Tuesday, January 6

What Happened to My Nails After a Year of No Nail Polish

Last year I decided to do an experiment because I was sick of my nails looking awful. I knew that it was the nail polish that I was putting on them, because every time I used it they looked worse. They would turn yellow, become more brittle, split down the layers, and chip very easily. I even noticed that little pits and ridges would form where the nail polish hit the cuticle. This sucked because it would take a long time to grow them out to look healthy again. So I said enough was enough.

Here's what my nails looked like before the experiment. 

I proclaimed right then and there that I was going to go without nail polish for an entire year to see what happened. I already knew that they would get better, but I didn't know the extent of it.

I knew that I had traditional crappy chemical nail polish, and that it's bad for me, so why wear it? Well, it's truly just about having fun with color. I thought that during this year I would miss my polish a lot, but that's not what happened. I actually enjoyed it! Instead, what happened was that I got a mini vacation from doing my nails. No smell, no drying time, no chipping, and no hassle. I didn't even miss the color, found other ways to express myself creativity, and really enjoyed how my natural nails looked.

Here's what my nails look like after a year of no polish.

They got so pretty that they looked like they had a manicure. I was ecstatic, because everything healed! They grew faster, the whites were white, the pinks were pink, the cuticles were flush to the nail, I had healthy little moons (lunula) on each one, they stopped peeling, they didn't crack, and there were no more pits or ridges. It was so nice to have happy nails at last.

It didn't take too long either, definitely not the whole year. The splitting and cracking stopped first, followed by the yellowing. Then the cuticles healed, followed by growing out the pits and ridges. Also, the ridges stopped forming, because there was no polish to irritate the cuticles.

So, will I go back? I haven't decided yet, and haven't painted them since. If I do, I might pick up some better polish. There are natural brands that aren't as bad and don't contain the harsh ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrance, and phthalates. Unfortunately, it still seems like there are a lot of words that I can't pronounce in these 'natural' products.

Take something like ammonium ferrocyanide, which was an ingredient in one of the natural brands, it's an exotoxin and causes organ toxicity. Well that sounds awesome! All in the name of colorful nails, right? So I just don't know if I want to do it anymore. Besides, Aaron loves how they look, and I'm sure that most would agree that they're lovely how they are when they're healthy. At least if I do go back, and paint them again, I know the consequences: One week of pretty colors traded for months of sad ugly nails.

Help a girl out! If you know of any safe, natural ways to color 
one's nails let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Love Claudia xx