If you know what tie-dye, negative space and cowgirl manicure is, then you’ve definitely done your manicure research. But it doesn’t matter whether you flaunt long, acrylic nails or simple, trimmed nails, as long as they are strong and healthy. Agree? Well, the challenge is getting them to grow long and healthy without breaking or chipping on the way.

Constant use of polish, gel and acrylics as well as habits like biting and skipping a base coat can sometimes be the reason behind the poor health of your nails. And unhealthy nails = slow growth.

To grow your nails faster, here are the habits you need to follow.

Maintain your cuticles
 

Maintain your cuticles

If you’re someone who picks or trims their cuticles all the time, then you’re doing your nails more harm than good. Cuticles lock in hydration and keep infections at bay. They act as a barrier that prevents bacteria from entering your nails. Cutting or manipulating your cuticles can infect or irritate your nail. Therefore, the best thing to do is each time you file or buff your nails, grab a cuticle pusher and gently push the cuticles back.

Moisturise and hydrate
 

Moisturise and hydrate

Applying moisturiser after washing your face is a regular part of your skincare routine. But I bet you don’t do the same for your hands. Most of us forget to apply any lotion after washing our hands during the day. This in turn makes the skin on our fingers and around the nails drier. As a result, nail growth is slower. Hydrated and moisturised nails and cuticles promote healthy nail growth. So, massage your nails with a cuticle moisturiser or oil every night before hitting the sack.

Wear a base coat
 

Wear a base coat

This is one step most of us forget when we’re doing a DIY manicure at home. We often forget to wear a base coat and top coat and just go in with the nail polish. Tsk tsk!

It’s okay to give your nails a break from polish every now and then. In fact, it is the best practice to follow, especially when you are a manicure buff. However, what you should do is always wear a base coat as it can prevent your nails from peeling and becoming weak or brittle.

Filing strategically is key
 

Filing strategically is key

Whoever thought nail filing was a mindless task didn’t know the consequences of filing improperly. When you saw the file back and forth, you’re creating too much friction, which in turn leaves you with frayed edges that snag and catch easily. The correct way to file is to start on the outside edge and pull toward the center, and continue to swipe gently across your nail in that direction. This method of filing can actually leave you with stronger and healthier nails. Now you know.