You want to start growing your nails but they just seem to break at the slightest touch! The school doesn’t allow long tails or nail polish but having nails that seem to have been bitten off during a tense test isn’t what you want.

So how do you get those healthy-looking, well-shaped and strong-as-steel nails? Not so hard if you just pay a little attention to your hands, feet and nails! Here is what you need to do.

Keep your nails hydrated: Like our skin, the nail and cuticle needs to be moisturised too, so rub a small amount of petroleum jelly into your cuticle and the skin surrounding your nails. Do it at night or when you feel they are looking very dry.

Massage your nails: This is best done for a few minutes after you have moisturised them at night, to increases blood supply to the nail, helping them become strong and shiny.

Wear rubber gloves when using detergents and doing rough household chores: Chemicals are very cruel to our skin, hair and nails. So cover up rather than tell mom that you will not help her do the dishes because it will spoil your hands and nails.

Dry your hands/feet well: After taking a bath, swimming or simply getting your hands and feet very wet, always dry them well to avoid fungal infection.

Avoid nail polish removers with acetone or formaldehyde: These can over dry the nail and cuticles, so always go for a good nail polish remover.

File your nails correctly: Never file when the nails are wet as they can easily break; file them in only one direction, not back-and-forth as the edges will not be so smooth then.

Always wear cotton socks: Cotton lets our feet ‘breathe’ — absorbing sweat and letting the air in, and this helps to cut down the risk of fungal infection and smelly feet!—Wajeeha Rehan

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