Ridges on nails

Celebrity Q and A'sI have an older woman who has lots of longitudal ridges on all of her nails. They are so thin and weak, have tried artificial and nothing stays on. She insists on not having manicures because she does not want to pay for her nails if they don't look right. She is using a strengthener and applying cream and oils. What causes this and what can be done?
Deb 11/30/99

Longitudenal ridges and the accompanying weak thin nails are caused by 
1) very dry nails
2) illness that can cause the dryness-> ridges
3) the aging process. 

Considering these causes, I do not recommend using a strengthener that has formaldehyde in it as it will dry out the nail even further = cause brittleness and breakage. In these cases, I recommend using oils several times a day with massage to the matrix area, a strengthener daily that does not have formaldehyde, and weekly manicures with lots of matrix massage. Keep in mind that these nails take lots of time to show a difference in composition as they also usually grow slowly (due to aging, etc). Therefore, it is HER responsibility to commit to the program in total and hang in there for the results, and your duty to support her in it (encouragement to hang in there, drawing her attention to improvements, etc.) with great manicures. Her giving up in a few weeks/not doing her part with the home care and getting manicures will only perpetuate the problem. Many will say that matrix massage and regular manicures are not proven scientifically to 'correct' these and other problems, and this is true. (Dermatologists see no reason to scientifically test this so...no scientific proof.) However, I can tell you that over the years my clients have shown great improvements with these programs. I have seen actual changed nails grow out healthier and more beautiful ones. Now I didn't say perfect, but they are highly improved and the clients are VERY happy. (The nail will show a sudden change in the new growth surface within a month or 6 weeks and will grow off the nasty, severe ridges.) The clients are amazed at the improvements and are happier with the appearance of their nails. And that is what counts, I think. 

However, if they get lax again and quit the program, back they will go to the old surface showing up at the back growing out.  Granted that these are not 'scientific tests,' they are just 'anecdotal truths' from my clientele of natural nail clients, so take it for what it is worth. ;-) I believe in it all because I have done it/seen it happen at my humble table. And seen the smiles of happy older clients who have good nails again.
Janet McCormick
Salon Techniques
Author, Spa Manicuring for Salons and Spas, Milady Publishing


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