So I'll freely admit that I'm a recovering nail biter. After picking up the habit when I was a kid, I used to only be able to keep my nails long during the summer months (when I wasn't in school) since stress was usually a big trigger. I actually started out this blog as a nail blog but switched over more to makeup as my interests changed but also because I couldn't keep my nails looking nice consistently.
Click thru to read my tips!
#1 | Keep your nails painted/manicured.
Maybe this is an obvious one but I found it most useful to consistently paint my nails and have my nails in good shape (through my own DIY manicures). This way, I felt more motivated to keep my nails looking good and dedicating time to doing my nails meant I was more inclined to not have to spend the time redoing them. If my nails chipped, I would make sure to do my nails by the end of the day to make sure I didn't start peeling or biting off the polish. The manicure part is important since it forces you to invest time in upkeep.
#2 | Invest in cuticle oils or balms to keep your nails and cuticles hydrated.
Dry cuticles and hangnails were my gateway trigger to biting nails. I would rationalize it by thinking "oh I'll just bite off the hangnail", then it'd be "oh well I'll just even out my nails", then it'd lead to me biting off the whole nail and ending up with sore fingers. My current favorite cuticle products are Sunny's Body Products' Intensive Cuticle Therapy (if you prefer cuticle oils) and Miracle Balm (if you prefer balms).
#3 | Carry a nail file with you.
#4 | Consider getting a gel polish manicure (NOT acrylic).
Gel nail polishes like Harmony Gelish, IBD Just Gel, CND Shellac, etc are cured with UV or LED lights and can last two-three weeks on your nails. Originally you could only get them done in salons but many of the big nail polish brands offer at-home gel manicure kits. I currently a Red Carpet Manicure kit that you can purchase at your local ULTA store. I recommend the kits that come with a UV or LED light, those dual-system polish systems that don't require a light don't compare.
If you don't want to commit to a color for two weeks, you can just have the gel base coat and top coat done and apply regular polish over the gel. This way you have the strength of the base coat but can switch out the color (as long as you use a non acetone polish remover to remove the polish).
Do not get acrylics. Acrylics just wreck your nails during application and removal since there's so much sanding of your nails. You'll do more damage when getting acrylics so I highly suggest avoiding them. Don't cheat your way to longer nails.
#5 | Set a goal at the end.
Set a goal for yourself or even a prize. Maybe there's a polish you've been wanting to wear. Set the goal that you have to have a certain length of nails before you buy and wear the polish.
For me, I created a goal of having long oval nails. I was really inspired by Chalkboard Nails, who has the longest most enviable nail beds with a wonderful oval shape. After much diligence and shaping, I achieved the oval look but then became inspired by the stiletto nail shape (which requires even longer nails).
#6 | Have a large break? Consider repairing with nail glue!
As my nails started growing out, I became prone to breaks and tears because I wasn't really used to being careful with my nails. Of course my breaks would be a little high up on the nail and instead of filing all the way down, I repaired it with nail glue and a little nail powder. A lot of people prefer using silk wraps and that's a great option too.
I hope all these tips help you on your endeavor to grow your nails out. It's really rough to kick the habit but having grown out natural nails is so much better than having sore bitten fingers. I could also swear that everything looks fancier when your nails are pretty.
Are you a recovering nail biter like me? Do you have any tips to share?