.

Experience

I am the owner of :cure nail clinic and have provided nail care to a number of industries including medical and hospitality.

Education/Credentials
Completed Training, Bellus Academy, El Cajon California Certified in Gel Polish Applications Certification in Elderly & Diabetic Nail Care Created Katherine Watson Soak-Free Nail Care System

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