An A-list manicurist shares the definitive guide on how to stop biting your nails once and for all

“Biting your nails can be a real problem,” said award-winning Beauty Expert and Entrepreneur, Leighton Denny MBE. “It gives an unfavourable impression and is usually a reflection of personal anxiety or nervousness. You can overcome this disagreeable habit, but in order to do this you must recognise the underlying reasons. Nail biting is, in fact, an uncontrollable reflex which usually occurs during a particular situation: i.e. waiting at a red light, talking on the phone, during a moment of reflection or looking for an answer.”

Biting your nails is a bad habit that needs to be left in 2019. But we know that like all habits, this is easier said than done.

To help you curb your penchant for nibbling, with Leighton’s help, we’ve compiled some advice on how to kick the habit and make 2020 the year of amazing nails so you can try the latest nail art trends like everyone on Instagram RN.

Find your triggers

If you always bite on the commute, be extra aware when you’re there that you aren’t biting. By breaking the cycle and willing yourself not to bite when you’re most vulnerable, you’ll be able to stop for good. Try keeping a diary of when and where you bite, in order to identify your weak points. “To break this persistent habit, set a goal for yourself, week by week, and in a month you will have beaten this problem. The reward will be beautiful, healthy nails that all your friends will envy,” says Leighton

Head to your local nail salon

“Go for a professional manicure and reward yourself for trying to break the habit,” says Leighton. Leighton suggests asking your manicurist to paint your nails with bright red, so it’s obvious to you when your nails are near your face and make a mental note that RED means stop. “Keep applying the red over your nails for 10 days then remove and see how much your nails have grown, usually this is enough for you to see how fast the nails grow and how good they look, then add a home nail care to your regime and enjoy nurturing your nails back to good health,” he said.

Leighton says the must-have for products to help is Slick Tips Nail Oil for instant moisture and to keep your nails durable, the Duo nail file – keep this handy so you can always file any snags as you can be tempted to bite and always use Under Cover Base Coat to strengthen and protect your new nails under polish.

Try nail extensions

Nail extensions are a good cheat as you can grow your nails under them but the most important thing to remember is that the technician’s skill is all-important, so you need to shop around to find someone who is skilled, and experienced. Be prepared to book well in advance to get someone who is really good. Don’t be tempted by special offers or very low prices – the best technicians often don’t come cheap, and they are very in demand. Once your nails have been done, go back to the same salon every two weeks for top-up care. And never pull or bite you’re false nails off yourself, or you’ll ruin the nail plate underneath and be back to square one. When you want to give yourself a chance to natural again, go to the salon and get them professionally removed – make sure it is the same salons because they will know what materials they used and can decide which is the best way to take them off.

Coat your nails in bad taste

Amazon is jam-packed with anti-nail biting products such as Mavala Stop. These give your nails a taste that will deter you from biting – and the rave reviews on Amazon suggest that they actually work!

Cut your nails short

It might seem obvious but cutting your nails short goes a long way. If there is not enough nail to bite/ grab with your teeth, you will not feel the satisfaction which will (hopefully) lead to you avoiding biting your nails.

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