My friend Mary (I changed her name, but now my other friend Mary will think I’m talking about her) bites her nails as if they wronged her in some way. This leaves them sad and stubby. And quite frankly, kinda gross. In fact, so unfortunate are they that when she points to something on the menu with those stubs of hers, it makes me lose my appetite.
When Mary got pregnant, her nails were lovely. Sure, she might have bitten them occasionally. But they outgrew her chew, getting longer regardless of her attacks. She was enjoying one of the kickbacks of pregnancy. One of the little bones thrown to women so that we ignore the stretch marks, extreme puffiness and the eventual droopy boobs suffered as we create life. OK, we don’t ignore them. But we lose site of them whilst brushing our luscious locks and finding strange reasons to dramatically point things out with our strong, gorgeous nails.
So with these fantastic talons in recent memory, why is it that most new moms can’t seem to keep healthy nails? I understand nail-biting behavior, proverbial or not. Your children drive you insane; you bite your nails off so you don’t bite them. Makes sense. I’ve been there.
I don’t have long nails. Doesn’t make sense to (Play-doh gets underneath them and the day is shot). I at least show them a little TLC, with not a ripped cuticle in site.
Toss in a little cold weather, some unfriendly dry air, and this winter season isn’t your nails’ friend. So here are a few ways to give your hands a hand.
- Never underestimate the power of diet. To promote nail strength and flexibility, find foods containing folic acid (whole grains, kale and citrus fruits). Also potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin B are especially good for your nails. Think almonds, garlic, spinach celery, yogurt and eggs.
- After washing your hands, break open a Vitamin E Capsule and dab some on your cuticles. This will help your cuticles stay strong, as well as help your nails remain hydrated.
- Just finished making a cup of warm tea with squeeze of lemon? Save a little of that juice for your nails. It’s a great way to whiten and brighten, while also cleaning nails. Dip your nails in fresh lemon juice for a few minutes.
- Find a good sealant for yours nails—one that strengthens as well as protects. I’ve always had great luck with OPI Original Nail Envy, but Perfect Formula has a new Nail Guard System that comes with a nice file (remember only file in one direction).
So Mary (if that is your real name), this is for you. Woman, get a grip. Be strong. Show your nails some TLC. And once they become healthy again, I’ll take you out to lunch. I’ll even let you order.