Wondering how to repair damaged nails? Your nails are permeable, which means they drink in whatever you put on them – including nail polish (aka nail varnish here in the UK).
Nail polish can cause the top layers of your nails to dry out, inviting yeast, bacteria, and mould to grow underneath your fingernail plate. That doesn’t sound very nice, does it?
Problems are usually caused by too many manicures, too much nail polish, or acetone nail polish remover. The popular gel polish is even more damaging to nails. Gel can cause brittle and thinning nails over time, much more so than regular nail varnish.
Personally, I have experienced a major decline in my nail health after only two applications of gel polish.
The first time I had my nails painted with gel, I wore it for about 4 weeks. I really loved the look and lasting power of the gel polish, so I decided to have my nails repainted with gel a second time.
The technician used a drill-sander-thingy to sand off the gel polish, and then reapplied a new coat of gel nail polish. I wore that coat for two weeks before having the gel nail polish removed by a different technician.
The second technician used acetone nail polish remover under a cotton pad, and wrapped each finger tip in tin foil for about 5 minutes. Once that was finished, she scraped off the gel nail polish with a stick, and applied regular nail polish. It was a bit cringe, to be honest.
About a week later I removed my regular nail polish with normal nail polish remover. I could see immediately that my nails were damaged. They looked lumpy and thin at the tips. I noticed the ends of my nails were red, quite sensitive, and a few of them hurt and felt hot.
I knew right away that my nail beds were harbouring a little infection. I only hoped this wouldn’t result in permanent nail damage.
Luckily I knew just what to do to repair my damaged nails!
How to repair damaged nails
- Dilute the raw, apple cider vinegar with water, 1:10. Apply the ACV to your finger tips. A spray bottle works well to apply it. Make sure your nails are well-covered in the mixture (even underneath). If you have any type of fungal thing going on like I did, this will really help. Follow with an antibacterial cream, oil or ointment. I actually used out Citrus + Hemp Serum and Frankincense Moisturiser Concentrate, which are both high in naturally antibacterial oils.
- Repeat Steps 1 and 2 at least twice a day, and don’t apply any new nail polish until your nails are healed.
- Using this treatment plan, I was able to repair my damaged nails in one week and they have been growing out normally. Phew! You might want to read How To Grow Strong, Healthy Nails Fast
How to Keep Nails healthy Even With polish On
- Avoid artificial and acrylic nails, as they prevent the nail bed from necessary airflow.
- Avoid wearing nail polish for extended periods of time to allow the nail to breathe.
- Try a natural nail polish remover without acetone.
- Use a non-toxic nail polish and avoid the most harmful chemicals.
- Avoid alcohol-base hand sanitisers, as these dry out the nail bed further.
- Don’t let anyone use a sander to remove nail polish. They might sand too much of your nail off.