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How to Grow My Nails Out and Stop Biting Them

By Ivy Morris ; Updated July 18, 2017

Nail styles are always going in and out of fashion, from moon nails to French tips and from neon colors to DIY, patterned designs. But one thing never changes -- nibbled-down nails are never en vogue. If nail biting is your vice, breaking the habit will take dedication to a plan, and you'll need a lot of patience. Fingernails grow slowly -- just 3.5 millimeters a month -- but the wait is worth it for gorgeous grown-out nails.

  1. Consider what makes you bite your nails. Some people chew their nails out of stress or hunger; for others, it’s a bad habit born out of boredom. If you know the cause, you can find alternative ways to deal with that trigger.

  2. Replace nail biting with more positive activities. If stress or anxiety triggers nail biting, try combating those feelings by breathing deeply, meditating for a moment, or simply making fists. For deep breathing, inhale through your nose, drawing a deep breath from your abdomen rather than from your chest. Concentrate on feeling the breath, and then exhale fully through your mouth.

  3. Chew on gum or flavored toothpicks if you find yourself absent-mindedly biting your nails while you're watching TV or when you're feeling restless at the office.

  4. Pamper yourself with regular manicures. Have fun with new nail colors and nail-art techniques. Nails that are painted to impress may offer anti-biting motivation. When you’ve put the time and money into your manicure, you want to show it off, not bite it down.

  5. Apply anti-bite nail polish daily. With a coat of bitter-tasting polish atop your favorite color, you might find that your nails taste too revolting to let them stay in your mouth.

  6. Carry nail clippers and a nail file with you everywhere you go. When you want to bite, file or clip your nails instead. This is especially helpful if the reason that you bite is in order to correct imperfections.

  7. Eat foods rich in proteins and amino acids -- such as fish, nuts and eggs -- to keep your nails strong and healthy. Although many home remedies promise to make your nails grow faster and longer, you can’t actually speed up nail growth; you can only make your nails stronger so they are less likely to break while you grow them out.

  8. Take biotin for very brittle nails. In “Nails Magazine,” fingernail expert Dr. Phoebe Rich recommends taking 2,000 to 3,000 micrograms a day.

  9. Tip

    Breaking the habit of excessive nail biting can take time and patience. If you can’t seem to fight the bite, talk to your medical professional for additional help.

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