Nail Care, Nail Polish/Care

How to stop bitting your nails and grow them

I use to be a serial nail nibbler. It was once suggested that it was the perfectionist in me that led me to ‘even out’ any jagged or uneven nails. This could be true but I was too young to know what a nail file was. I have kicked the habit in the last few years, after many failed attempts.

Here are some tips from my nibbling experience:

1. Resist the urge to pick of nibble a jagged nail. This was my down fall -“Oh no, it’s uneven. I don’t have a file with me so I’ll just try and even it up” 10 minutes later half my nail would be gone. I found the best way to do this was to wear nail polish. Any unevenness is not as noticeable. Plus you don’t want to ruin your polish.

2. Many people bite their nails when they’re anxious. I once nibbled all my nails off before a long flight, piano exam, leaving cert… you get the idea. Since I’m no psychologist and can’t help you with anxiety I can tell you how I stopped this pattern. Anytime I feel very anxious I sit on my hands. Ridiculous I know, but my nails are long.

3. Treat yourself to nail pampering every evening. Even if your nails look like scutts treat them with love and care. Think ‘If you pamper them, they will come’, anyone who hasn’t seen the movie Field of Dreams is going to be lost there but trust us, it’s a good mantra. Simply taking the time to take care of them will make you more aware of your nails and less likely to nibble away your hard work.

4. Try one of those ‘Stop biting’ nail products thattaste vile. As a child they didn’t deter me but they make work for you. My mam used to paint my nails with Stop’n Grow. It tastes like poison. I’m assuming that it has been tested for human consumption since it’s on the market. For me, having this stuff on my nails made me want to nibble them more because I couldn’t. The caring approach worked best for me, positive conditioning rather than negative. (It appears that I may have been listening to my Psychology lecturer in College!)

5. Rub vitamin E cream into the nail bed to help strengthen them. When I finally kicked the habit I was using Vaseline Intensive Care hand cream (pink tube) on my nails twice a day. This also moisturises the skin around the nail, preventing hang nail.

6. Apply a nail hardener. Biting your nails leaves them brittle and likely to flake which means you won’t be able to resist the nibble. Hardener will help prevent this and make your nails look more attractive my giving them a pretty shine.

7. Wear nail polish. This keeps me on the wagon. Use a base coat to protect the nail from staining.

8. Keep a nail file in your bag at all times. If a nail needs to be evened out have the file on hand so your not tempted to use your teeth.

Did you ever bite your nails? How did you kick the habit?

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  • sja

    ive been bitting sice i was 3…i really need to stop i get so embarrased around my boyf…i cant file my nails there that short!!! i will try to follow the steps the seem usefull..thnxs x

  • http://heeltasticreviewed.com cracked skin hands

    is it can be used anywhere not just your hands!). it softens, moisturises, heals and doesnt smell of perfumes!

  • Kitty

    I don’t bite my nails, but I do pick and they flake, and when they flake I cannot help but pick!! These are very good tips, I am going to follow them!! Thank you!

  • Stacey

    I stopped biting my nails when I got braces. The metal bits always got in the way. Now I always carry a sharp nail clipper, cute glass nail file and keep my nails polished. I usually just use a clear polish as it’s nearly impossible to screw up. Also, I love using Miracle of Aloe Hand Repair Cream. Now my nails have to be trimmed constantly so I don’t get the creepily long talons.

  • http://makeupaddict26.blogspot.com/ Whitney

    I just quit biting my nails a few months ago! I am still having a hard time growing them to be very long because they get so dried out from changing polish and peel/flake and become terribly thin…is there a nail hardener you suggest? I use a sally hansen one occasionally… now that I don’t bite, I find I obsessively play with them and have to make sure I never have anything underneath my nails! I think its all about having to do something with your hands all the time for some reason!

  • innerbelle

    Its soo strange that im not a nail biter, though if im without a nail file and my nail has split i feel the most strongest urge to bite my nails and even it out.

    So i have to agree, defo carry a nail file with you girlies – u just neva no wen ur gonna need it!

  • Emily

    I have been biting my nails for as long as i can remember! I do try to stop, and it works for a while. But within a week or so im biting again. I find that wearing nail polish does help, but im still a serial bite-er! Hopefully some of those tips u blogged about will help :)

  • Kerry

    I used to bite my nails, a few months ago I finally managed to stop haha! After seeing my Mum and sisters’ lovely nails and getting jealous.. I bought a pretty nail polish and put it on my dressing table, and kept telling myself when I grew them I could paint them :)

  • Elle

    I’m totally guilty when it comes to a jagged nail, I’ll always try to make it smooth with my teeth… very naughty. When I was little I used to bite may nails to an oblivion all the time (I also used to chew my hair, which now seems totally foul).

    Now, I find that having put some time and effort into having pretty and polished nails is the best incentive to not biting them. If I have spent a lot of time on making them neat, why would I bite them? (Also, nail polish does not not taste particularly nice).

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