This will probably go down in history as the most boring, common sense update I’ve ever posted to the blog. But I recently discovered the secret to strong and healthy nails.
Would you care to guess what that might be? An expensive lotion, perhaps? A complex daily regimen of health supplements and fancy juices? No.
The secret to healthy nails, it turns out, is a pair of rubber washing up gloves.
Yes, I know, this is groundbreaking stuff.
But let’s back up for a second. My nails have been weak, brittle and slightly ridged for about 18 months. And it’s been driving me crazy. Initially I thought it was an issue with my diet, so I started taking hair and nail supplements.
The supplements made no difference to my nails, but I did sprout a halo of tiny baby hairs, and now have a very sexy mini-fringe (#hairgoals). So, you know, all was not lost…
I also spoke to a nutritional therapist, in the hope that they would have a magical cure for my weak nails. But aside from adding a little bit more protein to my diet, there wasn’t much they could suggest.
It was only when I visited a nail salon, a few weeks ago, that I got the answer I’d desperately been searching for.
“You have very poor nails,” the technician said, as soon as she took hold of my hands.
“I know,” I responded, feebly, feeling waves of shame rippling across my body. Internally I berated myself for failing at something as simple as growing healthy nails.
“Do you wear washing up gloves?” the nail technician asked.
“Ummm, no. I probably should though. The water in my area is quite hard, it sometimes makes my skin dry. Would that make a difference?”
And, to that, she looked at me like I was supremely stupid (which, let’s face it, is a justifiable response). “Yes,” she assured me. “Washing up gloves will protect your nails.”
Later that day, I dug out my pair of Marigolds, which had been collecting dust under the sink for at least a year. And I now wear them every time I wash dishes by hand (which is at least twice a day – I don’t have a dishwasher in my apartment).
It’s now been about five weeks since I made this habit-change, and my nails are SO much stronger. They also feel smoother-to-the-touch, so I’m hopeful the unattractive ridging will eventually disappear, too.
So there you have it: the secret to healthy nails. It couldn’t be any easier…
Illustration by Jennifer Darr