Are you ready to kick your bad habit? We have the answers...
Nail biting is one of the most common nervous habits in the world – and research shows it can be harder to quit than smoking. So what’s the best way to ban the biting? We line up our top tips and tricks to keep your nails biting habits at bay.
SPLASH OUT ON SOME AMAZING SHADES
If you want 2017 to be the year you finally kick the nail biting habit, it might be worth investing in some gorgeous polish. We love Nails inc Acai Bowl Colour & Care collection (£25.00, nailsinc.com). Powered by superfoods, their exclusive long wear formulation helps deliver nourishment and protection to your nails. Plus you’ll get four gorgeous shades that are super easy to apply thanks to the big brush and silky formula. Or if you really want to splash out – nothing says luxury like a new Chanel polish. Every year the famous French brand bring out a dreamy selection of on-trend colours – we love the earthy grey Le Vernis in Garçonne. So nice you’re guaranteed to think twice before nibbling it off.
THE CLASSIC METHODS
The most popular method of stopping nail biting is using bitter-tasting polish called denatonium benzoate. We like the Mavala nail treatment stop bite treatment (£9.80, Boots.com) which goes on clear and has a horrible (but harmless!) taste. If you’ve already tried the formulas and found they doesn’t work, we suggest trying stress balls or snapping elastic bands on your wrists to keep the hands and fingers busy instead.
Stress is the number one reason behind the bite. But sometimes when you are focusing all your energy on not nibbling your nails, you begin to feel even more stressed than before. It’s a vicious circle. So rather than thinking about not nail-biting, instead explore how you can help yourself relax. Treat yourself to a yoga day or a trip to a spa with friends or simply check out this NHS video for tips on relaxation strategies (tinyurl.com/zdx3v66).
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USE VISUAL CUES
Research shows that visual cues to remind you not to nail-bite can actually work better than aversive techniques such as the bitter-tasting polish. So why try not painting your nails in bright colours or put coloured stickers on the ends of your fingers? Adding something to your nails that will catch the eye as your fingers go towards your mouth will make you more aware of what you’re doing – and more likely stop yourself.
Sometimes the hardest thing with breaking a habit is making sure you can actually stick to it. Try not to beat yourself up if you relapse a couple times and instead take a look at what might have caused you to start biting again.Mindfulness is the buzzword for 2017 for a reason – taking the time to meditate and follow your breathing is the perfect way to address any stress and anxiety you might have. Headspace (
Mindfulness is the buzzword for 2017 for a reason – taking the time to meditate and follow your breathing is the perfect way to address any stress and anxiety you might have. Headspace (headspace.com) is an amazing app that delivers guided meditation sessions straight to your phone while Mood Juice is an online resource that offers downloadable anxiety management guides and techniques (www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/anxiety.asp)
OK, you might be sceptical about being put to sleep by a stranger promising a cure – but bear with us! While hypnotherapy isn’t a cheap option (treatment can be up to £200 per session) in can provide a permanent solution. So why does it work? Though experts disagree with the science behind it, it does have the potential to provide you with some extreme relaxation (great for nervy biters) and relies on a placebo effect to help break your habit. But remember, hypnosis doesn’t work if you don’t want to be hypnotised so make sure to be open-minded, stay confident and think about the positive changes it can bring.
TALK TO SOMEONE
You can always turn to friends and family, or speak to your GP if you need extra support. Doctors can provide you with professional help or can even refer you to a clinical psychologist to guide you through cognitive behaviour therapy. If you aren’t ready to go to the doctor, simply take a look at your day to day life and get ready to make some positive changes. Odds are if you are sleeping better, eating well and exercising regularly, you more likely to knock the nibbling.
See: LOOK’s Edit Of Pretty Valentine’s Day Beauty Buys
REPAIR THE DAMAGE
Once you’ve found what works for you and are on the road to recovery, treat yourself to nail strengthening and repairing treatment. Nail Gym polish by Ciaté London (£12, birchbox.co.uk) has been specially formulated using advanced oxygen technology and patented hexanal to transform weak nails into strong, toned, healthy-looking beauties. We’re hooked.
By Kirsty McKenzie