A little while ago, my review of the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil turned into a bit of an impromptu discussion of nail biting. Inspired by that post, I decided to right this post and give you some tips on how to stop nail biting.
First things first: I was a nail biter for most of my life. I started as a child and I only stopped (mostly) two years ago. And I am not the only one: a majority of children and teenagers develop the habit at some point in their life. Like all habits, nail biting can be a very difficult one to break. The behavior becomes so ingrained you don’t notice your doing it.
Before we go on to my top tips, I should warn you about the following photo. As you can imagine, I was never really proud of my nails so it was quite tricky to find an old photograph of my hands and when I did…I was in shock. Seeing this now, I cannot believe I thought this was normal: they look absolutely horrific! You have been warned.
Now for the good news: I have managed to stop and using the following tips might help you do the same thing!
Find A Buddy
Nail biting is something you do when you are stressed or bored and chances are you are not aware of doing it. One of my friends really helped me when she started hitting me whenever she caught me nail biting. A little masochistic perhaps, but extremely effective! You can do this yourself by wearing an elastic around your wrist and snapping it whenever you catch yourself. Chewing gum can also be a big help and I still do this in stressful periods to help myself a little.
Your nails will be in very poor condition to begin with, so help them out by keeping them hydrated with a nice hand cream and preferably a dedicated cuticle or nail oil. Your nails will be in very poor condition when they finally start growing and nothing is more frustrating than breaking a nail you have spend weeks not biting! Using a cuticle or nail oil will make them a little more supple, less likely to break, and stronger in the long term. This also takes care of those little hard pieces of skin besides your nails that are also prime targets for nail biters. Besides, your hands deserve some positive attention so go out and buy yourself a lovely hand cream.
Add a Pop of Color
Finally, go forth and buy some beautiful bright nail polish. Early on, your nails will be short and uneven in shape so you might think you should wait untill you have perfect nails to apply polish. Nothing could be less true: nail polish will help support weak nails making them less likely to break but more importantly this will be a strong visual reminder. Think of it as a brightly colored version of my evil friend: every time you bring a bright pink nail to your mouth you will notice. I would recommend picking bright or dark colors: these will look better on shorter nails.
I hope these tips will help out a little for those of you looking to stop. You are in control of your own behavior, so if you are motivated you can turn this around. Even so, I still find myself biting my nails in rare super stressful occasions. Don’t give up if you have a little fall back, remember that this is a long term adjustment of your behavior that will take a little time.
Please let me know if you have any top tips to stop biting in the comments!