I was a chronic nail biter for as long as I can remember. My Dad would always tell me a bedtime story of a boy who was walking to school, saw a dollar coin on the ground and couldn't pick it up because his nails were too short... I think I heard that story about 50 times. I don't know why in particular I chose to bite my nails; I think it was a combination of a nervous habit, a cure for boredom and just something I didn't think twice about.
I attended a high school that was very strict on dress code and we were never allowed to paint our nails. As a result, I never cared about what they looked like because everyone looked the same. It wasn't until 2012 at 18 years old that I tried to really curb the habit and grow them out.
Looking at the picture above, it is difficult to believe they are both my nails. In less than a year I turned their health around and now I am kind of obsessed with them, if you couldn't already tell.
If you are a nail-biter like I was, I have a few tips for you. These tips do not include the stupid ideas of putting bad tasting things on your nails to turn you off - that didn't even work for me. I had to change my entire view on my nails. I am not guaranteeing that these tips will work! I am just sharing what worked for me.
It was not easy... I caved quite a few times and had to start again. The main thing I tried to do was make my nails something to be proud of - something I could see everyday and realise that I quit the habit and I made them look incredible all on their own. People don't even believe I was an ex-biter!
1. Apply a clear nail strengthener to your nails before every polish application. If you can't wear a coloured polish to school or work like I couldn't, I still recommend painting a clear coat of strengthener - it's clear so it abides by the rules, and it obviously strengthens the nail and helps it to grow. I personally use Revitanail but that can be rather expensive (and super stinky), so maybe try something by Sally Hansen or Revlon. (If you need extra help, vitamins do exist to help hair & nail growth but I personally didn't take those)
If you can't paint your nails often, the next few tips may not help you (sorry!) as I curbed my habit by focusing on the presentation of the nail. If you don't mind applying and removing polish for the weekends then still read on :)
2. Keep your nails painted as often as you can. I don't mean half-heartedly painted either - keep them up to scratch. When my nails are painted prettily, I do NOT want to bite them and muck them up! If they start to chip and you start to nibble, fix it up or try a new colour. If you keep them in tip-top shape, you may start to feel guilty about ruining them.
3. File, buff & polish regularly. I guess this is optional, but I changed my entire attitude and now take extreme care of my nails. I recommend a cube with each step written on it and a surface for each action - they do not take much time at all! Perform this action to clean nails before applying the strengthener/base coat and polish. This keeps them healthy and promotes growth.
(This is a 3-pack of nail buffing cubes from Sephora, but they are also sold by other brands in Australia)
4. When the nail gets too long, don't use your teeth. This one was super difficult. I recommend carrying a nail file in your bag if you think you will break this rule! Try to file back the nail or use clippers when the length is a bit too long (I know - you never thought you'd say that right?) and avoid using your teeth. If you bite one, you will bite them all. Don't waste all your hard work!
5. Treat yourself. When you start to see results, treat yourself to a manicure or some pretty polishes. You've just curbed a bad habit! Awesome! Don't be afraid to congratulate yourself on your effort. (You don't need a ridiculously large nail polish collection either - I've gone a bit overboard but it runs in my family haha!)
Try these steps out and let me know if they work for you. I am constantly complimented for my nails both in person and online. Once I was complimented 3 times in one store!
Your nails can say so much about you and you see them everyday, so why not make the most of their presentation? I hope this was a helpful post!
I constantly post Nail of the Day posts to my Instagram @kryzzleberry & I share a lot of polishes on this blog if you're interested in seeing more photos of my nails.
Love, Krystal x