Whether you’ve been biting your nails since childhood or have only started recently, one thing is for sure: it can be tough to permanently kick this nasty habit. Here’s how.
Identify the source of the problem
Onychophagy (nail biting) is often associated with stress caused by work, personal life or financial problems that come with adulthood. But a child might also develop this habit because they’re bored, hungry or simply an anxious person. In any case, it’s important to determine the root of the problem in order to better understand the source of this nasty habit and put an end to it. For instance, if you bite your nails when stressed, you should find ways to relax, such as sports or meditation.
Ask your friends and family for help
Who is in a better position than your loved ones to help you stop biting your nails? No one! Ask your family and friends to tell you to stop biting your nails when they catch you in the act. It’s a great way to stack the odds in your favour!
Treat yourself to a nice manicure
A few good tricks to motivate you to stop biting your nails:
- get artificial or press-on nails, which gives you the look of a manicure and gives your real nails a chance to grow.
- Treat yourself to a professional-looking homemade manicure. It will look so flawless that you’ll be afraid of ruining your manicure by gnawing on your fingers.
- Try gel nail polish which will thicken and harden your nails, making them harder to bite.
Keep your nails short and round
Manicure experts all agree: keeping your nails short and slightly round is the best way to get them to grow back beautiful and healthy. It’s also the easiest way to take care of your nails!
Watch what you eat
Calcium and magnesium are two minerals that are essential for helping your nails grow faster and get healthy. You’ll find them in whole cow and goat milk, white cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, white fish, soy, cashews, pecans, Brazilian nuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, almonds, ginger, dark chocolate and tofu.
Keep your mouth busy
In addition to helping you relieve stress, chewing gum will keep your mouth occupied so you can’t gnaw on your nails. You can also keep a low-sugar beverage on hand, such as lemon water, tea or coffee, as well as crunchy foods like raw vegetables that you can chew on when you are tempted to bite your nails.
Use a bitter-flavoured nail polish
The most tried-and-tested way to stop biting your nails is to use nail polish that tastes bitter. Apply a thin layer of it, just like you would a traditional nail polish. It will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth every time you bite your nails. But be careful not to get used to the taste!