How To Get Your Nails To Grow In One Month, From Adapting Your Diet To Cutting Back On Gels

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If you feel like your nails are constantly short and stubby, I can relate. Despite loving beauty, I never spend much time dedicated to my nails, aside from having the occasional shellac mani. But I am constantly in a state of envy when I see anyone with long, shiny fingernails. The only person I have to blame is myself, as I don't put much effort it. But I am impatient, so my ability to commit to a long term growth plan is questionable. For this reason, I looked into how to get your nails to grow in one month, or thereabouts, for fellow impatient, lazy girls like me.

While I have scoured the internet to find the very best tips for growing nails STAT, I have to warn you that if you want real change, it sounds as though it may take just that little bit longer. "Nails won't improve overnight,” professional manicurist Lauren Michelle Pires told Into The Gloss. “Patience and persistence equal perfection.” Hmmm...

That said, there are a load of ways you can encourage this growth, and fast. These include everything from taking a look at your diet and the supplements you take, to cutting back on harsh chemicals, and instead picking up products that will help the health and strength of your nails. Here are some of the best tips:

Oils & creams are your BFFs

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If you want nail growth fast, it's time to amp up the moisture. Cuticle oils are packed full of antioxidants that keep the cuticles healthy, and that promote healthy and speedy nail growth. "By using cuticle oil, you’re feeding the area where the new nail grows out from, also called the nail matrix,” Pires told Into The Gloss. The key is to be consistent, applying more than once a day, every single day. You can also apply cuticle oil on top of normal nail polish or gels, so there's really no excuse not to use it.

The Almond Nail And Cuticle Oil by The Body Shop contains almond oil to strengthen nails, comes in a handy pen shape, and is only £8. It's also worth using a hand cream at least twice daily, to boost the nail's hydration levels, as well as the skin on your hands. I like the the one by Mane'N'Tail, which has an amazing texture and smells lovely.

Less is more

Harsh chemicals, damaging acrylics and gels, and constant picking; these are all things that can hinder nail growth rather than help it. As is often the case with things like hair and skin, leaving things alone can sometimes be the answer. Having shellac manicures for example can cause dryness and brittle nails, especially when it comes to removal, which is not conducive to having long healthy nails. "To keep nails healthy, hydrate them and minimize the use of harsh chemicals and tools," Marsha Gordon, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology and vice chairman of the dermatology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told Good Housekeeping.

Watch out for tears

Speaking as someone who regularly gets tears in her nails and picks at them so they never really grow, I can offer this piece of advice from my heart to yours: DO.NOT.PICK. The best way to help this is of course to boost nail health and strength, which will result in less chance of nails breaking off. But also, always keep a nail file handy to catch those first signs of breakage. "Always opt for a soft file to prevent tearing or splitting your nails," Session Manicurist, Ami Streets told Elle. She recommends the Orly Nail File 180 Grit, which only costs £1.96.

Take an inside out approach

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Like with most things on the outside, your nails will benefit most from a healthy diet on the inside. Up your intake of vitamin B9, otherwise known as folic acid. Folic acid helps nails to repair and boosts growth, and you can find it in foods such as beans and whole grains.

North Carolina dermatologist and nail specialist Chris G. Adigun, M.D also told Glamour that it is worth upping your intake of the following: protein (pork, lentils), biotin (eggs, salmon), zinc (green beans, cashews), and iron (beef, spinach, kale). You should also always stay hydrated, which helps with just about everything in and on your body!

Buy a growth polish

If you really want to give nails an instant boost, pick up a nail treatment polish that's specifically targeted toward lengthening nails. The Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle is packed with all kind of good stuff for nails, including peptides, biotin, collagen, and keratin. You can also use it as a power-charged base coat, so even when you're painting your nails, you're taking care of them.

Take supplements

While adapting your diet and upping your intake of certain antioxidants is best, supplements can help to support a healthy diet, and in turn, healthy nails that grow more quickly. You can buy folic acid supplements, but if you really want to help things along, consider biotin. If nails are suffering, it could be a sign of a biotin deficiency, so invest in a supplement that contains the healthy B vitamin. You can buy biotin anywhere now, from health foods stores to Holland & Barrett and drug stores.