Everything you need to know to treat and prevent dry nails

When the cold weather hits it feels like everything gets dry. My hands, lips, ankles, and the skin on my face get hit the worst, but it seems like even my nails are dry. After speaking with Marlene Vanderhoef, a nail technician at Haven Spa (my favorite spot for a manicure and pedicure if you’re ever in NYC – they’re clean, affordable, and their regular and gel polish LAST), I learned that my dry nails may have more to do with actions I’m taking and less to do with things out of my control, like the weather. Here’s a quick, informative q+a I did with her to find out how to treat and prevent dry and brittle nails.

Why do nails get dry/brittle in winter? The usual cause is environmental. It’s the repeated action of wetting and drying of the fingernails and repeated use of alcohol based hand disinfectants so it’s not necessarily the outside weather.

What preventative measures can people take? Try to moisturize nails by placing cuticle oils such as olive oil or jojoba oil on the areas around cuticles and under nails at nighttime with your favorite hand cream and during the day to dry nails/hands in a thorough manner.

What can people do if their nails are dry/brittle to treat? Depending on the issues, manicures are recommended along with strengtheners and cuticle oils to moisturize the nail.

Any products to avoid? It depends on the issue the client is having, but things like alcohol-based products can be drying.

Does gel effect dryness? Dryness is the result of moisture deprived nails. This can be the result of age, abuse of aggressive removal practices, etc. Gel in general, gel nail polish or UV gel don’t cause dryness. With any artificial product, with regular maintenance and home care it can be avoided or kept to a minimum.

Image: Vogue

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