10 Easy Ways To Make Your Nails Stronger

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by Joely Walker |
Published on

Biting? Stop right now. No manicure, no matter how beautiful the polish or neat the paint job, will look it’s best without a healthy nail as a base. Owner and founder of WAH Nails, Sharmadean Reid takes it back to basics and tells us what we need to be doing, eating, drinking and using to have the healthiest nails ever.

1. What does a healthy nail look like?

A healthy white nail with a slightly pink glow – this signifies blood flow – and a long smooth nail bed that has a clean edge, which is strong, snag free and around 2-3mm long. The skin around the nail should also be considered; no biting, no hangnails and try to maintain clean, neat cuticles. These nails will look beautiful when painted.

2. What are the root problems when it comes to weak/unhealthy nails?

Diet is definitely the biggest problem; a good, nutrient-rich diet shows through in your skin, hair and nails, and when you’re not getting the right vitamins the deficiencies show. Secondly, I would say hand protection. Our hands are constantly coming into contact with water, chemicals and other nasty toxins so protecting your hands and nails with a decent hand cream will lock in the moisture and soften hard skin.


3. Are there any foods/drinks that help with nail health?

Protein, protein, protein! Try to incorporate it into every meal. It’s also important to build keratin, so try to each keratin-rich vegetables such as kale, broccoli, leeks and brussel sprouts. Lastly, stay well hydrated; dehydration can result in flaky, weak nails, so juicing watery greens like cucumber with spinach is beneficial.

4. Are there any brilliant supplements you recommend to improve my nails?

I'm constantly testing polish so I take Biotin to help rebuild my nails, folic acid to keep them strong and Omega 3 fish oil as a great all-rounder. I also sometimes take supplements formulated for pregnant women because they're really rich amino acids and protein.

5. What are your three best tips for restoring nails that are suffering after gel, acrylic or shellac?

1- Have any sort of nail extensions professionally removed to minimise stress on the nail bed. Think of those little white marks you get when you pull off your gel nails as stretch marks on the nail, the result of pulling the nail where it's inflexible.

2- Rub oil into your nail after removal. You should try and do this every day. I love solid coconut oil (Grazia Recommends: Dr Jackson’s Coconut Melt, £10).

3- Use a serious nail rebuilder like Dr LeWinn’s Renunail Nail Strengthener, £17.85. My nail technicians swear by it for rebuilding the protein layers of the nail.

6. What are the three insider products for nail health that we all need to know about now?

1- Dr LeWinn’s (as per above). Also, Biotin - my friends in NYC recommended it to me and I've been taking it ever since. WAH LONDON buffing block, (£5.00) It’s great for stimulating blood flow; like a massage/body scrub for your nails.


7. How do we know a salon is safe?

A salon is safe if it's certified, ventilated and has a general vibe that the staff care about cleanliness. Basic salon hygiene should include washing and sterilising all tools.

8. Any nail health absolute don’ts?

Don't use MMA acrylic and PLEASE DON’T pull off your nail extensions or gels. Treat your nails like jewels not tools!


9. And once we all have fabulously healthy nails where can we look for the best manicure inspiration?

Wahnails, obvs. We started our new @wahlondon channel on Instagram to provide great mani inspiration and educate on nail care and products.

10. Any final tip we should be doing?

Never underestimate the importance of a good hand-massage for stimulating circulation to your nails.

READ MORE: 10 Of The Best Products For Strong, Healthy Nails

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