Alongside all the other things I used to feel insecure about, my hands and nails (or lack thereof) was definitely up high on the list. Now, it may sound like a really random body part to feel shame about, but hey…there we are! I have incredibly thick fingers, as well as broad, wrinkly hands and growing up, I was always really embarrassed to show them. I’m pretty sure it was one of the reasons why I also chose never to wear jewellery, and as for filming myself doing makeup/skincare tutorials? Forget about it! I would purposely try not to have my hands in frame as much as possible.
Alongside all of that, I was also a nail biter, and had been for a large majority of my life. Anytime I was nervous, scared or anxious, I would bite. I tried using things such as those foul tasting nail varnishes, but no such luck: if I didn’t use my teeth to bite, I could just scrape off my nail edge with my other fingernails. It was….gross.
For the most part, I was low-key comfortable with my hobbit hands because in the wider scheme of things, I didn’t think of myself as a person people would notice anyway and if they did, they would pay far more attention to my overall weight, than my hands. Over the years I did try to grow them though, with varying stages of success, but they would always end up breaking past a certain point. It wasn’t until last November that I decided enough was ENOUGH, and began the process of trying to grow them. I too, wanted to go to the nail shop and experience a manicure for the first time! I too, wanted to participate in some nail art! My process of thinking at the time was “well, let me grow them out for a month and get my nails done for bants. If they break, they break. At least I had a good run while it lasted!”
Chile…you better leave those damn nails alone.
I started to grow them, and the urge to not bite my nails was unlike anything I had experienced. I even had to buy myself a fidget spinner to give my hands something to play with! Eventually, my nail edge reached the length of my finger and that’s when I decided that I needed to start maintaining them, and to do this, I used two products. I credit both of these products for the absolutely spectacular (if I do say so myself) nail growth that I have experienced. My two holy grail products are: the CND Solar oil (currently on my 4th bottle) and the Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle. Life changing formulas. Cuticle oil is incredibly underrated, but it’s something we should really begin to apply to our nails more frequently as it moisturises the cuticle, allowing for more nail growth.
At the beginning of my nail journey, I started using polygel, which is a mixture of acrylic and gel and is way more flexible and durable than hard gels. I would go tp Huaichin Nail Studio in Ladbroke Grove to get these done (alongside some cute nail art bits). I used the polygel for about three months with a little extension to get used to length, before taking off the gels and going it natural with the help of BIAB (which just helps the nail with a strong base).
Not only are my nails incredibly strong and durable, but they also now grow at at alarmingly fast rate which is wonderful! I now attend Luna & Wilde salon in Brixton for my BIAB and nail art touchups, and I couldn’t be happier. I sometimes look at my nails and cannot believe the transition between then and now. If you’ve been thinking about growing your nails, take this post as inspo to start!