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What Do Your Nails Say About You?

What_Do_Your_Nails_SayFor people who pay close attention to hands -- and make no mistake, there are plenty of them out there -- your nails can say quite a lot about you. In fact, if you don't take care of your fingernails properly, they can say quite a lot. Some people make a hobby of guessing a person's occupation from looking at their nails; a lot of grime, for example, may suggest a that you're a laborer, maybe a mechanic -- that, or you just don't take care of yourself. Of course, you can have perfectly healthy nails, and they may still indicate your profession. If, for example, you have short and well-kept nails, it may be that you work in an office, typing a lot -- a situation where long nails would just get in the way. On the other hand (so to speak), if you have those really long, twisty nails, it may simply be that you work in a sideshow.

Like your hair, your nails (finger and toe) are made of modified skin, in this case a material called keratin -- one of the many wonderful and complicated proteins that make up the human body. It's easy to see that nails are analogous to the claws that many animals have, though it's equally obvious that they're nowhere near as functional as, say, your dog's or cat's. As humans exist now, nails are much more decorative than they are functional; it's rare that they're put to much use at all, except as ornamentation. For this reason, throughout history most men and women have kept them cut (or bitten) short. Growing nails long and painting them bright red is a relatively recent phenomenon.

In the modern world, where appearances can be more important than reality, it's a good idea to keep your fingernails, at least, in good shape. This may sound like a lot of work, but really it isn't -- you don't need to spend more than half an hour a week to maintain good nails. An excellent time to start your nail care routine is just after you've bathed or washed dishes by hand; either process should have removed most of the dirt that might have been on your nails. Then take a cotton ball, moisten it with nail polish remover, and remove the old polish on each nail. The best way to do this is to press the moistened cotton down on the nail, let it sit for a few seconds to soak in, and then wipe the nail clean, from base of the nail to the tip. Your initial swipe probably won't get rid of all the polish, so be sure to keep doing this til it's all gone. We recommend that you don't change your mail color more than once a week, because nail polish remover can be drying and damaging to your skin, and it can also cause cracked and split nails.

Once the polish is gone, wash your hands to remove traces of the remover, dry them thoroughly, and use an emery board or nail file to shape your nails. Generally, weekly self-manicures are sufficient to keep your nails a specific desired length, but if you find you must cut your fingernails, use a fingernail clipper and do it very carefully. Naturally, this will require a little extra effort in the reshaping of your nails. Then soak your fingers in warm, soapy water, and clean under the cuticles and nail edges, preferably with an orangewood stick. Most experts recommend that you otherwise leave your cuticles alone; in order to avoid nail-bed infection, don't push them back.

Once everything's clean, shiny, and well-shaped, paint on a coat of clear polish, let it dry, and then add whatever color polish you prefer, if any. If you like the natural look, the clear polish is sufficient; it'll protect your fingernails from incidental and environmental damage. If you do choose to add a colored polish, it's a good idea to add a clear top coat over it in order to make it last longer and strengthen the underlying nail. Finally, it's a good idea to apply a moisturizing cream or hand lotion to your hands and cuticles. This will offset any dryness the fingernail polish remover caused, and help prevent your nails from splitting. If you do find that your nails are splitting or seem weaker than they should be, rest assured that there are ways to repair them. One method that seems to be effective is the use of a vitamin called biotin, which has been proven to strength the nails in some animals. It seems to work in humans as well, and can be purchased at health-food stores.

Every 4-6 weeks, it's a good idea to have a professional manicure done. Nails are a manicurist's stock in trade, and they'll know how to keep your nails both healthy and looking their best. A good manicure rarely costs more than $20.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Personal Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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