I am a nail biter. I always have been and now I’m nearing 38yo I really want to conquer the habit. It’s embarrassing and as my shorthand teacher told me during my newspaper cadetship: “It gives the wrong impression. It’s not professional. It makes you look like a dirty person.” I politely told her to fuck off.
Whenever I meet people for the first time I am careful not to wave my hands around when I talk. In fact when I’m with anyone, even my husband, I find myself curling my fingers in a way to hide my chewed nails. I hold my hands in my lap or sit on them. I wrap my bag around them or curl them around the stem of my wine glass. And quite often, without even realising, I find I am nervously biting on one.
I’m a nervous person. I try and cover it by talking too much. I pick at my nails. When I’m stressed or nervous or worried or feeling particularly insecure I bite them. When I want to punish myself I bite them.
I’ve tried everything to stop. I even did stop for a few months until one nail got a little tear in it and I started to bite at it to make it neat. I didn’t stop until all my nails were rough and there was skin where there should’ve been nail. The more I bit them, the more I told myself I didn’t deserve to have nice nails.
Tomorrow, I am off to the nail salon to get some new nails. Some fake nails. I am nervous about it so instead of laying off the biting in the lead up, they look worse then ever. I am nervous that I will find myself hiding my nails because they don’t look real. That in some way I will be considered a fake for trying to hide my real self. Or that I am vain.
I have to keep telling myself to relax. I am a real person, my nails do not define me. If my nails are fake, or bitten, I am still a good person. I deserve to have nice looking hands.
I just want nail polish. Pretty nail polish. That’s not much to ask. Now I have to go work on my self esteem issues, pity you can’t go to the self-esteem salon and get a much-improved model.
So, I need your help. Do you get fake nails? If so, what ones do I get – acrylic or gel? And my biggest dilemma – do I get black or red nail polish or French tips? Or is there another colour that is So.Hot.Right.Now?
I don’t bite but I pick – which I try to tell myself is better, but it really isn’t.
When you find the secret to breaking the habit, let me know!
I just lost my comment to you so if you get this twice I apologise. I had bitten my nails for years but stopped about 5 years ago (off and on !!) sometimes they will just disappear and I’m not aware I’ve bitten them DOH !!! but on the whole they are not looking too bad I felt that people would look at my hands and think I was a weak nervous wreck (well I was but I didnt want everyone else to know it) how did I stop…I dont know I just made a concious effort one day to not bite them and when I started to see those little nails appearing it spurred me on. My hands are not stunning, years of biting does take its toll on your nails but on the whole they are not too bad. Good luck with your falsies.
Oh, ok! Don’t do acrylics – will make your nails worse than ever. Go to a salon that does CND shellac. You won’t be able to bite your nails with this one AND your nails will get strong and grow while it’s underneath. I’m addicted. Have new shade ever 2-3 weeks and nails never been better. Have a read of this blog I wrote 12 months ago: http://www.stylingyou.com.au/2010/08/nail-a-manicure-that-lasts-so-loving-cnd-shellac-right-now/
OPI and Orly are bringing out similar systems – will be in Australia later this year.
I am interested in this topic because one of my son’s is biting/picking his nails. I have no idea why. i never see him do it (must be in bed). It seems an odd thing for a little guy to do (neither me nor my husband do it). I wish you the best of luck with your new nails. My Mum got fakies to break the habit about 10 years ago and it worked a treat. Go with Nikki’s suggestions. She is good like that! x
I pick my nails, I have had gel ones before and I still picked them off.
I would go real old time fake that you can’t chew or pick, but you will need to be able to keep them up for 12 months, then I think you will really have broken the habit and can go gel or something better for your nails.
I am much better than I used to be, but Miss 5 is a shocking nail biter, nothing stops her.
Devoted nail biter here, who has fake nails. No biting now, although my fingers still do end up in my mouth.
Confession time – I have acrylics.
B, I used to bit my nails. I have an oral fixation. If not thumbsucking then nailbiting or smoking or eating…
I gave up the nail biting about 12 years ago and have long strong nails now. I think I tortured them that badly they have emerged strong…
I go plain french every time, on shorted oval filed nails. (I am not a fan of squared nails.)
I am not sure if that is hot or not. Probably not. Classic not hot.
I have had acrylics before – when Charlie’s excema is really really bad, acrylics work for us as they don’t scratch him as much as real nails do when I am applying his cream…
OMG this is so me! i have bitten my nails all my life and even though i go through short patches of stopping i always go back to it when i am unsettled. i’ve thought about getting fake ones for a while just so my hands look ‘nice’ for a change…but i’m worried they will look fake and just not be ‘me’. i have been thinking that my nails look so terrible at the moment and i must be really unsettled cause i can’t grow them at all… good luck with your decision and post some pics. i would go french all the way!
I used to bite my nails too. I cured myself by getting the fake nails. I wore them for a few years and now I don’t really bite my nails. I find myself occasionally putting nail to tooth but then I stop myself! I am sure you can overcome it as well.
I love fake nails! I certainly don’t make serious character judgments of those that have them either, so don’t stress! I love French tips. Hope they make you smile x
I think the fake nails thing is a great idea to help you stop biting your nails. If you are worried that they will look fake and not be “you” think about why you are doing it in the first place . . . . you don’t like the way your hands look now and hide your hands from everyone. That isn’t “you” either. At first the fake nails will look strange to you because you aren’t used to them but once you’ve had them for a while – and you see that you have stopped biting your nails and you start getting compliments on how beautiful the nails are – you’ll have that self esteem makeover that you were looking for. I’ve had fake nails off and on for over 10 years. Acrylic nails with a classic french manicure. I started getting them after Hubby bought me a beautiful anniversary band for our 15th anniversary. My real nails didn’t grow very well and I wanted pretty hands to show off the ring . . . the acrylics were beautiful! It’s my one uber-girley indulgence and I love them! Good luck!
Check out this blog post about nail polish solutions by Annabel Candy of ‘In the HotSpot’ – http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/getinthehotspot/~3/ycNxFxyPZzw/
I haven’t tried these myself, but they look really cool!! Good luck!!
I’ve never bitten my nails, but they are soft and weak and tear/break easily, so I can’t grow them either. I’ve thought about fake nails too, but the price puts me off. Also, a work colleague of mine has those big white square tips done everytime and I think they’re ugly.
Good on you for wanting to break a life-long habit. I have never been a nail biter, but there are lots and lots of other habits that I’ve unsuccessfully tried to get over. I wish you all the luck in the world!!!
I feel your pain. I am nearly 60 and have fought that battle all my life. It caused friction in my relationship with my Dad. I always felt so ugly.
I recently tried fiberglass wraps with tips. I love those, and learned to do it myself with supplies I picked up at Sally. It seems that the pressure created when the product dries is comforting and so I leave my fingers alone and don’t even pick at the skin and cuticle. Alas! I started going to the sauna several times a week to sweat, and this has ruined my beautiful nails! They sweat right off. I found that my nails did indeed grow underneath, but it turns out they are paper thin. I think that is why I bite. Thin nails are very annoying. The smug a holes (bless their hearts) who have naturally thick hard nails don’t think about that when they say mean things to me about the condition of my nails. “Why don’t you just QUIT it!?!” “What a nasty HABIT!” Blah blah.
Anyway, whatever method you choose, I think it will boost your self-esteem. I felt so pretty with my nails, and it was so much fun to go out and buy different colors to play with, glitter and all that. I noticed I had stopped hiding my hands and was more expressive and extroverted.
Have fun. If you ever learn a way to quit that really works, I hope you’ll let the world know. So many suffer with this. It’s not just a habit. There is more to it.