BUT if sometimes you're an idiot like me and break them by doing something stupid, OR you just can't seem to grow your nails past the nub point to save your life, then I have an equation for you!!
Time is a common concept to most people, as in yes, it's going to take TIME to grow your nails from nub to long enough to scratch someone's eyeball out. There is no miracle pill or treatment that will make your nail grow a centimetre in a week, sorry but nope, it just ain't gonna happen, no matter what crappy advertisements for gimmicky products tell you. Some swear by nail strengtheners and biotin/vitamins, but I veer away from those for two main reasons: counter-productivity and false hope. More on that at the end of this post.
Here's proof in a timeline:
Day 1: Nail breaks, it is dead. I am dead inside. I go to a salon for rescue but it DOESN'T WORK OUT AT ALL. I keep the stupid fake tip they put on me for 2 weeks until the painful part of the break has grown out. If you must witness my terror, click here.
Day 15: After I was done grieving the loss of my middle nail, I evened the nubbin' out and reluctantly filed down the the rest of my nails. 'Reluctantly' because as you can see I didn't immediately file them all down. *crying cause sad emotions are coming back to me*
At my shortest I failed to take pics of all my nubbins, but you can see my ultra-shorties in some past posts here, here and here.
Day 30: Rounded out all the nails to the same length. Finally I could scratch my head again. Did a scaled gradient on my shorties to prove to all the naysayers that it could be done.
Day 45: Hells yeah I'm back in business! Was able to make the edges back to the 'squoval' shape that work best for me.
Day 55: Basically back to where I started! Could be a little bit longer, but after all the positive feedback I got from you guys on my shorter nails, I decided to file them down a bit by CHOICE! This should be the only time we accept shorter nails, when we do it by choice ;)
Yes, I know what you're thinking: 2 whole months?!?!? I guess I'm one of the unlucky ones whose nails do not grow at lightning speed (some girls tell me they get this growth in half the time), but let's hate them for a second and remember that this is probably not the speed at which the average girl's nails grow. HAAYYY NORMAL PPL HOW U DOIN'?
Now let's answer the real question of the day: HOW DO I NOT BREAK MY NAILS THO???
Much of my insight on this is derived from My Bliss Kiss' website, which is full of tips, tricks and the science behind our nails. But this is my take on what I've lived and learned! Obviously I'm no doctor, nail scientist, or otherwise 'qualified professional', so everything that follows are just my opinions. Or my sarcasm. Up to you to figure out which one is which :D
1. Keep 'em oiled up!
- Make sure your nails are getting the care they need while in this time of turmoil and frustration. Apply nail oil regularly (3x-8x a day!) to your cuticles and rub the excess into your cuticle/nail area even when polished - make sure you don't forget under your nails! See more on why I swear by nail oil as my number one source of nail care on my Nail Care page.
- Why nail oil? A good quality nail oil like this one (aka cuticle oil) contains 'jojoba oil', which is most similar in composition to natural oils made by our bodies. In order to maintain strength while our nails are growing out, we need to make sure that they are both strong AND flexible. If they are not flexible, then they will snap and break easier. Nail oil restores moisture in the nail bed and allows for your nail to bend without cracking. That and its added benefits include super soft and supple cuticles of course!
- My #1 favourite nail/cuticle oil is Bliss Kiss aka Simply Pure nail oil. It's like liquid gold, except everyone should get some!!
2. Water is the devil: Avoid it!
|Photo credits to random emoji-makers and desktop wallpaper pages.... thank you Google?|
- They didn't teach you this in school?? Me neither. I thought we were supposed to wash our hands 927370474 times a day! Nope! Not if you want strong natural nails.
- As my #1 trusted site for all things nail-care explains, water is your nails worst enemy! Our nails soak up more water the longer they are immersed/exposed in it which results in the pushing apart of our nail layers. This causes the nail layers to start separating and peeling, and then your nails get weaker, and then they BREAK!! Damn you H2O!!!
- Yes, please still shower and wash your hands when they are dirty, but dry them off immediately, restore the good kind of hydrating moisture by applying nail oil, and avoid water when you can by using gloves to wash the dishes or whatever other water-related chores you dread doing.
3. Watch what the hell you're doing with your hands.
|Photo credits to the result of random Googling of "woman working". I'm just happy it wasn't all housework (you've just been spared a rant).|
- NO CHORES EVER AGAIN! Okay I'm being dramatic. Keep doing whatever you gotta do obviously, but you need to be AWARE of what you're doing with your hands when you do stuff with them! What were you doing the last time you broke a nail? Slamming the car door? Putting away dishes? Opening a box of cereal? Scraping a label off that new bottle of polish you just bought? Opening a stubborn stuck drawer? Reaching for something high in your closet not caring what your hand smacked against? Caught ya.
- If we are being stupid/careless/reckless when we do stuff in life with our hands, then we risk breaking a nail. But you can manage that risk by being cognizant of what you're actually doing with your hands, and minimize risky breakage behaviour by:
- Using an actual tool to do stuff - go figure! (get a spoon to open that can, a knife to open that nail mail delivery box, a wrench to loosen that bolt, etc.)
- Go slow! Slow the fack down when you're opening that stupid drawer that won't open or reaching for those shoes high up in your closet and be strategic instead of impulsive (figure out what's making it stick, stand on a chair/step-ladder to see what you're grabbing at, etc.).
- Torture only the hand you care about less. For most of us nail bloggers, only one hand is photographed most of the time. I use my right hand as my 'working hand' (aka 'Cinderella hand') and use it to do risky things if I have to. That way if I do break a nail, it's on the hand that doesn't affect 90% of my photoshoots. See, strategy ladies!! But if you're a normal person who wants both hands to have flawless long nails then just ignore me on this point.
