Should you file or cut your nails?

December 8, 2014

All the experts out there will tell you that it’s best to file your nails rather than cut them. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some other tips to help you take care of your nails.

How should you file your nails?

Professional manicurists recommend filing nails to give them the desired shape and prevent them from breaking or splitting. When you file your nails, make sure they are dry and file them only in one direction. This will cut your work in half. Here are some additional tips:

  • Use an emery board with a fine grit. If possible, avoid metal files. Glass files have the softest grit.
  • File your nails from the outside edge towards the middle. Follow their natural shapes.
  • Avoid sawing back and forth so as not to weaken the nail.

The lower the grit number, the rougher the file. More grit is good for filing down a nail fast. Use a lighter grit for finishing the shape. You’re wondering if you’ve filed your nails properly? If the edges don’t snag and split, it probably means that you’ve done a good job.

How often should you file or cut your nails?

Unless your goal is to grow longer nails, you should file your nails at least once a week. Why? It makes them stronger and more resistant. If you don’t want the bother of looking after your nails all the time, or if your lifestyle and long nails don’t mix, file them down to your fingertips when they get too long. You could also cut your nails a bit before filing them if they’re really long. In fact, if you really prefer to cut your nails, do it after taking a bath or shower, or after soaking them in water.

Strengthen your nails

After filing your nails, soak your hands for five minutes in warm water that contains a few drops of fortifying oil, olive oil or lemon slices. Did you know that lemon cleans and strengthens nails? After that, just rinse and dry them and you’re all done. Applying fortifying cream or olive oil to nails also promotes growth. Similarly, you can apply a quality polish to your nails to protect them and make them more resistant. And, of course, if you want healthy nails, you should never bite them.

Did you know this?

Now that you know why you should file rather than cut your nails, here are some interesting facts from the Canadian Dermatology Association.

  • Nails grow about 2.5 mm per month while toenails grow about 1 mm.
  • Nails grow faster in summer than in winter.
  • If you lose a nail, it takes an average of six months for it to grow back. It takes about a year for toenails.
  • Nails absorb more water than skin.
  • Nails will not grow faster if you eat gelatin or apply it to your nails.
  • Brittle, soft, split, discoloured or stained nails could signal a health problem or a dietary deficiency.
Should you file or cut your nails?
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