How To Get Long Nails

Long nails are partially genetic, but there are some ways you can boost your ability to grow long nails.


I found some pretty horrifying common questions people ask about fingernails when doing research for this blog.

I hope you never get your nails ripped out, though I must admit that growing your nails out will make it easier for someone horrible to rip out your nails. Let's not think about that. I will address how to make your nails grow faster, and though I'm not sure what is meant by "How can I cure my nails?" I will talk about how to deal with common problems with nails to make them healthier.

Some of the ability to grow long nails is genetic, but there are some things you can do to keep your nails from breaking in turn allowing you to grow long nails. 

Human nails grow at an average rate of .12 inhces a month. There are factors that determine the rate your nails will grow like age, sex, season, diet and again genetics. 

You can take Biotin a B-complex vitamin to boost nail growth. You can also massage your nails and cuticles with Olive Oil or Vitamin E and wear gloves to bed. Growing nails fast will do you no good though if you don't take care of them.

I used to bite my nails when I was a kid. When I was about 12 or 13 I started wearing Lee Press On nails and my mom supported that decision to help break the habit because I couldn't bite through the plastic. They weren't long fake nails, so it was just enough to get me to stop biting because that yucky tasting stuff you paint on just didn't work. 

My nails (pictured here) have always been thick that is genetic. All the women on my mom's side of the family have long thick nails. But just because they're thick does not mean they won't break. And just because your nails aren't super thick doesn't mean you can't have long nails.  

If you don't have thick nails I'll give you some tips on how to strengthen your nails and if your nails are thick I'll give you tips on how to avoid breaking them. 

The major breakage difference between thick nails and thin nails is that thin nails bend and tear while thick nails tend to snap (sometimes painfully low) and peel. So keep reading to find out how to deal with those situations.

Nail care is so important. 

  1. Do not clip your nails. Clipping causes your nails to bend thick or thin and that can lead to more splitting and peeling. Instead file your nails. If you find that your nails are far too long and you want to take off a significant amount of length clip the ends leaving yourself ample room to file off the damage. 
  2. File carefully. Do not saw at your nails with the file. You should pull the file in one direction and continually move the file in that direction until you have acheived the length and shape you desire. 
  3. Do not buff. Lots of people buff their nails because they like that super smooth shiny look, but buffing breaks the nail fibers and since you are litterally filing off the top layer of your nails you are intentionally making them thinner. 
  4. Use ridge filler. Some people buff their nails because they have ridges, but you can smooth them by using a ridge filler. It brushes on your nails as a base coat to fill in the ridges to create a smooth surface to apply paint. The job of the ridge filler goes beyond just filling in the ridges temporarily though these also contail strenghteners, conditioners, micro-fibers and natural fibers to help heal your nails. They do not shine so if you're looking for a shine on natural nails apply the ridge filler then a shiny top coat. 
  5. Never cut or peel your cuticles. I know especially in the winter this is a tall order. Your cuticles never need to be cut. You can simply push them back with a rubber cuticle pusher and expose more of the nail for polish application. Cutting them can lead to infections and can damage the nail bed. I once got fake nails for a wedding and the nail tech cut my cuticles (I didn't know at the time to ask her not to) and ever since then I have had a split down the center of my middle finger nail. And whenever my nail chips it chips right there in the center and breaks vertically instead of horizontally and takes extra care to grow it back out. This kind of anomoly is due to an injury to the cuticle. 
  6. Keep your nails and cuticles moisturized. Especially in the winter nails dry out and break easier and cuticles crack so by keeping them moisturized they'll behave much better.
  7. Don't fret over yellow nails. Some people think that yellow nails is a bad thing, but it has nothing to do with the health of your nails. It actually is just staining from having nail polish on not unlike how drinking coffee, soda and red wine can stain your teeth. 
  8. Mind the shape. Your real nails should not be filed into a stiletto shape because the ends will easily snap off. Your best nail shape should actually mimic the shape of your cuticle bed.
  9. Do not use your nails as tools. It seems so convenient to bust into a package using your finernails rather than a pair of scissors or a knife, but it's destined to lead to broken nails. 
  10. Keep them painted with regular polish or clear polish. If you have your nails painted you become more aware of them and you tend to baby them a bit more.
  11. Use a peel off base coat. Rather than soaking your nails in drying acetone try a peel off base coat. Your nail polish application won't last as long, but your nails will become healthier.
  12. Avoid gel polish or damaging nail stickers. These options may be long lasting, but they damage the top layer of your nails and will make them weaker. 
  13. Speak up at the nail salon. If you want to get your nails done at a salon tell the person doing your nails that you don't want them buffed and please push back your cuticles rather than cutting them. I very very rarely get my nails done. I ocassionally get gel polish, but I also know that I will need to give my nails ample time to recover after removal. I would never do two gel applications in a row. 
  14. Do not peel nails. This is tempting I know. When you see a split in your nail you wanna get in there and rip it apart. Instead slap some polish on so you don't see it or file your nail down past the damage.
  15. Use superglue and a tea bag to fix a broken nail. I'll have to do a video on this to really show you how to do this. If you have a break starting you can put superglue and a little piece of the tea bag over the crack. Let it dry and it will stay together until it grow out long enough to clip. 

I am not a doctor nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but Web MD does cover some  common nail problems

Most nail issues like ridges, pitted or discoloration doesn't mean anything serious, but it can be a sign of something else to look for so if you're concerned about new changes to your nails talk to your doctor.