On the quest for better nails

Last year, after 24 years of trying, I finally broke my nail-biting habit.
Thanks to three months of wearing acrylics, I finally had long, beautiful nails.
But as anyone who has ever worn acrylics will know, I had long, beautiful, weak, damaged nails.
Add to this the fact that I naturally have very small, very weak, very soft nails and the period where all my nails grew over the tips of my fingers was brief.

To this day, I've avoided biting my nails, but I do perpetually have my fingers in my mouth (I realise how disgusting that sounds) and as soon as my nails get long, they rip, right at the base. Currently my nails barely look different to how they looked before I stopped biting them.

I've also discovered in recent years that I just can't wear nail polish.
I've tried every polish, top coat and base coat under the sun, but I can't get nail polish to stay on my nails for more than a day and a half.
No, really. After a day or so it just starts coming off in big flaky pieces.
As a result I've basically given up on painting my nails. It's just not worth spending half an hour doing them for it to only last a day.

So as you can imagine, I'm pretty frustrated. 
I've tried many different things to strengthen my nails, from OPI's Nail Envy, to magic nail hardener I had to get from France to no avail.
I've tried hand creams and cuticle oils and keeping them short. 
Nothing works for me.

So in a last-ditch, miserable attempt for longer nails, I ordered myself some Mavala nail strengthener and Healthy Hoof Intensive protein treatment. Mavala is a nail strengthener, and Healthy Hoof is a cuticle treatment.
Both these products have excellent reviews and I'm excited to see if they will work.
I'm going to apply them as directed for a month (Mavala twice a week and Healthy Hoof every night before bed). And let's see what happens.
This post is my incentive to stay motivated and stop putting my fingers in my mouth all the time.
I'm going to take photos once a week and let's see if it works!

Any other advice you have is appreciated!


  1. May I recommend... pregnancy? Seriously, my nails won't STOP growing (but I also can't paint them as much because nail polish is bad for baby).

    However, I have found that using lotion at night helps keep my nails from peeling--I also have very soft, oily nails that are prone to peeling and keeping them moisturized helps. I really like Sally Hansen nail strengthener for sensitive nails (if your nails peels or are soft, they can also be considered "sensitive" so the chemicals in polish often REALLY aggravate them, esp. things like Seche Vite), but I'm not sure you have that in the U.K. (if so, it comes in a blue bottle). In general, I use my fingernails too much and don't protect them as I should (gloves when washing dishes, etc.)

    Have you tried taking Biotin or nail supplements? They really help your hair too. Or prenatal vitamins if you really want to up your vitamin intake to help your nails. (Be careful though because some prenatals have Iron in them, which isn't water soluble.)

    I hope you find a solution! If you do, let me know, because beyond staying pregnant for eternity, I'm pretty sure my nails will return to normal post-baby. :)

  2. I'll have a look for that particular Sally Hansen one. The sensitivity thing is interesting - I use seche vite but honestly it makes no difference - i still can't keep polish on more than a day!
    I definitely use my nails too much and I never wear gloves. I even bought some washing up gloves at the weekend and haven't taken them out of the packet yet!
    I have heard good things about prenatal vitamins so maybe that's the answer!
    I'll definitely let you know if these products work!

    Charlotte x

  3. I see Michelle already posted this, but I was also going to suggest biotin :) I've also heard that some other supplements such as MSM and Omega 3 can help. I think some companies make a hair/nails specific supplement!

  4. Hi Charlotte, from personal experience i know that Fish oil strengthens nails. I used Seven seas cod liver oil and my nails got so hard/strong which meant they didn't break easily and as a result, i was able to have long nails. I was actually taking it for health reasons and not for my nails. It tastes nasty though and you have to acquire a taste for it. It don't mind it.

    I don't know if you're a vegetarian (i know you don't eat meat)...if you are and taking fish oil is not an option, then i suggest flax seeds. These gave me the same result as fish oil.

    Another thing that worked for me was painting my nails daily. I know, i know...no one has time for this but i did. I was out of work. My nails got really strong possibly from the nail hardeners in nail polish. I made sure to keep my nails/cuticles moisturized so daily use of nail polish remover wasn't a problem. Thats all i have :)



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