Thin/Peeling Nails & Brow Waxing

Dear Laurel: My fingernails are very thin and peel and easily. Is there anything I can do to help strengthen them? 
Bonnie ~ Lexington

Dear Bonnie: Having thin fingernails is a problem that many people are cursed with. It can be annoying and even quite painful when the nail cracks and breaks below the free edge. This can be especially irritating when you work a lot with your hands. It can also be an embarrassment when your job involves using and showing off your hands to others. Good news, there are things you can do to help to strengthen and condition your nails to a healthier, more attractive condition. However, anything worth doing is worth doing well, so be patient and consistent if you want to see lasting results. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Eat healthier! Since your nails primarily consist of protein, include protein in your diet. Also, take a multi-vitamin daily to assist in supplementing your diet. Vitamins will also help make your hair healthier too. An extra bonus!
  2. Wear gloves whenever you do housework or anything that causes your nails to come into contact with chemicals. Exposing your nails to harsh liquids can further weaken already soft nails.
  3. Use a gentle buffer instead of a nail file to maintain the shape of your nails. Some files tend to be too rough and act as a saw, leaving the edge of the nail rough and ripe for catching on clothing.
  4. Apply a thin coat of nail hardener every other day to give extra strength to the nail surface. A good time to apply this is at night before going to bed and usually only takes a few minutes to dry. Remove the hardener every 7 days and start the application process over again; 2 coats followed by an additional coat of hardener every other day.
  5. Keep thin nails trimmed short and close to the natural nail line while you are trying to strengthen them. Your nails only grow approximately an 1/8 of an inch a month, so be patient while the new strengthened nail grows out.
  6. Drink plenty of water. Sufficient water intake is important to keep the rest of your body healthy and helps to provide moisture to your nails.
  7. If all else fails, you can always have an acrylic or gel overlay applied over your natural nails. This will add extra strength and aid in preventing them from breaking. Follow these helpful tips consistently and you should see positive results. If you feel as though your nails are still not improving, seek the advice of a physician, as there may be a more serious health issue present.

Dear Laurel: I have very thick eyebrows and have been getting them waxed regularly for most of my adult life. I recently heard from a friend, that I should only be waxing the middle and underneath the brows, but never the top of the brows. I have always had the tops done and was wondering if there was a specific reason why this area should not be waxed.
Sheila ~ Woburn

Dear Sheila: A professionally waxed and shaped brow can make all the difference in your appearance. A well coiffed brow can enhance your natural arch and frame the face, bringing attention to the eyes. It’s almost like getting a mini facelift! The question of whether to or not to have the tops of your brows waxed is purely a matter of preference. Some claim that waxing the top of the brow may cause the hair to grow back in an unusual pattern or even thicker, but in my experience I have not found this to be true. Those with thicker, unruly brows tend to prefer to have them looking clean rather than leaving the top of the brow looking unkempt and scruffy, especially when under the brow looks so clean. Whatever you choose, it is my advice to have your brows professionally shaped by a trained professional who specializes in hair removal.

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