1. You use hairspray often.
If you’re an avid hairspray user, you may be damaging your fingernails without even realizing it. Hairsprays contain up to 50% alcohol, which is quite drying and can make your nails weak and brittle. While hairspray can add the finishing touch to your look, it can also mess up your manicure. Compounds in hairspray break apart the nail polish, so much you can even use it to remove nail polish stains from your clothes.
2. You use your nails as tools.
We all use our nails to open soda cans or scrape off a price sticker from time to time, but if you’re doing it regularly, you’re putting your nails under more pressure than they can handle. If you’re using your nails to do things they weren’t meant to do, it may lead to mild trauma and even cause your nails to split.
3. You remove your cuticles.
Even though your nail technician might say your cuticle won’t let your manicure look neat and stay fresh for longer, that little bit of skin is actually meant to protect your nails from infections. If you remove the cuticle, your nails become more vulnerable to germs and bacteria, which in turn can lead to nail diseases. Instead of cutting your cuticles, ask your technician to push it back and trim the loose skin.
4. You keep your nails long.
While it’s true that having long nails allows you to experiment with different designs, keeping your fingernails shorter is definitely healthier. Long nails can easily harbor dirt and bacteria, and can potentially spread infections. Fake nail extensions can also damage your own nails. In order for acrylic nails to stick, technicians must file your natural nails, which makes them thin and weak.
5. You leave your nail polish on for longer.
Although sometimes it feels like you have no time to properly remove chipped nail polish, you risk damaging your nails if you leave it on for weeks. Much like your skin, your nails can absorb substances that are applied to their surface. To give your nails a much-needed break from nail polish, remove it when it starts to chip and go without any nail polish for a few weeks.
6. You wear tight shoes.
Wearing the wrong size shoes is not only uncomfortable, it can also spell trouble for your toenails. If your shoes press too hard on your nails, it can lead to nail trauma and may even cause nails to separate from the nail bed. To avoid these conditions, make sure your shoes fit right and allow your feet to breathe.
7. You swim in a pool.
While chlorine protects you from germs and bacteria in swimming pools, it can leave your nails overly dry and irritate them. If you’re a swimmer and like spending hours in a pool, make sure you apply a nail hardener and a coat of clear nail polish over it to keep them from losing moisture. Using a hand lotion that contains lanolin will also protect your hands and nails from the negative effects of chlorine.