1. Bring Your Own Tools
This is the most effective way to avoid fungal infections. Even if the salon you frequent sterilizes their tools, bringing your own manicure kit eliminates the possibility of error. You can ask your manicurist which tools are the most useful to purchase and bring.
2. Don’t Harm Your Cuticles
Don’t allow your cuticles to be cut or even pushed back. While it does enhance the appearance of the manicure, the cuticles are your nails’ barrier and protection from fungus and bacteria. Also, cutting cuticles creates broken skin, which is much more susceptible to infection.
3. Avoid Nail Hardeners
Unless your nails are exceptionally fragile, avoid using hardeners. They can make your nails brittle and vulnerable to breakage. Healthy nails should be flexible.
A healthy alternative to cutting cuticles or using nail hardeners is to keep your nail bed and cuticles moisturized. It can make them look better, and helps prevent broken nails or skin around nails.
5. Steer Clear of Acetone-Based Removers
When removing polish or shellac, avoid acetone, as it strips the nail of natural oil, moisture, and protective layers causing brittle nails and breakage.
6. Don’t Buff or Sand
Ask your manicurist to skip buffing or sanding your nails. It can damage the nail bed and create tiny cracks and thin areas, making your nails more susceptible to breakage and consequently, infection.
7. Skip Rough Emery Boards
The heavy grit emery boards that are swiped back and forth quickly are actually causing tiny fissures and cracks, which eventually lead to breakage. Instead, opt for a fine grit file and move it slowly and evenly in one direction.