Nail Care

October 08, 2008

Whether you are writing, cleaning, cooking, getting ready for work or scratching your head to meet a deadline, you are constantly using your hands. However, unfortunately, these hands are the most ignored when it comes to beauty and maintenance. How many times do you notice that your nails are cracked and out of shape but you postpone to caress them? That is the bottom line , these nails are treated to be dead tissues , dead and therefore they don’t need to be maintained; this mindset needs to be changed!

Take a look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy-looking? Or do you see ridges, or areas of unusual color or shape? The condition of your nails may offer clues to your general health. Illness can cause changes in your nails that your doctor can use to develop diagnose.

Ayurveda behind nails

The nails reflect the quality of tissue production in the body as nails are considered to be the waste product of bones (asthi dhatu) Healthy nails are pink, smooth and evenly shaped.

The root cause of nail disorders like splitting and flaky nails, white spots, vertical ridges or discoloration of the nail bed is an improper diet. Vata type nails are irregular in shape, pale, rough and brittle and bitten. A person with Pitta as the predominant dosha has oval, soft, strong and flexible nails while Kapha type nails are square, thick, large and very white.

Split and cracked nails

Many women are plagued by fingernails that split and crack. What’s causing this? Like body shape, skin tone, and hair texture, our nails’ ability to grow is largely hereditary — so if your mom had weak nails, you’re likely to have them, too. That said, there are things you can do to avoid much of the splitting:

Protect your nails from water. Keep your hands out of H2O, since water can actually dry out nails, causing them to split. Be sure to wear gloves when doing dishes or cleaning.

Apply hand cream religiously. Look for a rich formula, which will seal moisture into nails, making them stronger and more flexible.

Health tips

Fragile nails, split nails, discolored nails and infectious nails are some signs of unhealthy nails which are encountered on account of bad habits like keeping the nails unclean from the bed, not changing the nail polish regularly, poor diet and water intake and biting them rigorously. The chances of these manifestations increase if you use your nails for purposes not defined for them like digging, scratching and the like. Some tips for developing and maintaining healthy nails are as follows:

  • Add shine to your nails by massaging coconut oil or warm Castor oil on to them.
  • If you do not like nail polish then apply dry soap to your nail and buff or use lemon peel for a similar result.
  • Dip a cotton-tipped swab in hydrogen peroxide to clean under the nails and whiten them.
  • Before giving yourself a manicure dip your nails in a cup of warm water with one tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Put your fingertips in half a lemon and twist your finger back and forth to clean the cuticles and nails
  • If you wear nail polish on a regular basis then, take them off for a day or two every week, in order to let your nails breath.
  • Apply speed-dry nail polish when time is of the essence.
  • Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated everyday to maintain healthy nails.
  • Fortify your diet with FDA approved vitamins or supplements. Your fingernails count on you to be responsible with your health and your diet. Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, increase your daily doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc.
  • Touch up your manicure on a daily basis to prevent chips and cracks.

Nail polish tips:

  • Finish with a clear topcoat to add gloss and sheen.
  • Start with a base coat to strengthen and protect the nails.
  • Store nail polish in the refrigerator to maintain a smooth consistency.
  • Try not to store nail polish in a room that becomes cold. The nail polish bottles may break without warning, leaving you with a big mess.

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