Updated: Jul 7, 2022
Are you confused about what your nail type is? When people think of “Nail Types” they usually think about the "Nail Shape" and not about the health and structure of the natural nail itself. Everyones nails are different and may be a combination of different nail types depending on many factors such as; age, sex, occupation, routine, environmental and medical health. Since there are many nail types that exist we’ve summed them up to 9 nail types just for you. If you want to know your nail type use this as a guide to help understand which nail type you have and how to properly care for your specific nail health needs with the right advice, recommendations and techniques to have your nails looking normal healthy and strong.
Here are the 9 basic nail types and here’s how you can identify them.
1. Dry Nail Types
White Powdery Finish
Problem - Dry nail types have a mild case of dryness. This means the natural nails lack moisture which can occur when they are slightly exposed to harsh chemicals and detergents regularly through out the day. Dry nails can have a powdery white finish that looks ashy and cause white spots on the nails.
Solution - The best solution for dry nail types is to keep them hydrated daily with essential botanical oils that are infused with Vitamin E to intensely moisturize the nails and cuticles especially in the winter months when the weather is cold and dry.
2. Brittle Nails
Breaks Easily At The Nail Tips
Problem - Brittle nail types lack moisture more extremely than people with dry nail types. People who experience dry nails may be exposing their nails to harsh chemicals way too often than normal. Brittle nails can also let you know what is going on in your body and may be a sign of a potential vitamin deficiency that can be showing in your nails which can be addressed by your primary care physician.
(Always consult with a doctor before starting or taking over the counter medications and vitamins.)
Solution - Take biotin to help your brittle nails improve. Always be sure to talk to your doctor about what your experiencing so they can help you determine which vitamins and minerals you may be deficient in and should be taking and if you're suitable to be taking Biotin to help your nails grow. You can also use botanical oils infused with essential vitamins that help to condition the nails and cuticles to maintain healthy natural nails.
3. Damaged Nails
Problem - If your nails are damaged then you may need to cut back on applying nail enhancements for a while to give your nails a chance to be revived to its natural state. Damaged nails can be a sign that your nail enhancement may have been applied or removed improperly; such as acrylic, apex gel or dip powder. Someone with damaged nail type can also experience discoloration from injury sustained to the nails by running or playing sports regularly.
Solution - To undo the damage to the natural nails damaged nail types should give nail enhancements a break to help build a better foundation to be able to reapply the nail enhancements in the future or give it up all together and go the natural nail route. If your nails are in pain from being damaged try relieving the pain by soaking them in a warm water basin with dead sea salt and tea tree oil to help soothe and disinfect the nails.
4. Normal Nails
Pink / Mauve Color
Strong & Flexible
No splits or ridges
Problem - Normal nail types are the healthiest of all nail types. Normal nail types visibly have a translucent pinkish or mauve color to them. Normal nails are generally strong, flexible and has a smooth texture that doesn't appear to have visible splits or ridges on the nails.
Solution - To maintain a healthy normal nail type try preventing them from drying out all together. Enrich the natural nails with oils that are full of vitamins and minerals such as A, C, D and E to promote healthy new nail growth and keep them hydrated day to day.
5. Peeling Nails
Peeling Nails Occurs In All Nail Types
Nail Peels In Layers
Thins Out When Filed
Problem - Peeling nail types can occur in all nail types. Peeling nails peels in layers and can be on multiple finger or toe nails. The peeling of the nails can get worse when filed and thins out the nails making them more likely to break or split.
Solution - Peeling nail types can use a fusion method using fiber or silk wraps to keep the nails from peeling further back while they grow out. If you can try cutting your nails short and condition them daily. Consider getting regular manicures to help promote a better foundation for your natural nails.
6. Weak Nails
Lifeless in Color
Problem - Weak nail types are usually common with people who lack the right vitamins and minerals that help your nails grow healthy and strong. The nail can feel weak and flimsy.
Solution - If your nails are lifeless, weak or soft its time to check with your PCP to see what your lacking in vitamins. In the mean time keep them short and hydrated with oils to help promote healthy nail growth.
7. Breaks Easily
Prone To Splits
Breaks Easily At The Tips
Problem - Break easy nail types may be people who have serious vitamin deficiencies which can cause them to grow thin, fragile and more split prone natural nails. Nails that break easily can also be a sign that you may excessively bite your nails thus creating more damage over time.
Solution - If your nails break way to often and way to easily then try speaking with your doctor for more help. You may have signs of a nail disorder called "Onychoschizia" which can be a common problem mainly addressed by your PCP or dermatologist and not by your nail tech. You can also try and break the habit of biting your nails - try a new way to deal with stress that isn't harmful for your nails like clapping or chewing gum instead.
8 - Ridged Nails
Line Visible On The Surface
Peeling at The Edges
Problem - Ridged nail types occur usually in older people and are usually harmless to you. These ridged can appear due to aggressive nail care practices or too little moisture over a long periods of time as you age.
Solution - Ridged nail types can fixed by smoothing out the nail with a buffer block and not a nail file. You can also remove ridges by simply using a ridge filler before applying you nail polish to create a smoother, healthier surface.
9. Nail Abnormality
Bleeding Around The Nails
Inflammation Around The Cuticles
Problem - Abnormal nail types have a few nail disorders and diseases listed in one source that nail technicians are not allowed to diagnose or treat.
Solution - Nail abnormalities must be treated by a doctor or dermatologist.
For comfort at home to relieve pain or discomfort soak your hands or feet in salt water to minimize inflammation the nail until you receive expert care and treatment from your doctor.
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