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The Shortcut to Longer, Stronger Nails

Curb the bending and stop the snapping with expert manicurist Julia Diogo’s tried and tested advice to making your nails grow stronger, faster
By: Shannon Peter

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The Shortcut to Longer, Stronger Nails

The Shortcut to Longer, Stronger Nails

Curb the bending and stop the snapping with expert manicurist Julia Diogo’s tried and tested advice to making your nails grow stronger, faster

By: Shannon Peter

We can’t say we blame you for not knowing how to make your nails grow faster – the advice surrounding this beauty conundrum is particularly contradictory. Some sources say the answer is in a supplement, others swear by old wives tales and unsubstantiated hacks, while others claim a single hero product can do the trick. But what’s the truth? We asked Julia Diogo, Liberty's resident manicurist and the hands behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s dream nails for her tried-and-tested advice.

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1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

“The top thing I will always recommend in order to see nail growth is keeping cuticles and hands super hydrated,” Diogo explains. But not just any old cuticle oil will do. “You need good quality oils and creams, and this stops the nails from becoming dehydrated, or snapping once they reach a certain length.”

“I absolutely love using Augustinus Bader’s The Face Oil 10ml, £70 as a cuticle oil,” Diogo recommends. “A little really does go a long way. It really helps to keep the nail plate and cuticles super hydrated and soft.” And don’t fret if you’re worried about how oil might impact your manicure. “If you are someone who wears gels or any other nail enhancement, oiling your cuticles doesn’t interfere with them, it actually allows the manicure to last a lot longer.”

Keep your cuticle oil to hand at all times. “I will always recommend applying it two-three times a day along with a hand cream,” Diogo explains. “Keeping these products by your bedside table is also super helpful as it reminds you to do it each evening before bed as part of your night time routine.”

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2. Resist the Urge to Pick

When your manicure starts to look a little worse for wear, it can be all too tempting to start picking and chipping the polish away. But don’t, as Diogo believes this to be one of the worst things you can do for nail health. “It weakens the nail plate over time causing them to become weak and almost paper-like.” Thinner nails are more likely to snap, bend or break as they grow, stunting your progress in the long run. Instead, “Regular appointments with a professional nail artist will help see nail growth as you’ll receive the proper care and safe removal or any sort of gel products,” Diogo adds.

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3. Keep It Trim

It may sound counterintuitive, but in the quest for longer nails, it can sometimes pay to trim them more than you might like. Remember: this is the long game. “Keeping nails and cuticles trimmed definitely helps in the long run,” Diogo explains. “My advice is always to keep your nails at a manageable length for your lifestyle and your cuticles trimmed and pushed back to give the appearance of clean and well-groomed nails, even if you are not wearing any polish.”

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4. Supplement Your Approach

Just like hair, our nails are one of the last parts of our bodies to be dished out their share of the vitamins and minerals whooshing around our system, and by the time our important organs have had their fill, nails are left with a rather measly portion. This can lead to weakened, flimsy nails that break easily, have ridges across their surface or just don't seem to grow. If you suspect this could be your issue, you could try supplementing your vitamin intake. Agent Nateur's h o l i ( m a n e ) Hair Skin and Nails, £95 is a surprisingly palatable powder full of magnesium, calcium and potassium, which your body needs to aid nail growth and to improve the look and feel of nails.

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5. Seek Protection

Once you have some length (and to be honest, even when you don't) it's vital that you protect nails from anything that might weaken them further, which means digging out those rather fetching marigolds before embarking on any household chores it that seasonal spring clean. Soaking hands in hot water while washing up can weaken the nail bed, and you don't want to catch, chip or tear nails while running the hoover around the living room.

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