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Relaxation in spa salon. Woman fingers.

Acrylic nails make your nails appear hard and sharp — but lurking underneath your acrylics lie nails that can be weak and brittle if you don’t show them some TLC. Don’t let your nails become as thin as the piece of paper you write on. Instead, take some steps to keep your nails as sharp as possible, even when you have an acrylic coating over them.

Moisturize Them

If you didn’t condition your hair at least a few times a week, it’s likely it would be brittle and dry. Your nails are the same way. That’s why you have to moisturize them just like you do your hair. This doesn’t mean you need to break out the conditioner, however. Instead, take some petroleum jelly, olive oil or castor oil and apply to around your cuticles or on your nail bed itself if you are between manicures. Use these moisturizing products whenever and wherever your nails feel dry, and you’ll likely find them growing stronger underneath your acrylics soon.

Protect Them

Sure, your nails are healthy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to defend them every once in a while. To keep your fingernails hard and secure underneath your acrylics, always wear a pair of gloves when you wash dishes or garden, which are two nail-weakening activities. The same goes for when you’re doing household chores that require harsh cleaners. Putting on your gloves is a golden opportunity to apply lotion beforehand. The moisture and heat from your gloves will help the moisture to soak in place.

Get Your Nutrients

Strengthen your nails from the inside out by taking a biotin supplement. Biotin is a vitamin that’s associated with building stronger, healthier nails. “Reader’s Digest” recommends taking 300 mcg of biotin four to six times a day to keep your natural nails healthy. While you’re at it, try to increase your intake of dietary zinc, another mineral your nails need to stay tight and secure. Zinc-containing foods include eggs and milk.

Warning

A big difference exists between a nail that’s become weaker and a nail that’s infected. When you wear acrylic nails, that’s exactly what can happen to your nails if you aren’t careful. Examples include an allergic reaction to the glue used or an infection from the stray bacteria trapped between your natural nail and the acrylic portion. If your nails become red, swollen or painful after your manicurist puts on your acrylic nails, see your doctor immediately.

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