Beauty Tips: When And How To Use A Nail Hardener

How to grow long, luxurious nails: Learn which products and treatments will help and how to use them. Also included is advice on how to keep nails healthy and strong.

Some women naturally have strong nails and for these women, growing beautiful nails is not a problem. But, for thousands of women, growing long fingernails just doesn't happen, no matter how hard they try. There are so many different types of nail products that it's difficult to decide what items might actually help harden your nails and keep them looking long and lovely. Actually, having beautiful nails takes quite an amount of pampering and polishing, buffing and trimming. Usually a series of treatments for the nail is what's required to have healthy, beautiful nails. Most nail hardeners recommend applying the hardener to clean nails, before applying any other polishes. Applying the hardener first, let it dry and then repeat. The hardener treatment should be done at least twice a week. After applying and drying the two coats of nail hardener, then polish can then be applied. To protect your hardener, apply two coats of nail polish, then an additional layer of clear top coat. Between each step, allow polish to dry thoroughly. Expect to pay slightly more for nail hardener than what you'll pay for regular polishes and top coats.

If your nails are particularly soft and difficult to grow, use a nail polish remover with hardener already in it when removing your polish. After removing old polish, buff the nails to make sure that no small pieces of tissue or lint are adhering to your nails. Don't wait until the polish and top coat have begun chipping before re-applying the nail hardener. Just choose a couple of days out of the week and do your nails, whether they need it or not. If you wait until the polish is peeling, your nails will not strengthen as quickly as they could if you keep the hardener on at all times.

Most people think of hardener as coming in a bottle and being applied like nail polish. There is another hardener that works well, called gelatin. This is clear and flavorless and is found in the pudding and gelatin section at your grocer. It costs a little more than flavored gelatins, but serving sizes are about the same. Follow the directions on the box to make the gelatin, then eat it a couple of times a week, or even daily, if desired. Gelatin is known to harden nails, but give this method several weeks before you begin to see a permanent difference in the hardness of your nails. No matter which treatment you prefer, don't expect to see a difference overnight. These treatments take weeks to work. It's okay to use the gelatin and the nail hardener at the same time, but know that it will still take weeks to notice an improvement.


Some nail polishes claim to have hardener in them. These polishes go on like other polishes and some people claim to notice a difference in the hardness of their nails by using just these types of polishes. If you're using a hardening polish, clean nails well, apply a coat and dry. Apply a second coat, and even a third to give nails a thorough, hard polish. A clear top coat can then be added for further protection of the nails. When nails begin to grow, don't allow them to grow to the full extent, since this will increase the risk of breaking or tearing the nails down again. Grow nails out, but keep them all trimmed at about the same length, but not excessively long until you're sure that your nails have improved and will not break easily.

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