Confront your problem. Get a camera and take some pictures of your bitten fingernails. Examine your nails, and list their problems.
Visualize yourself with healthy nails, and how great they will look.
Pick at least one nail to “protect” at a time.
After a few days, an unbitten nail will flourish and reward you. Do not bite it. If you must, bite one of the ‘unprotected’ ones.
Once you have grown your unbitten nail for a while, start protecting another one. And another.
Record your progress in a notebook or photo album. Take “before and after” photos of your nails and put them in the book to keep you motivated. Recognizing that it usually takes three weeks to grow nails half a centimeter, chart out in the book how long you want your nails to be by a certain date.
Eat calcium- and magnesium- rich foods so that your nails will repair and grow well. Not only that, but most of the reason that the human body wants to bite nails is the lack of calcium and magnesium in the body and the body needs that material back.
Push your cuticles back. Many nail-biters do not have “moons” on the base of their fingernails because their cuticles have not been pushed back. To do this, gently push your cuticles towards your finger to reveal more of your nail. This is easier to do after a shower when your hands and nails are wet. This makes the nail appear longer, and it gives a more attractive shape, which might also be a motivation to stop biting.
Find a habit to take the place of nail biting. Whenever you have the urge to bite, do that instead. Some people like to drum their fingers, or just stare at their hands. Just make sure it’s not a bad habit; choose a helpful one or one that doesn’t really matter either way. ‘Bitrex’ is a chemical that is put in products to make them taste foul, obtained from your local pharmacy. It’s included in nibble inhibitors that you paint on to your nails. Carry some with you at all times. Apply your nasty solution several times a day. If you get used to the taste, choose another brand.
Distract your mouth. Eat carrot sticks to keep you busy. Keep a stick of gum handy for those weak moments.
No more idle hands..
Distract your hands by taking up a hobby.
A hobby to distract your hands might be making models or maintaining your house, knitting or crochet, running or other outside pursuits, or even nail care and decoration!
For those whose nail biting is obsessive/compulsive it may help to approach your hobby obsessively.
Cover your nails. For females, fit artificial nails. They can really help. For guys, polish them and apply some shine/growth promoter or petroleum jelly. It’s harder to bite nails that are looking great!
Keep gloves in your back pocket and wear them when you want to bite.
Put little pieces of tape on the ends of your fingers, to remind yourself how destructive biting is.
If you have any surplus growth, cut your nails back. Keep clippers with you at all times. You can’t bite if there’s nothing there!
Speaking about your nails will help to focus your mind on your goals. Ask for help from your partner(s). Keep talking about your goals.
Show off your improved nails, and get much-needed encouragement and praise from your peers.
Be proud of your improving nails. They will shine with beauty.
Go for a manicure, and chat with the manicurist about having great nails.
If you are male and you go in for a manicure and anyone gives you grief for not being manly, just say you are taking radical steps, whatever it takes. That should be manly enough for anyone.
Keep looking after your nails, with cuticle oil, shine and growth promoter, and no biting!
Get to know yourself, the first step is to be conscious when you start biting your nails. Feel your anxiety or stress levels.
Don’t start thinking there is a short term solution. To stop nail biting, one requires patience and awareness.
Use an emery board to file when ever you feel like biting. Even if you file them down to nothing, it’s better then chewing into your nail bed. Ouch!
Try using a coating that seals moisture in the nail and repels water and dirt. Oils or even waxy lip balm can be effective at softening nails.
Keep going with the program, any setbacks should be confronted as quickly as possible, to prevent a complete relapse.
Let white spots grow out gently. They are caused by blows or stress to the nail.
You can chew gum as it keeps you from biting your nails.
Take magnesium pills, one a day. They strengthen the nails and make them hard.
Try keeping an “egg” of Silly Putty with you! It is fun to play with and it occupies your hands during biting-prone times like while watching movies or television or sitting in class. Or you can try keeping a quarter or other coin in your pocket, and play with it when you feel the urge to bite your nails. Plus, these don’t involve eating or chewing on anything, so they will help break the habit of oral fixation.
Challenge yourself: how many hours can you go without taking a bite? When you break a previous record, get yourself a treat. Then see: can you go a day? Three days? a week? two weeks?
Clean, manicured nails will be such an improvement to your self-esteem. You’ll see!
If the habit is unconscious (i.e., you don’t even notice yourself starting to do it), consider using NLP or hypnotherapy – practitioners will know some great techniques for retraining your mind very quickly and easily to remove unwanted habits.
See if you can notice how or when you decide to start biting. There may be an underlying cause of stress, nerves or boredom perhaps. Dealing with the underlying and real issue could stop the nail biting and more.
Again, try chewing gum to keep your mouth busy.
You might also want to try putting nail polish on. Since it tastes so bad, you won’t want to bite your nails anymore.
As your nails/skin grow, they will seem puffy and itchy. This is normal! This fudge-finger sensation will go away in time.
Clean your nails! Part of the reason you bite them is because they are dirty. Buff then, scrub them, clean them. This will make you appreciate them more.
If you are artistic, try doing projects with clay or plaster. It gets all over your hands, and the flavour stays in your nails (and all over your hands) long after you wash off any visible mess. They both taste bad to many people (clay tastes salty and can leave a slimy texture and plaster tastes chalky) and doing the projects will also keep your hands busy.
Put nail jewels on your nails. These are hard to bite, and the risk of one coming off in your mouth may scare you into quitting your habit.
Remember that long ago, people used to think that bitten nails got lodged in people’s intestines (to this day some parents still tell their children this). Even though we know now that this is not actually true, it’s a gross thing to think about as you chew…
Think of your appearance towards others. People tend to find severely short nails as a turn off and very gross.
Don’t be silly and replace nail-biting with a worse habit. While stubby digits are unhealthy and painful, other habits can be worse.
Chewing your fingernails invites infection.
Brittle nails can be caused by strong detergents and chemicals, sun exposure, poor diet, or prolonged use of nail hardeners. Avoid the use of hardeners containing formaldehyde, which has a drying effect on nails.
Remember beauty is only skin deep. As is ugly. Telling yourself you are ugly will only undermine your self esteem and keep you from being your best. Tell yourself instead that you are a special person and that you deserve to have healthy looking nails too.
Things You’ll Need
A balanced diet, rich in beneficial minerals and vitamins: eggs, soy, whole grains and liver are helpful to nails. Sulfurous minerals found in apples, cucumbers, grapes, garlic, asparagus, and onions all help consistent growth. Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are found in salmon, nuts, seeds and tuna. They all help keep nails shiny and pliable. General vitamins and minerals are also important.