A really obvious sign of my anxiety over the years was my short, stubby, bitten nails. I was always ashamed of how they looked but just couldn't stop. I tried using awful tasting nail products designed to stop you putting your fingers in your mouth - didn't work - I used to scrape it off with my teeth and carry on biting. So after many failed attempts to stop I would walk around with clenched fists and hide my hands under the table so people couldn't see my hideous nails (they were really bad at times!) yet the shame still wasn't enough to stop me. I was a very dedicated nail biter!
Last year I finally managed to stop, mostly down to willpower, it took a while and even now if I break a nail I do slip back in to biting mode if I'm feeling particularly anxious. One of the most helpful things was a nail strengthener - strong nails don't break which meant less opportunity to bite. Mavala Scientifique was the best I have found by far and keep my nails really strong, and considering the years of damage I did by biting my nails that's impressive!
I'm now trying to undo the years of neglect that my nails suffered and the following are things that I use on a regular basis to look after my nails.....
- Leighton Denny Crystal File - this bad boy does not damage nails and mine were pretty fragile to start with. Getting rid of the raggedy edges means less picking and biting so a great buy for nail biters.
- Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Cuticle Pen - Another thing I was guilty of is picking my cuticles. This helps to keep them soft and moisturiser so less dry skin to pick at!
- Palmer's Coconut Oil Hand Cream - a beautifully moisturising balm like lotion that really does moisturise dry hands, I can't recommend this enough and it has the dreamy smell of coconuts.
- Rimmel All White Now Nail Brightening Complex - Even when you have short grotty looking nails this stuff can make them look sooo much better. While I was growing my nails this stuff made a big difference to the look of the nails, the better they looked the less I would bite!
My top tips for nail biters:
It's not going to be easy but you can stop, promise!
- File your nails - this may sound silly but the smoother and neater your nails look the less you will want to bite them. Irrelevant of how short they are do your best to neaten them up with a crystal file.
- Use strengthener - strong nails will be able to grow longer than unloved bitten nails so keep them strong and when you do stop biting they will help you get through the frustrating breakage that is inevitable.
- Paint them - nobody wants to make pretty nails look ugly so use a sheer colour or nail whitener to make them look pretty.
- Shellac - My saviour! When my nails were finally long enough I got shellac - they kept my nails strong and meant I wouldn't bite, they were too pretty and hard to bite anyway! They didn't damage my nails in any way but do look after your cuticles and get them removed properly or use the proper kit!
Have you been a nail biter that managed to kick the habit? Leave your tips in the comments below!