How to Stop Biting Your Nails – A Proper Guide

I don’t know when I began to bite my nails, but it had to be when I was still a little girl. I can remember my Dad promising me a quarter if he saw any growth what-so-ever and it worked… on and off. I still have this nibbling issue whenever I get nervous but there is one nail that I can’t seem to completely stop biting. It’s the thumbnail on my left hand. If I’m going to turn my attention anywhere, it will be to that poor nail.

So, it seems that you can stop biting your nails to some degree, but it’s always present in your life. I hope that some of you will leave comments on how you managed to quit or the little stories that you remember. Maybe together we can kick it permanently.

How To Stop Biting Your Nails… Style Advice from A Year of Style

Actually, the best way to do something is to have as much fun doing it as you possibly can. Whatever your intention… do one little thing each and every day and by the end of the year, you have learned/accomplished so much. And to your amazement, you will suddenly find people that are turning to your for advice or hints about the latest trends! I certainly don’t know everything there is to know on the topic, but what I do know, I’m more than willing to share.

Oddly enough I think that I have the most fun looking for the latest info. For some reason, I find research fascinating. It takes a lot of work, but you just never know what you are going to find once you go looking. And the more it’s buried, the better I like it!!

You simply need to know where to look lol! I hope that you join me on a regular basis. I have lots to share… and I’m just getting started! Here’s to letting our nails grow… in a safe, easy and healthy way!

Why do you bite your nails?

No one WANTS to bite their nails and there are a lot of triggers that can set someone off. The trick is to learn what your triggers are and be ready for them.

Today… it’s the dentist. I’m going through Root Canal and my canals are co-operating which is really dragging out the visits. I’m surprised that I have any fingernails left… but I’m not doing too badly considering.

As I mentioned earlier, one of my triggers is a ragged edge. It simply drives me nuts and if there isn’t an emery board handy, I will use my teeth… disgusting I know. That is why emery boards are sooo important to have on hand.

Another one of my triggers is anxiety. If I get nervous about something, the first thing I do is start nibbling. But knowing that I have that tendency puts me ahead in the game. I use deep breathing techniques to try to settle the anxiety. If I can push that out of my mind, my nails stand a chance.

One more visit and I still have nails!! The end is in sight!

Use a Bandage

I have often used this little trick. I have one nail, in particular, that seems to take the most punishment, so if I’m trying to grow it out, I will wrap a bandage around it and replace it every couple of days. Having to chew through a bandage will pretty much stop you in your tracks!

Stop The Urge

I find that if I have a rough edge on one of my nails, I will nibble on the edge, hoping to get rid of the problem area, but you know what happens… you end up chewing the entire nail off. Problem solved but the nail has been reduced to nothing and you have started the entire cycle again. The answer… emery boards and lots of them in every room of the house.

Every room of the house you might be asking? This is not even negotiable. If you have to go looking for an emery board, chances are, you won’t bother. If there is an emery board handy, you will use it.

Men Do It Too!

It’s not just women who bite their nails! Men have the same problem and when their nails are bitten down to the “quick” it isn’t a pretty sight. But to be fair, it’s just as unsightly for women. You can be dressed to the nines, but one look at your hands and if your nails are non-existent or badly bitten, the effect has pretty much been ruined. It goes both ways!

I was talking about triggers earlier and men can have just as many, and lots of the little tricks apply to both sexes. But there are a few extras to point out when it comes to men. My husband for example.

  1. It wouldn’t occur to him to use a hand cream unless they were starting to hurt. It would just never occur to him. He gives new meaning to the word “workaholic”.
  2. He also wouldn’t think of using sunblock on his hands. It’s hard enough making him wear it on his face and neck!
  3. And during the winter… putting on a pair of gloves. Forget it unless he’s shoveling snow. Just isn’t a big deal with him.

But if he got into the habit of doing all of the above, his hands just might be in better shape than what they are at present. He doesn’t bite his nails but bites the skin around the nails. Strangely enough, it’s a heredity thing. His father does the same thing. We simply have to find the same little tricks to make him stop. Hopefully having nice looking hands on a regular basis, just might point him in the right direction

Pretty Hands as a Deterrent (For Women)

If your hands are soft and pretty, are you really going to want to ruin the effect by chewing on a nail? Okay, we talked about triggers and they are always going to be there, but if you look down and your hands are looking pretty darn good, it just might be enough to make you think twice. The trick is to keep them looking… soft and pretty.

Feels Sooooooo Good

Have you ever experienced a hand massage?? There is nothing quite like it and if you happen to have a husband who isn’t into the hand lotion thing, this is a good way to earn some browning points and work some much-needed hand lotion into his skin.

And don’t worry about not knowing how to do it. Just put some lotion into the palm of your hand, pick up a little between your fingers and start working it in… pretty much anywhere on his hands. That’s about it.

Word of warning here. He’s going to love it so much that he’s going to ask for a hand massage all the time but you can always reciprocate. Fairs fair!

Use Polish

I have found that if I keep a soft color of polish on my nails, I am less likely to nibble on an edge. The reason? They are just starting to look pretty and I don’t want to ruin the look. Call it vanity!

Slowing Down

As you age, nails begin to slow down just how fast they can grow. That obviously explains why as a teen, your nails seem to grow with little effort from you.

Count It Down

Keep a calendar handy and put an X through every day that you did not nibble. Biting your nails is just a habit and if I can kick smoking, I can stop nibbling. With smoking (and I can’t believe that I ever SMOKED) it was all about getting another day without a cigarette. And when I got to the point of having 30 days with a cigarette, there was no way that I was going to ruin my stretch and then have to start all over again. The same should work with biting your nails!

A Special Tips

Have you ever tried that liquid that tastes absolutely horrible?? You paint it on your nails and the minute you begin to nibble, you are reminded of your habit… really quickly!!

They Really Don’t Know For Sure

I was just reading that experts don’t really know why people bite their nails. It could be as severe due to a medical condition to simple boredom! It’s strange that with a condition that is that common, that expert still doesn’t know.

I think that with a lot of us, it is simply the fact that we find ourselves with a snag and we don’t have an emery board or clippers handy. So… we simply bite it off. Bad habit!


Get yourself a jigsaw! This works for me… it’s when I get bored that I start to nibble! Jokes apart, what about the techniques and tricks that I shared to stop biting your nails? 

Hair Stylist and Blogger. Know the basics of your hair & beard.

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