My nails are nearly perfect, but why?

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  1. I broke my ankle at the end of November. Awful, especially living in the Chicago area with nearly constant snow/ice, I was housebound except for doctor visits, didn't want to fall again, especially dragging around a casted leg.

    I removed my nail polish after a week or so after the fall (chipped) and was sad that I would not be able to visit my mani place (I love going there--so social). So inside I have been for nearly 3 whole months (had surgery & ankle has healed and I am getting around pretty well now).

    My nails, though not shaped well (I'm bad at filing) are nearly perfect! No hangnails, no bad cuticles, no peeling (and my nails always peeled). I am totally amazed.

    They are smooth and shiny and just wonderful. No breaking (I've even used them to scratch off some burned on food on a pan--a real no-no). My BF thinks that maybe staying out of the horrid cold winter we have had and not wearing gloves and mittens (pulling on and off) could be what made the drastic improvement, I'm wondering if it could be just having the polish remover used weekly, new applications of nail polish, just the general manicure is what didn't work for my nails. I don't allow any buffing or sanding on my tips even though they used to have peeling and that was the way to get a smooth surface. I didn't use lotion on my hands any more than usual (and I really don't use it enough).

    Any thoughts on what the heck happened to give me nearly perfect nails? My mani shop trims the cuticles, which I always have a lot of, but now I have pretty much none (visible, just lovely nail beds).
  2. Did you use acrylic on your nails? My best guess is that it is because you have not used any chemicals on your nails in a while, such as nail polish or remover. I used to have acrylic applied to mine and then went to gel, which is supposed to be easier on your nails, but I haven't done any of this in months, and my nails look better than they ever have. Having your cuticles trimmed could also have contributed to having hangnails. And, just not being out in the cold.
    blondiekinz and kemilia like this.
  3. I have very strong nails. They grow long, don't break, etc. I used to get a regular manicure weekly. After about a month's time, the use of the nail polish remover weakened my nails. They turned almost a yellowish color and became softer.

    Once I stopped going every week, my nails returned to their usual state.
    PewPew and kemilia like this.
  4. Bluethreads and cbarrus, you could both be right. Eliminating the chemicals might have been the magic here. And no, I didn't ever use acrylics or gels, just regular old nail polish. My mom always had fabulous nails, long and strong and she kept them polished almost up to the day she died so her secret was just great nails.

    Now I have to rethink about returning to the manicurist, maybe I should cut back to every other week. Like I said, I am a crummy filer, my nails are all different shapes right now.
  5. I too have always had issues with my nails peeling. In my instance, I found 2 culprits: standard nail files and acetone-based polish remover.

    I switched to a crystal or glass file only, and peeling instantly reduced by 90-95%. I would bet your salon was using a standard emery-board type file that didn't seal the keratin layers of your nail & likely contributing to the peeling. Every now & then I would get a nail tech who would do the "saw back & forth" style of filing - even gently - and that's a big no-no, especially if you have peeling. Also, acetone-based polish remover is very drying, so I agree with everyone who suggested that as another culprit. I know when I'm regularly wearing & removing polish with it, I start having some issues with peeling again.
    kemilia and PewPew like this.
  6. The exact same thing happened to me. I was getting mani/pedis every two weeks yet my nails were always dry and my cuticles sometimes cracked and my nails peeled. The technician would clean them up and they would look good for about 1.5 weeks and then the same cycle.

    Two months ago, I had to be out of town for three weeks. I knew I could not maintain my nails, so I decided to remove all polish.

    Lo and behold, my nails grew beautifully, not dry. My cuticles are beyond healthy. All I did was push them back in the shower with my fingernails. My nails no longer peel at all and they look so good!

    Well, guess what... I told a friend of mine who was in the beauty business and she said it is a little secret that the nail polish removers the salons use are harsh. Their goal is only to get the polish off fast. She also said cutting cuticles is the worst thing ever, all the pros say never trim or cut, yet all the technicians do it because it is short term beauty and they also know you will be back because your cuticles are now stressed and will crack or grow thick again as the stressed cuticle is trying to protect itself from injury. A viscous cycle.

    She never goes to a salon, does her own nails and only pushes them back. Her nails and cuticles look amazing.

    I have since stopped going to salons and do my own nails. I also let them breathe a bit too. And now I never ever cut my cuticles and they have looked the best in probably ten years! I thought I had dry cuticles because the nail techs brain washed me, but no.. it was all that cutting.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents for what it’s worth.