how to get healthy nails
Photography by Peter Stigter

How to Get Healthy Nails Super Fast (Even if You’re a Biter, Picker, or Peeler)

We have many bad habits induced by nerves: twirling our tresses while talking to our crush, snacking on junk food until we receive text from said crush, and of course, Netflix.

Luckily, those, like most bad habits, are rather easy to keep hidden. Well, except one. And that one is waved in front of our faces with every email we type, every iced coffee we pick up, and Tinderfella we swipe. What is it? Our childlike fingers caused by our incessant need to bite, peel and pick at our nails.

But like every bad habit, it needs to be kicked. Getting your nails in tiptop, grownup shape deserves to be high up on your priority list.

Intrigued? Good! Now use that foul-looking digit to click through the slideshow for five ways to mend your short, awkward nails and help prevent any future damage.

how to get healthy nails

Tip #1: Repair with tea bags
First on the list on your road to normal nails is to hide the fact that you’re a biter. For that, you can use a tea bag to conceal cracks, ridges and bumps. Cut off the top of one bag and empty the contents (you’ll only need the bag) and cut out a small square (about the width of your nail). Apply a basecoat over your nail and place the teabag square on the top half of your nail and smooth it out. Let dry (15 minutes should do the trick), and apply another layer of basecoat over your entire nail. Again, let them dry, grab your file, and sand down your nail as per usual. Any over-hanging paper from the teabag will come right off. The surface should now feel completely smooth (if it doesn’t, sand them down more). Paint your nails, finish with a hardening topcoat, and your nail-biting addiction will be concealed.

Stash Organic Lavender Tulsi Herbal Tea ($4,

how to get healthy nails

Tip #2: Use a nail strengthener with green tea
Help your nails get into strong, flawless shape by using a nail strengthening product that prevents weak and fragile nails from breaking, peeling or cracking. Our pick? Nutra Nail Strengthener with Green Tea which fills in ridges and offers a maximum strength coating to help nails grow long and strong. For best results, use this as you basecoat in tip #1.

Nutra Nail Strengthener with Green Tea ($4,

how to get healthy nails

Tip #3: Take vitamins targeted to healthy nails
So that there’s no need to forever depend on teabags or a super nail strengthener to help your nails look presentable, consider taking a all-natural vitamins formulated to provide great support for nails. Our favourite is Perfectil Plus Nails. Like all Perfectil tablets, they promote healthy hair, skin and nails, but this type has an extra focus on nails. It boasts selenium and zinc which assist with healthy growth, along with botanical Horsetail extract, Methyl Sulphonyl Methane and amino acids to encourage break-proof nails.

Perfectil Plus Nails ($30,> ).

how to get healthy nails

Tip #4: Keep mani tools on hand
Keeping your nails perfectly smooth at all times helps deter you from biting and picking at them. Invest in a travel mani kit so you can touch-up your nails wherever you are, and fix any hangnails or breaks before you’re tempted to attack them. Try Sephora Collection’s Travel Tips Mini Mani Kit, which includes everything you could ever need, including a nail file, tweezers, cuticle pusher, clippers, and scissors.

Sephora Collection Travel Tips Mini Mani Kit ($25,

how to get healthy nails

Tip #5: Go for gel nails
Prevent yourself from the nagging need to pick at your nails by making a point of consistently donning a perfect mani. Our suggestion? Try an at-home gel polish kit, which offers longwear coverage so you’re not tempted to pick at chipped polish. Ciaté London’s Geltox Starter Kit comes in a pre-timed LED lamp that dries your mani in 60 seconds. It also includes other tools to ensure your polish is smooth, smudge-free and can easily be removed and redone.

Ciaté London Geltox Starter Kit ($120,