~ how to stop biting nails ~

17 June 2005

i used to be an avid nail biter. the length of my nails never go over half a centimeter. well, i have small fingers and fingernails to begin with, but half a centimeter is very short for nails anyway.

but i’ve stopped.

i’m not a professional, but this is what i did when i tried to stop my habit. let’s just say this is a list of tips…

  1. find a very good reason to stop.
    i stopped chewing nails 4 times, actually. the very first one was in 1995. one of my best friends, Aveza, visited and stayed at my home in Bethlehem PA for over a month. she has one of the most beautiful fingernails i’ve ever seen… and she takes care of it well. she puts nail polish on, she filed, she messages the cuticles… and it looked so much fun! i want to be able to put nail polish on too! so i decided to stop chewing and grew my nails. sometimes, envy does a body good…

    my last attempt was right before i got married. the reasoning for this was: i didnít want the priest looking at my nail-less finger when my husband inserts the ring, and i didn’t want to have pictures of ugly fingernails scattered on my wedding album. well, i started late. so my nails were still quite short. but at least it wasn’t ragged and bleeding.

    now, since my wedding ceremony is in the past, i no longer use that reason to keep me from chewing nails. the latest encouragement came from knitting. when i still bite my nails, the nails became ragged and uneven. these ragged points often get caught in the yarn, thus making knitting and crocheting a pain in the ass. smooth nails make knitting much easier.
  2. buy nail strengthener and cuticle cream
    the first attempt to stop was the hardest one. my nails were so thin that i could bend it around. and they couldn’t stand water. they’ve become super-soft when wet. and, you know… once the nail breaks, it’s so easy to give in to the chewing temptation…

    so, the nail hardener/strengthener was my helper. the best brand i’ve used is the Mavala Scientifique. however, this brand is very hard to find in the States and they’re quite expensive. anyways, i resorted to Sally Hansen, because you can get them in any drug stores.

    regarding the cuticle cream, there are two reasons for this… first: usually, nail chewer have very bad cuticles. they are rough and tough. moisturizing it would help to make the nails look prettier… the prettier they are, the more encouragement to stick with your plan to stop biting nails.

    second, the cuticle cream will moisturize your nails as you message the cream around the cuticle area. after having so much nail hardener/strengthener put on your nails, they would become quite dry and brittle… moisturizing it would help.
  3. go to nail spa and get a manicure.
    well, if you’re not too intimidated with the whole scene, this is not a bad idea. the manicurist will lecture you, but having a professional cleaning your cuticles and put a good cut and smooth polish on your nails make you don’t want to ruin it again by chewing.

    but if you’re too intimidated by them, you can skip this part until your nail has grown past the edge of your finger.
  4. polish your nails and keep it that way.
    i know, most of the time, when the nails are extra short, polishing them wouldn’t make them look pretty. but it helps a lot. get pretty colors. change them often.

    the thing is, chewing nails is a habit, and i do that subconciously… especially during stressful moments, like catching up deadlines at work, and watching suspense movies… having it polished helped me to prevent biting my nails subconsciously because of the taste and the difference in texture.

    and, if you end up chewing it until the nail polish chips, repaint the nails again. just keep fixing it whenever the polish chips. if you get lazy and leave the polish chipped here and there, you’re going to end up chewing nails… (at least for me, i chewed them to get rid of the polish all together… sorta a small game of it’s self: how can I remove my nail polish without using the polish remover? well, I’ll use my teeth!).
  5. don’t play the guitar.
    playing guitar requires short nails. and short nails are tempting to be chewed on. i once started chewing on my fingernails again because i had to cut all my long fingernails — after months and months of growing it — just because i wanted to play guitar. once the nails are back to short, i relapsed.

    so, i suggest you stop playing guitar until you no longer bite your nails subconsciously.

lots of random stuff. but it was worth it. i had long nails, and my fingers look so much prettier. since the last time i stopped, i haven’t gone relapsed. i’m planning to stop chewing nails forever. yay!

~ comment (4) ~

ehhehehe aku malah suka males gunting kuku, tapi kuku ku kan bersih terus :)

godote | 17 June 2005 - 04:20 | reply

iya yah? ngga pernah merhatiin kuku elo… hahaha.

thalia | 18 June 2005 - 05:40 | reply

i played the violin and viola and that required my left hand to have short nails, so i used to have uneven fingernails for ages and ages…

skrg sih udah ngga, jadi gue bisa prettify pake nail polish… nail spa disini mahal deh, huhu…

yasmina | 17 June 2005 - 05:11 | reply

i think, as long as you don’t chew your nails, having short nails is fine. i have short nails now (hard to type with long nails and it keeps getting caught on clothes, too!), but i don’t chew on it anymore :)

thalia | 18 June 2005 - 05:42 | reply