Splitting natural nails..

Celebrity Q and A's Q: I have been a nail biter my whole life. Recently, I have been able to grow my nails long enough to paint them. Problem is, even with base coats and strengtheners, my nails have been splitting. (Layers come off the top.) I have been using OPI products as recommended by professionals, but they don't help. I have always had strong, healthy nails (just slightly chewed) and have NEVER had this kind of problem until I started polishing them! I use polish as an anti-biting technique, but they end up looking worse, and then I have to wait for half the length of the nail to grow out in between applications, and they look worse than when I bit them. Please help, and thank you!
Alana 6/03

Without seeing the nails, diagnosing over the internet, I believe you might have a formaldehyde allergy. Try Cuccio Horsetail nail fortifier.

Great to hear you stopped biting!

OPI products are excellent - but it might be worth just checking the ingredients list on the back of the bottle. Nail polishes sometimes contain ingredients to which very, very occasionally some people are allergic. - the main culprits being Formaldyhyde and Toluene.

I don't know if OPI polishes are free of these items or not - but worth checking cause it might be your answer.

Other than that - if your polish remover contains acetone and you are changing your polish a lot then that could be the culprit too - so make sure you only use acetone free remover - and don't be repolishing every five minutes!

Try using a treatment base coat under your polish and massaging a little oil into the cuticles each night befor you go to bed - even with your polish on.

Failing all of that - dry, brittle nails can be caused by a variety of outside influences such as exposure to household detergents, drastic dieting etc.

good luck
Jilly Jones
Author "Brushing Up"

Your nails are peeling and need something to keep them together until that part grows off. I recommend you get a nail treatment called Nailtek #1 - if that does not work, go to #2. Put a layer on OVER your polish every other day and change it weekly.

If you are now using a treatment product similar to Nailtek (OPI has one that is similar the Nailtek #2), the peeling may be a normal part of the treatment - for a shor time. See below:

Polish/treatment MAY peel for a week or two after you start a treatment product - is that what is happening with the product you are using right now? Is it a treatment product? If it is, your nail is 'adjusting' to the treatment product and the peeling will quit in a couple weeks after the nail has established the capability of linking with the polish. Then, it will become stronger and more beautiful right before your eyes! The peeling is disgusting, I know, but is just a part of the changes in the nail plate and it too will pass. Just take all the polish off and repolish.

In your stopping the biting, it is very important that you wera polish to help you, as you said you are. A color is better, in my opinion, though I know it takes more work. Keep the free edges snag free with a 220 grit emery board. Gently - don't over do it!

Congratulations on quitting, Alana. I know how hard it is!
Janet McCormick

Hi Alana, I don't recommend using a formaldehyde nail hardener, in your case. They are for weak, thin nails and should not be used on nails that are brittle. They can help with peeling nails, but that depends on why they are peeling. Based on what I have heard, I think you should look at how often you remove your enamel. More than once per week can make some nails peel in the manner you described. I suggest diluting your nail polish remover with water. You can put up to 10% water and still remove the polish. Also, I recommend acetone. Some "non-acetone" removers can be very aggressive on nails. Finally, I recommend you use a good penetrating oil like Solar Oil. It will absorb into to the layers of the plate and help prevent peeling and will condition the plate. Also, avoid soaking your hands in water. That can increase the amount of peeling.
Hope that helps.
Doug Schoon
V.P. of Science and Technology
Creative Nail Design, Inc.

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Split in the natural nail.