I've had a lot of people ask me how I get my nails to grow so well and here it is.
1. Prenatal Vitamins:
This has been key for me. I had nails that were thin and constantly peeling. Now they are ten times stronger and grow very quickly. Anyone can take prenatal vitamins, whether you plan to get pregnant or not. It takes a few weeks to notice a difference, but when you do, it's a HUGE difference. Your nails/hair are DEAD from the root up, this is a fact. So if you want a real chance of strengthening, you need to do it from the inside out.
2. Always wear polish:
Even if it's just a clear coat. Keep a bottle next to your bed so you remember to keep up on them. This really helps to keep your nails from peeling at the ends.
3. Avoid nail files as much as possible:
Nail files create small tears in your nails that will gradually get worse. If you file in one direction, it's not as bad, but it's still not good. I shape my nails with baby nail clippers. They are small and create better lines (I like round nails, large clippers work great for square). It took some getting used to, but I almost never use a nail file and if I do, it's a very fine grit. Nail files are not good for your nails.
4. Wear rubber gloves when you're doing the dishes or heavy housework:
I'm bad at remembering to do this, but since I change my polish often it's not as big of a deal. But still, I can't count how many mani's I've ruined and how many nails I've broken as a result of having my hands soaking in dish water for prolonged periods. Or how about when you're scrubbing the shit out your shower walls with a rough sponge? If you want nice, long nails or want to preserve a really cute mani, then put some thought into your daily activities and what you can do to protect your nails.