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?