Seeing as I’m concluding the recent series of grooming posts, I thought I’d finish off with a quick note on the topic of nail care.

Why? Well, getting your hands into tip-top condition is no easy feat. Everyday your digits are subject to a whole host of damaging conditions: heat, cold, rough surfaces, UV rays, the list goes on. So don’t put yourself on the bottom of the handshaking pile; follow my advice and you’ll soon be the height of nail perfection.

Use proper nail clippers or scissors

Whilst your kitchen shears may be handier, it’s important to use the proper tool for the job. Always cut your nails after a bath or shower when they’re slightly softer than normal. Cut in an arc, following the natural line of your fingertip.

Invest in a nail file

Yes it looks girly having one in your bathroom cabinet, but you need it so get over yourself! Keeping your nails rounded and smooth prevents all kinds of misshapen defects from occurring (“Hello, Mr. Hangnail”), as well as encouraging even and consistent growth.

Keep nails clean

Make sure you give your nails a good wash every day. Nothing looks more unprofessional than dirty nails; use a scrubbing brush to remove that stubborn filth that builds up around the nail bed, not a knife tip or safety pin – let’s face it: both are guaranteed to go awry at some point.

Eliminate funky fingers

If you find your nails are turning a nasty shade of green, it’s probably a bacterial or fungal growth. Stop it in its tracks with a good quality antibacterial agent and specialist soap. If you’re still having concerns, go and see your doctor!

Yellowing tips? Sounds like it’s time to give up the cigarettes to me. Don’t worry, the colour should slowly fade in time.

Don’t kill your cuticles

The area of skin that connects your nail to your finger is meant to be there – don’t start picking at it and making yourself bleed. If you’re getting an intense build up around the cuticle area, use the tool from a manicure set to gently push back the skin after having a bath or shower.

cuticle tool

Don’t cut too finely

Always leave a little bit of white when trimming down your nails. If you trim too much you’ll be leaving yourself open to the risk of all kinds of nasty infections. That, and increased difficulty in peeling back sticky labels and oranges.

Stop chewing

If you’re hungry, tuck into a nice hot snack – not your poor fingertips. Stop biting and tearing your nails; If you’re really stuck on the habit, there are special varnishes you can apply to stop them from tasting as good as they are currently are.

Never Buff

Gentlemen, please leave this one to the ladies; nothing screams “I’m wearing nail polish” quite like a pair of hands that have recently been under the buffing machine at the local nail salon. You’ve been warned!

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

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