Filing Your Nails
It is of greatest benefit to file your nails when the white part of the
nail has grown a minimum of 1/4 inch in length. It can possibly weaken or
damage your nails if you file them before this point. Likewise, your nails
will likely crack or break if you 'over-grow' them. They should never
extend your nails to lengths longer than your nail plate (the pink part of
your nail). Also, be sure to file from corner to center, filing in one
direction, avoiding the common mistake of filing from side to side. It
makes it easier if you use the groove on the sides of your nails as
Selecting a File
Avoid metal nail files. They are usually very abrasive and can even cause damage to your nails. A simple mistake with a metal file can ruin your entire nail shape. The majority of professional manicurists recommend a soft and straight file that will be agreeable to your nails.
There are many ways to shape your nail but you must first determine your nail's shape. Most people want to have their nails cut in a square shape, believing that square-cut nails are stronger. This is a myth. If you shape your nails correctly, all are of equal strength. If you have an oval shaped cuticle at the base, a square look may work best. But if your cuticles are pointed, it may be best to go with a more oval-shaped nail. The most common trend now is a softer shape.
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