This is literally the first time in my life that I’ve had long, healthy, natural nails ALL THE SAME LENGTH, and I’m SO HAPPY! I’d been able to grow them out in the past, but inevitably I’d get little tears on the sides of my nail about halfway down, which would get worse and worse until I was forced to cut super short. Then I’d get annoyed that my nails weren’t even, and would end up cutting them all for the sake of having them all the same length. Frustrating! I finally figured out a couple secrets that make all the difference – let me know if they work for you!
I used to think that getting acrylic or gel manicures would help my nails grow, but in reality they did more harm than good. My nails would definitely grow, but without the layer of acrylic/gel on top, they were really fragile. I tried a couple times to grow them out like this and then ditch the gel/acrylic once they were long enough, but my nails would just be too weak to last long on their own before breaking. I also noticed a ton of peeling along the free edge of my nails, and that was the worst – the peeling would make them thinner, and therefore much more prone to breaks.
I noticed that my nails tore and broke a LOT less when I stopped washing dishes by hand – my unscientific guess is that my nails would soak up the water, making them softer and easier to break. That, coupled with general dish-washing work wreaked havoc on my nails and they’d break very easily, especially along the edges. If you can’t avoid hand-washing dishes, get a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves to protect your digits. I also do my best to not submerge my hands in water (includes showering!) for long periods of time if they aren’t painted, and try to wait until they dry out before doing anything that could cause them to break.
I’ve always, always been a square/squoval kind of girl, but didn’t realize that the shape I loved was actually working against me. When the edges of your nails are squared off, they’re much more likely to catch on things, which can torque your entire nail and cause little tears in weak areas. For me, that meant I was always getting tears halfway down the sides of my nails, particularly on my thumbs. Even though I’d try to salvage the nail with tea bags, nail glue, and a little acrylic powder, I was never able to protect it long enough for the tear to fully grow out and would end up having to chop them. Last year, I switched to rounded nails, and haven’t had a side tear since! Makes sense – instead of having an edge that can catch on things, I have a rounded edge that just glances off. If you’re getting a lot of side tears, try a different shape and see if that helps.
Poshe Base Coat
1-3 coats of color to reach desired shade
Poshe Base Coat
Wait til dry to the (light) touch (doesn’t take long)
Sally Hansen “Hard as Wraps” Nail Strengthener
Immediately follow with a coat Seche Vite
I’ve found that Seche Vite gives the hardest, shiniest finish, and dries really quickly, but I have major shrinkage issues with it. As it dries, it “pulls” the color away from the tips of my nails, leaving me with a white line along the top where my nail shows through, like in the below picture. Using a coat of Sally Hansen’s “Hard as Wraps” nail strengthener not only makes my nails harder and less likely to break, but it also seems to counteract the SV shrinkage effect. Win – win!