A Beauty Couch Confession

OK, so here goes. . . My name is Kyl and I bite my nails. And sometimes my cuticles.

Grossed out? Yeah, me too. Nail/cuticle/finger biting is a really disgusting habit and embarrassing to admit. It used to be a bigger problem for me, but I managed to turn it around a few years ago.

However, recently I've had a major relapse. The real problem is that, like many nail-biters, I'm fairly anxious. So everything will be going along fine in the nail department, and then something stresses me in my life, and all bets are off. It's a total bummer.

The only thing that has ever helped me may be a bit counter-intuitive, but it works: I'm going to start getting regular manicures again. Due to efforts to save money, I dropped salon manicures months ago. An at-home mani works for a while, but eventually things deteriorate -- cuticles start to look scraggy, the nails are uneven and not nicely shaped. Or worse. At that point, thoughts enter my head like My nails already look horrific, so what's the harm in just biting off that stray. . . And off we go.

In her amazing book, Rescue Your Nails, Rescue Beauty Lounge founder Ji Baek details a twelve week Nail-Biters Anonymous Program. Critical elements of this program include regularly soaking hands and nails in warm oil (mmm...) and weekly manicures. I was encouraged that the program that helped me works for others. It may seem odd that when nails are looking their absolute worst is when they benefit from a good, quality manicure. At least for me, however, a fresh manicure with a shiny new coat of polish is a beautiful thing. Even if the nails are short and the skin around them is a little worse for the wear, the last thing I want to do is screw up the polish by biting. It's kind of a magic charm, if that makes any sense.

It is going to take time for my nails to grow back to a satisfying length and for numerous hangnails to heal. I'm not expecting a miracle after my first manicure back on the no-biting program, but this has been going on for too long and I just can't take it anymore. It's not going to be cheap, necessarily, but once things have stabilized I can hopefully move back to an at-home regimen without resorting to my vile ways. Wish me luck.

Anyone else struggle with occasional nail-biting? Any other tips and tricks you've discovered? Let us know in the comments!



Shannon said...

Luckily my nails are way too thick for me to attempt biting them. I did obsessively bite my cuticles off for a while in college... not so good.

April 16, 2009 at 11:03 PM
Kyl said...

Hi Shannon:

Sounds like you've had success putting and end to that. Good for you!
April 17, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Charli Jessup said...

To keep me on the straight and narrow I always carried a Diamond file in my purse. The occasional ragged nail is just too tempting for a reformed nail biter.

April 26, 2009 at 8:44 PM
Kyl said...

Hi Charli:

Thanks for the comment and the tip! I just got a mini nail kit (with a file) for my bag. Let's hope it works!
April 26, 2009 at 10:37 PM

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