Nail health suggestions

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
a human
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Nail health suggestions

Post by a human » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:15 pm

In recent years, I have had a great deal of difficulty growing fingernails of any length, especially in cold months, until I did the following daily:

Wipe all nails with a cotton ball soaked with vinegar after daily shower.
In the morning, rub coconut oil on the nails and use cream/body lotion.
Before bed, rub Vick's vapo rub (actually a generic) on the nails and use cream/body lotion.

I started this because I thought I'd picked up a toenail fungus, but it turned out to be an injury from a horse standing on my foot. (That happens at times if you are a rider.) Since I was treated my toes, I decided to treat my hands, at the same time, too.

After about a month or two, I stopped the vinegar, but continued with other.

Wonders of wonders, my fingernails improved greatly! A crack that was in my pinky nail "forever" healed.

Of course, I take biotin and use a glass file. In recent years, I used to count myself lucky if a nail even peeked over the finger tip.

My theory is that there was an organism weakening my fingernails that was eradicated with this program.

Thought I would share.
1965 Krempel Classical (660ish mm)
Martin Sigma DM-1 Dreadnaught (std)
2011 Cordoba Cadete Classical (615 mm)
2014 Martin DX1AE (std)

cgscott
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by cgscott » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:27 pm

That's wonderful! I also had similar problems, always bit my nails and as a result have short nail beds. Recently I've suffered with constant cracked nails, but figured out the cause was actually soaking my nails in the bath! Now I just leave my picking hand out of the bath, and not a crack in site! Just thought I'd write this here just incase anyone else suffers from weak nails and this could potentially be the problem!

Kind regards

Scott

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MurrayK
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by MurrayK » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Hi there, thanks for sharing this info about your nail care process.

I'm curious about some of the products you have used. I assume the vinegar was for antibacterial.

Why coconut oil? Does it have something in it that's better for nails than normal moisturiser, or other oils?

Why vapo rub? That stuff smells pretty bad :( , what do you feel this did for your nails?

Clearly what you are doing is working, which is great.
Regards
Murray

a human
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by a human » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:49 pm

Most of my alternative remedy ideas come from People's Pharmacy, by Joe and Terry Graedon. Virgin coconut oil is often recommended for its gentle medicinal and curative properties for skin conditions. Plus it is an emoliant and melts at body temperature. The vapo rub has menthol in it and is suggested for nail fungus. It can also be rubbed on the soles of your feet and covered with socks if you have a persistent night time cough that keeps you awake at night. Alittle on your nails at night isn't that stinky!

I wondered if an organism - fungus? - had weakened my nails and the combo of the 3 topicals knocked it out.
1965 Krempel Classical (660ish mm)
Martin Sigma DM-1 Dreadnaught (std)
2011 Cordoba Cadete Classical (615 mm)
2014 Martin DX1AE (std)

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Cloth Ears
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by Cloth Ears » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:54 pm

I have heard "'hoof and tail' hoofmaker" suggested before, and you probably already have some if you care for horses!

a human
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by a human » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:03 am

I have tried "mane n tail hoofmaker." It didn't work on its own, but is a good hand lotion.
1965 Krempel Classical (660ish mm)
Martin Sigma DM-1 Dreadnaught (std)
2011 Cordoba Cadete Classical (615 mm)
2014 Martin DX1AE (std)

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fast eddie
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by fast eddie » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:01 am

I have been rubbing coconut oil on my nails daily for about two weeks, and taking Biotin daily. I read on the web somewhere that coconut oil is rich in nutrients and high in carbohydrates and is healthy for nails. When I asked my wife and her friend (they are both Nurses) how to moisturize my nails, they both said coconut oil in unison. There are other options, but that was good enough for me. I have not been doing this very long but I believe there has been a slight improvement. My right thumb nail is still short.
Fast Eddie
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Simon the Pieman
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by Simon the Pieman » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:21 am

I had bad nails for years, I'm just not one of those lucky ones born with strong & fast growing nails. It got as bad as horizontal splitting and regular cracking, seemingly a hopeless case. It meant I practically ignored classical guitar for a long time, just playing other styles with a pick. Furthermore I am a regular swimmer and we should all know that frequent exposure to water (especially water with chemicals added, like dishwater) weakens nails. Now my nails are in fairly good - and consistent - shape, but I had to work at it and tried several things before settling into a routine which includes the following:

