5 myths about nail health you need to stop believing


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Photo: Getty Images/Kseniya Ovchinnikova

Some people go their entire lives believing myths that just aren’t true. Case in point: Going outside with wet hair isn’t actually going to make you sick, even though you may have heard it growing up as you ran out the door to school. Or that workouts don’t have to leave you sore to be effective. Same goes for many of the nail-health mantras you’ve committed to memory.

Between spots on your nails showing up due to nutrient deficiencies or having to give your nails a breather between manicures, these are the top nail health myths Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of tenoverten, wants you to stop believing right this second.

These are the myths about fingernail health you need to stop believing

1. White spots on your nails are a sign of a calcium deficiency

It’s just not that complicated. Instead, it’s more likely it’s damage to your nail. “White spots on nails are typically caused by an injury to your nail,” Abramcyk says. “With that being said, in some cases it can be a type of mineral deficiency, although that’s rare.”

2. You need to let your nails “breathe”

If you’re currently giving your nails a breather between manicures, there’s really no need. “Letting your nails breathe is indeed a myth since your nails technically get all of their oxygen from your internal blood flow,” she says.

3. You need to trim your cuticles

If you’re not into trimmed cuticles, don’t do it. It’s actually better for your nails if you let them be. “You don’t need to trim your cuticles,” Abramcyk says. “Your cuticle serves a purpose as a protective barrier to bacteria getting under the nail bed, so it’s best to just trim hangnails or skin that’s peeled away and already exposed.”

4. Your nails should be soaked during your mani

Soaking your hands in warm water as you’re getting a mani feels nice, but it’s not necessary. “A dry manicure is just as effective as a manicure where you soak your nails,” she says. “Typically, salons soak to soften cuticles to push them back and have the best nail base surface to paint, but that can be done just as easily with no soaking and the end result looks just as good.”

5. There’s no harm in leaving nail polish on too long

If you’re thinking about skipping your mani appointment to ride your color out a little longer, don’t. “Nail yellowing can be caused by keeping nail polish on too long—particularly with dark colors,” Abramcyk says. “It’s best to remove polish completely once it starts chipping. And if your nails yellow, a white vinegar mixture works wonders.”

Here’s how to do an at-home manicure:

If you ask your manicurist one thing before getting your nails done, make it this. Then find out how you should actually be strengthening your nails.

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