There are a lot of ways to have healthy nails, but for some odd reason all I can think of is the ways to get unhealthy - so I'm going to make that list (it seems easier in how my mind is working today).
Ways to have unhealthy nails:
1. have WLS - your nails get thin and break easily due to protein needing to fuel you and not excess nail growth (this can go hand in hand) and usually clears up once your protein stabilizes
2. bite them
3. bite your cuticals then your nails
4. get fake nails
So I have been getting fake nails circa 2008 regularly and had gotten them once in a blue moon during college, but religiously for the last 7 years every month - twice a month - I got my nails filled, filed, buffed, and painted. It was my me time. It made me feel good. I carved out that time to mentally take care of myself oh and did I mention flush some serious cash into nail shops. Think on average the cost was 35 a trip - that is around $6000 dollars I invested into myself and I always could justify it. Um 6K on nails and that isn't including pedicures!
Talk about sticker shock! Well getting healthy for me is about 360 degree health. I realized I had a serious addiction to nails and the cost was only hurting the pocket book, but it also wasn't healthy for me or my nails. My nails though the rest of my body recouped post WLS hadn't because I hadn't let them. About a month ago I made the decision for many reasons to stop getting my nails filled. I took them off and started the healing process both inside and out.
Outside process was the hard part. Inside was easy - take vitamins and up my biotin to strengthen my nails. Inside check...ok still ugly nails. I had to go back to the basics and keep my nails healthy on the outside. That means no more fills. No more biting my dry tough cuticals. Cutting them down and watching them get healthy. This was going to be a process and not one done over night.
I've had to make the following efforts to see the below before and after pic:
1. keep my nails cut short to allow the damage areas to grow out
2. keep my cuticals well oiled and use hand lotion to prevent strays
3. use strengthener on top my nails multiple times a week to assist in growing new nails that are healthy
4. take biotin and i'm going to be adding in hair skin and nails supplement as well
5. keep my nails painted (as to not bite when anxious)
6. spend time filing off rough areas and minding the nail beds
It is alot more work than sitting and letting someone do my nails and after they are healed - I will get a professional manicure to clean it all up to help me keep it up at home, but I'm very proud of my progress so far!