Growing up, I was always the nail biter. I tend to think it’s a habit that I inherited from my maternal side, but then again I don’t want to entirely pin the blame on genetics. At the time it never bothered me, but now that I’ve grown out of it I can confirm to you that my nails looked completely unpresentable. Nowadays, I am so bent on making sure that my nails look good, because I consider it part of being well-groomed. The thing is, nail biting is not only a genetic characteristic but also a consequence of anxiety. Back then, when exams were almost near, I knew I was going to bite almost all my nails off. It was a result of nervousness.
Here are a few ways that you can grow out of this bad habit:
- Anti-nail bite
There’s a product that’s sold in retail stores alongside nail polish. It’s clear and has a disgusting taste. This was one of the products that helped me to stop biting my nails. Every time I’d lift my finger, I would remember that taste and immediately stop. It’s a very bitter taste that lingers in your mouth for a while. The idea is that you start to associate your nails with that taste and soon enough you stop biting your nails. That was one of the best discoveries that helped me to stop biting my nails.
- Keep your nails painted
I will admit that this particular hack didn’t work for me, but I have seen it work for other people. What happened was, I substituted nail-biting for peeling off the polish and eventually when I had peeled it all off, I would start biting. However, this isn’t to say that it doesn’t work for everyone. I would highly recommend it because it’s worked for other people. When your nails are painted, it won’t be easy to bite them. Moreso if you actually spent your money to get them done, you’ll handle them with a little bit more caution. Therefore I would suggest that if you’re trying to grow your nails out, ensure that they are painted full time.
- Keep them short
Here’s another tactic. You can’t bite what is not there. Therefore if you are trying to grow out your nails you might want to keep them completely short. That way, every time you feel like biting them you’ll find that there’s nothing to bite, and eventually, you will grow out of the habit. On the plus side, short nails are easy to maintain and they remain clean for a long time.
- Replace the habit with another one
Nail biting is more often than not a sign of nervousness. If you are able to replace this bad habit with another one, then you will stop biting your nails. I once heard of someone who used to constantly hit her wrist with a rubber band when she was feeling anxious, and it sort of transferred her focus to the physical pain that she was feeling. This is just an example of a way of dealing with anxiety. There are several others, including breathing exercises. If you can replace nail biting with other methods that are more effective, then you will be able to do away with this bad habit.
- Fake it till you make it
This is an extremely efficient method that I can vouch for having seen its effectiveness. If you are a nail biter, you might want to make use of acrylics and stick ons. They don’t even have to be that long, but the fact that you will have fake nails for over a month will help you to grow out of the bad habit. It is said that it takes 21 days to grow out of a habit, or to cultivate one. Meaning that ‘fake it till you make it’ is actually quite efficient. You might want to take advantage of this to grow out of your nail biting habit.
Read about 5 unhygienic habits you need to stop today