Fingernails and toenails are made from skin cells. And since redheads usually have very sensitive skin, nails can be sensitive too. Don’t forget the signs of brittle, breaking nails — it is your body’s way of seeking attention. If you’re struggling with getting long, strong natural nails, here are a few redhead-specific tips to help you out.
1. MC1R gene causes sensitivities — so skip the gel and acrylics.
The MC1R gene influences the color of hair and pale skin shade. This causes sensitivities to the sun, and also skin sensitivities in general. Don’t make it worse by adding gel and acrylics to the equation. These two treatments can actually weaken your nails, and the added acetone to remove them is no help either. The idea is to work with your genetics, not against them.
2. Stay hydrated
You might be wondering why and how this is redhead-specific. Drinking water is something everyone needs to do. Well, yes, but redheads have what is known as couperose skin. It means redheads have thinner skin which makes it more sensitive. The first step to keeping skin/nails strong is to stay hydrated. It really is the key to being healthy in your hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re an H2BAR Box subscriber, we preach the importance of moisturizer for redheads. Our sensitive skin needs the armor! Applying moisturizer to the hands and nails will help keep the cuticle and surrounding area soft and nourished. Additionally, you can apply oils to help the nails stay strong and healthy.
4. Ditch the acetone
Acetone is NOT a redhead-approved product. This harsh chemical can easily remove nail polish, but at what cost? It’s actually drying out your nails and making them weak which can cause brittle, peeling nails. Opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover instead. And don’t forget about the sensitivity of the skin underneath the nail. Chemicals can really disrupt this and cause a reaction; something we never want.
5. Keep nails trimmed
Just like our red hair, keep your nails trimmed. If your nails are weak and long, they have a better chance of snagging or breaking. Consider keeping them trimmed on the shorter side while they regain their strength and then start growing them back little by little with frequent trims in between to ensure your nails are as healthy as can be.
6. Eat a protein and calcium-rich diet
Does anyone remember when HowtobeaRedhead.com first launched in 2011, we had a healthy living section. True story. It has since been revamped under the Beauty category, but we strongly recommend a good diet to keep red hair and nails at their best. We all know vitamins, such as calcium, helps you have strong bones, and it helps you have strong nails too! Eating a diet that’s high in protein and calcium will help your nails grow faster and be stronger.
7. Take supplements*
There are a lot of supplements and vitamins you can take to help with nail growth including prenatal vitamins, biotin, and hair & nails supplements. This is the secret behind many long, thick red manes. Consult your doctor to find out which one is right for you.
8. Use base and top coats
When you get a manicure or do one at home, make sure you’ve always got a redhead-approved base and topcoat. These two extra layers will help to give your nails an added line of defense and keep them from breaking or peeling.
*Always discuss with your doctor before incorporating any new supplements into your diet.
Rock it like a Redhead!