How to File Your Nails: A Step-by-Step Process

how to file your nails

If you can't seem to shape your nails perfectly or prevent them from snagging after filing, this article will provide you with techniques to help you address this issue. So, keep reading!

Handling a nail file may appear to be the most straightforward process, and, honestly, it is, but it can also be done incorrectly. The outcome might be nail damage and, messed-up nails, neither of which sounds good.

One common mistake that has been observed over time in the filing process is the choice of the file itself. You should use soft 180 grit emery board glass files, as they are gentler on the nail plates and less likely to cause damage.

Additionally, inadequate preparation and aftercare can contribute to these issues.

To prepare your nails, begin by washing your hands with soap and warm water. This will help remove dirt, oils, and debris from your nail plates, ensuring you start the process with clean nails. Now that part is over with, here are the steps to carry out:

nail tools you will need

1. Prepare the tools you need

As mentioned earlier, one very common reason for errors in the nail filing process is the use of improper tools. Filing your nails is essential for maintaining nail health and keeping them in top shape and strength. To achieve this, you will need several tools:

Fingernail Clipper: If your nails are excessively long, begin by trimming them with a fingernail clipper.

Nail File: It's best to use a glass or Japanese nail file as they are gentler and perfect for the job. Additionally, remember to clean your nail files regularly to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Buffer File: After filing, use a buffer file to smooth out your nails, providing a polished finish.

Aftercare: Proper aftercare is crucial. Keep nail oil and cuticle oil on hand as they help maintain nail health, prevent breakage, and repair damaged cuticles. Always remember, healthy nails are beautiful nails.

decide on your nail shape

2. Decide on the nail shape

Have a specific idea in mind for the shape you want your nails to be. Your nails can take on various shapes, such as square, squeal, round, or oval. Just keep in mind that it's easier to work with your natural nail shape when filing, and be sure to have your desired nail shape checked before filing to avoid any mishaps.

3. File in one direction

When you file your nails, go in one direction, from the side to the middle. Don't go back and forth like a saw, as it can make your nails split and get weaker. Be gentle and use even strokes for each nail. Take your time to make them the shape you want, and keep the same angle and pressure for an even look. If your nails are long, it's a good idea to trim them a bit first before you start filing.

file your nails in one direction

4. Take it slow

When it comes to filing your nails, it's essential to be prepared to invest as much time as necessary. Patience is key, and rushing the process can result in nail damage and a less-than-desirable outcome. Filing should be approached with caution and gentleness to ensure that your nails take on the desired shape and arc. So, take your time and proceed slowly to achieve the best results.

5. Buff your nails

Buffing your nails is a crucial step because it helps smooth out any ridges and gives your natural nails a shiny, glossy appearance. To buff your nails, take a fine-grit buffer file, hold it at the top of your nails, and, like you would when filing, gently move it across your nails in one direction to fix any small uneven, or rough areas.

apply cuticle oil

6. Apply cuticle oils

Apply a drop of cuticle oil to each nail, wait for a minute or two for it to be absorbed into your nails and skin, and then gently dab off any excess oil. This helps maintain the health and cleanliness of your cuticles, the skin overlapping your nails, which in turn contributes to strong and healthy nails.

After all of this is done, you can then apply a nail polish of your choice!

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