I was a nail biter for years!

posted 6 months ago in Wellness
Post # 16
Member
1291 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018 - Omaha, NE

I bit to the quick (and would often bleed or have badly swollen/red nail beds) for 20+ years. What helped me quit was mostly just actually wanting to quit. Like anything else, gimmicks will only get you so far. I also addressed the reasons that I bit my nails: stress, control, insecurity, unhappiness with my looks, etc. I also met my husband and knew within a short amount of time that he was who I was going to marry and I thought ahead to my wedding day and what I wanted my nails to look like. It definitely wasn’t the bloody pulp I was previously biting them to.

What helped the actual process of growing them out was doing my nails with a clear coat to strengthen them (OPI’s ‘Nail Envy’ basically hasn’t left my nails in 6-ish years) and using an at home gel kit (Sensationail, can be found at Target or online), which keeps them looking really nice and doesn’t cost a lot. Although now I am really lazy and rarely paint them other than my Nail Envy polish, I still use it for special occasions. 

I also started carrying a nail kit with me EVERYWHERE with a file and a clipper. If I see an imperfection in my nails/cuticles, I will immediately grab my tools and actually correct it, instead of making it worse by biting! Your saliva actually makes everything worse because it will soften the nail and dry it out, which will acerbate splitting, hang nails, dry cuticles, etc. Just cut it or file it off!

Just keep your vision of your future nails intact and remember how much it sucks to have a setback or fail! I believein you, keep it up πŸ™‚

Here’s the earliest photo I can find of my nails (2013; this was my very first Sensationsail manicure!), and my wedding nails from June of 2018 (also Sensationail!) πŸ™‚

Post # 17
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2019 - USA

laceyjoxo :  thats awesome! I was a nail biter for about 10 yrs and I finally kicked it when I got my nails done consistently. I got acrylics and kept them for about a month and then I was able to leave them alone. When I got them taken off, I’d keep a nail file with me and when I had the urge, I’d just file them lightly and eventually I’d just forget about wanting to bite them. 

Post # 19
Member
665 posts
Busy bee

Great work bee!! I was a horrible nail biter for the longest time (my whole childhood. and adolescence) and the thing that’s helped me the most was investing in some gel polish and doing my own gel manicures (I use gelish brand). It’s part of my “routine” now to do a manicure every weekend, so I always have nice looking nails. Having my nails look nice is the only motivation for me, and since my nail beds are wonky from decades of abuse, covering them with polish is my only option.

Post # 20
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - New Hampshire

laceyjoxo :  I was also a life-long nail biter and went through phaes of growing them out then peeling them off. Ugh. I shudder thinking about that time! On our 5 year anniversary last year I told myself I was going to stop picking my nails, because I didn’t want my ring photos to have little nubs. I even told FH “don’t propose to me if I’m still picking my nails!” The final straw was last August, at my moms wedding. I desperately wanted to get my nails done with her bridal party…but I had nubs. I sat there awkwardly making small talk. The techs told me they could work with my short nails. I politely declined and sat outside while everyone got their nails done. 

What worked for me was cuticle oil, and lots of it. No dry cuticles, no picking at them. Also, pushing cuticles back! I also religiously paint my nails, and I have a UV lamp so I can do my own gel manicures at home. I will still pick off the polish, but I have had NO desire to pick at my nails since last September. I get SO many compliments on my nails, and honestly, it feels so nice to get them. I finally got engaged (last Friday!) and I can’t stop staring at my ring with my nicely painted nails….and I can’t stop thinking about all the colors I’m going to paint them. You CAN do this!!! Your nails will be healthy and beautiful!

Post # 21
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve bit my nails for as long as I can remember. (I’m 24). I’ve tried painting my nails, that nail polish that tastes horrible, rubber band snapping, chewing gum. Last week I got married so I painted my nails and hoped they would grow in time for the wedding (which we planned in two weeks), but those two weeks I didn’t bite my nails and now almost a week after I haven’t either. I know it’ll be harder not to bite once I’m in school since stress plays a huge part, but it’s a start 

Post # 22
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I recently went to a conference on body focused  repetitive behaviors to support a sibling with trichotillomania.  The TLC Foundation also focuses on other BFRBs such as nail biting. Even as a non-sufferer, I found a lot of the information presented in the conference to be applicable to my daily life.  I encourage you to visit their website to learn more!

https://www.bfrb.org/

Post # 23
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I’ve been a nail biter for as long as I can remember, my mum tried everything from those nail biting bitter polish to slapping my hand whenever I bite, none of them worked. Until I hit 30 and decided I’m now a grown up and should stop. I started getting gel polish on my tiny tiny nails and getting it reapplied every 1.5 weeks. They make it impossible to bite my nails but very expensive. 3 months after my nails have grown back and I have started to kick the habit. I now put normal polish on my nails and try to make sure they’re prestine at all times and I also carry a nail file with me anywhere I go. I’ve managed to keep my nails for a year now and I do sometimes give it a nibble if I don’t have time to put on polish, but nothing to bad and I now have presentable nails!! Down side is cause of the years of nail biting, the nail white line is quite low so it looks a bit strange but looks good with polish on.

Post # 25
Member
828 posts
Busy bee

laceyjoxo :  Your post gave me extra motivation to stop. It’s been about 6 weeks and I’ve managed to keep all my nails. Before, they would disappear before I would notice I was biting them. I got acrylics that I managed to keep for 2 weeks before having them taken off. That helped me be more conscious of when my hands are going to my mouth. I have tried using nail polish, but it didn’t work. Thanks for the post!

May we both continue to maintain our nails without biting!

Post # 27
Member
828 posts
Busy bee

laceyjoxo :  LOL! I can’t even tell that any were split. That is good! I know stopping is hard. I have tried to stop multiple times. A good sign that I’m doing well is that even though I am under a lot of stress, the nails are still there. We can maintain the progress!!!

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