How to use a nail files correctly?

Nail files are important tools for maintaining healthy and well-groomed nails. When used correctly, they can help shape, smooth, and refine the edges of our nails. However, many people often overlook the proper way to use a nail file, leading to damage and breakage of their nails.

Before we begin, it is important to understand the different types of nail files available in the market. There are four main types of nail files: emery boards, metal files, glass files, and buffing files. Each type serves a specific purpose and has a different grit (coarseness).

Emery boards are the most common nail files and are usually made of cardboard or foam with a grit surface. They are affordable and easy to find in drugstores. Metal files, on the other hand, are known for their durability and long-lasting use. They are made of metal and have a rough grit surface. Glass files have a smooth surface and are preferred by people with sensitive nails. They are also gentle on the nail bed and provide a smooth finish. Lastly, buffing files have multiple surfaces with varying levels of grit, used for smoothing and shining the surface of the nail.

Now, let’s dive into the steps on how to use a nail file correctly:

  1. Begin with clean, dry nails: It is essential to work with clean and dry nails to achieve the best results. If your nails are dirty, wash them with soap and water before starting the filing process. Wet nails are more prone to breaking, and filing them can cause further damage.
  2. Choose the right grit: As mentioned earlier, different types of nail files have varying levels of grit. Using the wrong grit can damage your nails. For natural nails, opt for a finer grit file (180-240 grit). For artificial nails, such as acrylic or gel nails, use a coarser grit (80-100 grit) to file them down faster.
  3. File in one direction: The number one rule of using a nail file correctly is to file in one direction only. Filing back and forth can cause the nail to split or peel. Using a gentle, sweeping motion, start from one side of the nail and file towards the center. Repeat on the other side until you achieve your desired shape.
  4. Use the correct shape: Nails come in various shapes, and so do nail files. It is essential to use the right shape of the file to achieve your desired nail shape. For round nails, use a curved file, and for square nails, use a straight file. Using the wrong shape can lead to uneven and jagged nails.
  5. Take breaks: Filing your nails for too long can cause heat and friction, leading to damage. It is advisable to take breaks and check on the length of your nail as you file. This way, you can avoid over-filing and prevent damage.
  6. Avoid too much pressure: Filing your nails with too much pressure can weaken and damage them. Instead, use light, gentle strokes and let the file do its job. Be especially careful when filing around the edges of the nail, as this area is more prone to breakage.
  7. Focus on the edges: It is essential to file the edges of the nails to prevent catching and snagging. Gently file the edges with a downward motion to create a smooth, rounded edge.
  8. Use a buffing file: After shaping your nails, you can use a buffing file to smooth out any roughness and add shine to the surface of your nails. Remember to use a light touch and avoid over-buffing, which can weaken the nails.
  9. Moisturize: Once you are done filing your nails, remember to moisturize your hands and nails. Using a cuticle oil or hand cream can help keep your nails and cuticles healthy and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.
  10. Clean and disinfect your nail file: After each use, make sure to clean and disinfect your nail file to prevent the transfer of bacteria and germs. You can use rubbing alcohol or a disinfecting solution specifically designed for nail tools.

In addition to these steps, here are some tips to keep in mind while using a nail file:

  • Avoid using a nail file on wet nails, as they are more prone to damage.
  • File your nails every one to two weeks to maintain their shape and prevent them from becoming too long.
  • Do not use a nail file on broken or damaged nails, as it can cause further harm.
  • If your nail file becomes worn out or damaged, replace it with a new one to prevent damage to your nails.

using a nail file correctly is crucial for maintaining healthy and beautiful nails. By following these steps and tips, you can achieve well-groomed and strong nails without causing any damage. Remember to choose the right type and grit of nail file, file in one direction, and take breaks to prevent over-filing.

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