If you are a regular nail biter, chances are that you know that your habit is pretty gross. No one wants jagged nails or bleeding cuticles. However, nail biting is an extremely hard habit to break. For most people, nail biting is a nervous reaction or something they do out of boredom. They bite their nails without thinking. Not matter how disgusting it is, they struggle to break the cycle. Luckily, there are a few ways to stop yourself from biting your nails, one and for all.
Start by doing some research. Sure, nail biting is gross, but did you know it’s actually bad for your health? Think about it: you’re putting your unwashed hands in your mouth. This makes your vulnerable to colds and illnesses. Biting your nails can also cause the skin around your nails to bleed. These open cuts put you at risk of getting infections. From a beauty stand point, biting your nails can damage the growth pattern of your nails. According to the Huffington Post, biting or picking your nails could also lead to temporary or permanent effects to your actual nail. Repeat damage to your nail area can result in a “funny-looking” fingernail. Biting your nails can also mess with your teeth. It can lead to teeth shifting out of place or the wearing down of your enamel. Being aware of risks associated with nail biting might help you to crack down on the habit.
In order to stop biting your nails, it’s important to identify why your are driven to nibble on your finger tips. Is it a nervous habit? Or something that you do out of boredom? Try to pay attention to when and why you bite your nails. You should enlist the help of your friends and family. Have them point out when you start biting your nails. Once you identify the root cause of your nail biting, try to replace it with another habit. One of the most popular “safe” habits is to wear a hair tie around your wrist and snap it every time you get the urge to bite your nails. Another option is to squeeze a stress ball. Tell your friends to call you out when you bring your hands to your mouth. This will make you more mindful of your patterns and help you make a conscious decision to stop.
You can also enlist the help of beauty products to help you break the habit. Try a product that makes your nails taste bad. The Supernail Professional’s Bite No More Nail Polish ($34) gives your nails an unpleasant taste that serves to remind you that you shouldn’t be putting your hands in your mouth. Manicures are also a good way prevent your self from biting your nails. So go ahead and treat yourself to a weekly mani. According to Women’s Health, when your nails are beautifully painted or already trimmed, you’re less likely to feel the urge to bite. Many people pick or bite at their nails when they are small imperfections, so try to keep your nails nice and neat.
Here are some other tips that might help you break the habit:
- Start with one nail at a time. Got a few days with out biting one nail. Actively notice and appreciate how great this nail looks and feels. Then move on to the next nail until you can hopefully stop biting all your nails.
- Keep your nails short so there is less contemplation to bite.
- Get a gel manicure. Gel manicures are harder to ruin. This will also help you realize how great strong, healthy nails feel.
- If your nail biting is stress related, find other ways to deal with your stress.
- The root cause of nail biting is debated, but it might be related to OCD. Serious nail biting can be psychological problem so see if specialist if needed.