Common Nail Problems and How to Fix Them

Ask any technician at Nailista and she can list off a ton of common nail issues. Clients regularly come to us looking for solutions to ridges, split nails, brittle nails and more. Luckily most of these complaints are very easily fixed, so we thought we’d share with you some of the most common, what causes them, and how we recommend to fix them.

Nail Ridges

Nail ridges are another complaint that clients will initially always blame on vitamin deficiencies, and although that is true in a lot of cases, nail ridges can actually even be just a genetic trait of your nails. Some families have ridged nails with no underlying cause!

The most common reason for ridged nails, above even vitamin deficiencies, is ageing. Sadly it’s just one of the common side effects of our bodies entering later life. These types of ridges don’t mean your nails are unhealthy, and will cause you no problems with a variety of manicures (They’ll look nice and smooth after gel!), but some people do not like the look of them on themselves.

Some types of Anaemia may also cause ridging, so make sure you’re checking up with your doctor if you think you might need to increase your intake of certain vitamins, such as iron.

Arthritis is another major cause of ridges on the nail.

If you’d like to reduce ridges that are not caused by an underlying heath concern, there are a few simple steps you can take. Firstly, make sure you are getting regular manicures – a very gentle buff across the nail will help to smooth it out, but we recommend getting this done by a professional technician as over-buffing can cause the nail to thin and become painful.

Follow up by using cuticle oil regularly!

Soft, Bendy or Papery Nails

Sometimes you might find, that despite your best efforts, your nails become thin and bendy. This can be annoying as bendy nails are uncomfortable, and will rip easily. They also provide less protection between the outside world and your nail bed, so they can get tender. You might notice your nails are becoming thin as they are sensitive to heat (you might feel a heat spike under the gel lamp!) or they might sting when you are having gel removed.

If you have been to see a nail technician that has taken off your acrylics or gels with an electric file and been a bit overzealous, you will find your nails are too thin.

If you can pin point the thinness to a cause like this, you should try your best to wait out the healing process, and let your nails regrow their strength naturally. Keep your nails very short to avoid catching and bending them.

At Nailista, we also do a treatment called IBX, which is a fantastic cure for bendy nails. The IBX treatment goes on like a polish and is gently warmed under a heat lamp, so your nail plate absorbs it. We then cure it under a gel lamp, so the new strength sits within your nail, not on top of it like a traditional nail hardener.

You can also try a topical hardening polish like OPI Nail Envy, which we have available at our salons. With protein and calcium, this polish is a great way to continue to care of your nails at home.

Brittle and Splitting Nails

It’s easy to assume that brittle and splitting nails are due to prolonged wear of products on top of the nail, but that is not always the case. With proper aftercare and an experienced nail technician, there should be no reason you can’t continue to wear nail products indefinitely.

Aftercare is the absolute key to healthy nails, that’s why your technician will always recommend that you use a cuticle oil. Your nails produce natural oils that leave them strong and looking healthy, but polishes, gels and nail extensions can hinder that production. That’s why it’s really important to use a cuticle oil every day. Massaging this oil into the new nail growth re-hydrates the nail and ensures it’s not at risk from dryness.

However, if you are strict with your cuticle oil and still find your nails are brittle, there can be other causes to investigate. Medication can make your nails brittle and weak, so make sure you read up on the information about side effects.

A very common cause of brittle nails is repeated wetting and drying of the nails. If you work in food service, or in the medical industry you might be washing your hands all day, which can be very damaging to your nails. To avoid this damage, try wearing gloves where possible, use a barrier cream and cuticle oil throughout the day, and if you can, put a protective coating over your nails like a clear gel, IBX, or nail strengthener.