- When all else fails, get other people to do things for you (see #4!)
K @revlon we gotta have a chat.... amazing top coat or not, THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SHOULD TREAT YOUR NAILS?!?! DA FUQ 😭😭😭🔫🔫🔫 Read my post on how to grow your nails by learning how NOT TO BREAK THEM💁💁💁 Examples on what to avoid doing include those in Revlon's commercial 💁💁💁 ➡️ LINK IN @simplynotlogical's BIO or visit http://www.simplynailogical.com/2015/02/how-to-grow-your-nails-long.html for more 😝 🎶Song: @swiftondemand - Hoe Don't Do It, Oh My God🎶 #howtogrowyournails #revlon #nojustno #ohmahgod #hoedontdoit #simplynotlogical
4. Get other people to do risky things for you.
|Comic image credit to Cyanide and Happiness. Adapted for my new script, obv.|
- Sooooo if this sounds kinda selfish.... that's cause it is. But I'm sure there's some people in your life who truly appreciate the hard work and dedication you put into your amazing nail artistry, right?! If these people do exist then they won't mind opening that box of Cheerios for you. Just tell them you'll remember them when you're a famous nail blogger.
5. Never be naked: Wear nail polish all day err'day!
|Image credits to I have no idea who invented the yelling guy, emojis, or this random calendar.|
- Remember when some extremely uniformed person or online source told you that you needed to go without polish for a few days to let your "nails breathe" otherwise they would... I dunno, something terrible but we dunno know what, would happen? They lied.
- How does wearing nail polish help prevent breakage? Think about it as a splint for your nails. When people break their arms or legs they need metal rods, casts/other medical paraphernalia and so on to help stabilize their bones. By wearing nail polish, you just gave your nail a protective layer that holds the nail together, preventing a break if you were to accidentally bash your nail into something.
- The only time you should go without polish is during the few hours that you spend taking nail polish off, chillaxing with your wine/beer/Shirley Temple (take your pick), watching trashy reality television, and soaking up some good quality nail oil while contemplating your next mani. If you start doing chores or *god forbid* shower with your naked nails, you just increased the nail breakage risk meter up 10 times.
- If you're a normal person and don't like re-doing your nails more than once a week (we can't be friends tho), make sure you use the Fab Five polish wrap technique for long-lasting nail polish that ISN'T GEL! Don't use gel polish/shellac/whatever - it will eat at your natural nail and defeat the purpose of growing out your actual nails.
The hard truth: Misleading methods and false hope
I mentioned that using nail strengtheners and/or nail vitamins/biotin aren't a one-off solution for growing your nails because they are either misleading in their 'results', or provide a sense of false hope that doesn't really turn out all unicorns and rainbows.
On nail strengtheners: Not actually going to help you grow your nails
- Most nail strengtheners (OPI Nail Envy, Duri Rejuvacote, Nailtiques, etc.) advertise that they also help promote 'nail growth'. As my #1 trusted source for all things nail science explains, there's nothing except your body that can make your nails grow.
- Nail strengtheners can actually be counter-productive to growing your nails because they make your nails harder. What's wrong with that? EVERYTHING. If your nails are too hard they are actually more likely to crack and snap the next time you smack (or even just tap) them into something. I do not recommend relying on nail strengtheners as a long-term "nail care" solution. They are best used very sparingly, and only in the beginning stages of your 'nail rejuvenation', i.e., if your nails are extremely brittle and in terrible shape, and should only ever be used in combination with nail oil to ensure that as much flexibility and moisture is being restored to the nail as possible.
On nail vitamins/supplements: There is no magic pill
|Photo credit to apparently there's a bunch of pics of pills on Google|
- It doesn't even make sense that you could start taking some 'nail growth' vitamins or supplements and start seeing nail growth soon after. Why? Cause your body will take 6 months of absorbing the supplement to even show a change, if there is one.
- It is true that your diet affects your nail condition and growth, and since I'm no doctor I'll have to tell you to go see him/her first before deciding if you actually NEED a supplement (if you believe it will cure your brittle nails).
- For most people who don't have any underlying diseases or immunodeficiencies (again, I'm not a doctor), nail vitamins are largely just targeted marketing. I have not met anyone who has produced reliable, empirical evidence demonstrating how taking biotin supplements (or other vitamins marketed for healthy nails) alone contributes to significant nail growth/improvement in nail health.
- For the odd person who's going to get really mad at me for this, again I remind you that this is my opinion based on nothing except reading information off the internet and personal experience (isn't your opinion based on the same?), and probably a general skepticism towards any magic-anything. If you're an average healthy person and you claim that since taking whatever vitamin your nails have never been better, then I'd probably slip you a placebo vitamin and then laugh at you while you keep on bragging.
- I only have this to add: Hype, hype, hype! There's so many things you can do and change in a matter of weeks that will drastically change the condition of your nails that doesn't involve any kind of ingestion of random magic pills. Biotin, schmiotin.
In summary: Just use your head plus a 'lil oil
Since our hands can't live in mobile bubbles, my advice is to be aware of what you're doing and where it falls on the broken nail risk meter:
Obviously you can't just quit living, but if you care that much about growing your nails and have had trouble doing so, then you need to stop breaking them, be patient, and let them grow. Apply nail oil regularly, avoid water, always wear nail polish, and be careful and watch what you're doing with your hands - or make someone else do whatever it is for you!
And so the answer to how to grow your nails has been solved!! TIME + NOT BREAKING YOUR NAILS, ladies (maybe men?). It's pretty simple after all. I am accepting thank you letters for getting you out of assembling furniture or making dinner when you cite this article to your significant other or your parents ;)