* Biotin supplements, preferably daily
* An Omega 3 fish oil pill daily
* Wearing rubber gloves when in prolonged contact with dishwater etc (but not swimming, that would be too weird and virtually impossible to prevent water contact)
* Wearing tough gloves when doing household stuff like chopping wood, DIY etc
* Placing keys in left hand pocket, undoing zips with left hand etc
* Moisturising hands regularly, but not straight after they get wet, with a nail strengthening moisturiser
* Rubbing oil into nails, on the infrequent occasions when I know my nails won't come into contact with anything else (e.g. just before embarking on a car journey). I normally do this once or twice per day. I use two oils at present: my last supplies of something called Tuff Nail (ingredients unknown), which has now sadly ceased trading - and Flexinail, based on guitarist-led recommendations. The latter is expensive, but lasts a long time. When those two aren't to hand, the odd rubbing in of EV Olive Oil or similar will do. Anything to moisturise nails and give them a protective layer is better than nothing at all.
* Using the best/finest nail files I can get. Crystal are good as long as the file has a fine side - and the two finest sides of those cuboid buffing blocks you can find in any chemist/supermarket. Use them as soon as you feel roughness on your nail, or anything more serious !
* Using fine grade water paper, folded over several strings of my guitar and playing the water paper covered strings. This last technique produces the most reliable playing-grade edge to my nails. Check out the French guitarist Thomas Viloteau, who has a video somewhere on his website or YT channel detailing how he does it.
* Keeping my nails' length just right: I find I need only 1.5 - 2mm peeking over the top of my fingertips to play effectively; over my thumb it's more like 3 - 3.5mm.
* Sunshine ! I know this is a tough one for some of us....but it's good for strong nails and skin/hair etc
* Playing - there is no doubt in my mind, despite no scientific evidence I am aware of, that playing with nails helps promote strong nails.

Hope this helps someone. Good luck !

dtoh
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by dtoh » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:58 pm

I had constant trouble with my nails. Then I started getting soft gel (totally different than acrylic) treatments about a year and a half ago. Almost no problems. Very natural tone and feel. I never think about my nails any more. Slightly expensive but for me a total game changer.

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cedartop
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by cedartop » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:41 pm

fast eddie wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:01 am
I read on the web somewhere that coconut oil is rich in nutrients and high in carbohydrates and is healthy for nails.
While coconut oil is highly regarded for a number of things, if you search for the nutritional information, you will find it has zero carbohydrates. Just an FYI.
2011 Traphagen Cedar Doubletop

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cedartop
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by cedartop » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:43 pm

My nails are generally quite healthy, but I have one which has periodically split for many years. I used to use a piece of a ping-pong ball to support it, but have found that biotin has solved the splitting problem.
2011 Traphagen Cedar Doubletop

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fast eddie
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by fast eddie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:53 am

Sorry about stating that coconut oil is rich in carbonates. It 's just something I read somewhere on the internet. It probably does have benefits for nails. It is sold on Amazon for nails, and on http://diyremedies.org/coconut-oil-for-nails/ the claim is made that it has anti fungal properties and moisturizes nails. I also take Biotin daily. At age 77, I need all the help I can get.
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

meouzer
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by meouzer » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:59 pm

I went to Walmart to buy white iodine, which hardens nails. Next to it was Tea tree oil. I thought, "I bet Tea tree oil is good for the nails" and bought a bottle. Turns out Tea tree oil is in fact good for the nails: pretty much like any other oil. Tea tree oil is an outright cure for any fungus including nail fungus. No mess: It's absorbed very quickly. I'm sure white iodine also cures nail fungus. I never had fungus to begin with and still don't have any fungus: so looks the the combo punch works.

davekear
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Re: Nail health suggestions

Post by davekear » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:47 pm

If you get good at it, (which isn't that difficult), and you have the right material and methods of application, you can have artificial nails that sound as good as any natural nail, which are perfectly safe to use every day for your entire life, that you can apply in less than 5 minutes, and never have to worry about your nails again.
Many guitarists don't think this is possible. But it is. And many professional guitarists have been doing this for years, and continue to do so.
So there is this option.

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