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Growing Out Healthy Nails After Years of Biting

Category Nail Tips
While a challenge, it is very rewarding to be able to grow healthy nails after a history of biting them. This is a guide about growing out healthy nails after years of biting.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
July 14, 2011

I've been a nail biter for 15 or so years; I finally stopped a month and a half ago. This is a great accomplishment for me, but as I watch my nails grow the white tips are really large, they extend all the way down to where I used to bite my nails. I thought maybe the pink part would grow.

I have heard that the nail has to be reattached to the nail bed and that it'll take some time. Does anyone know how to speed up this process? Or if I'm wrong and it isn't a matter of the nail bed does anyone know why the nail does this? (By the way please don't leave answers telling me to talk to my doctor this will not help me.)

Please help. I feel that they are really ugly.

By MsAlie711

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have moved the nail beds back. I don't know how long it might take for them to move forward, or even if they will. BUT, you accomplished something wonderful--it must have been very hard to stop such a long standing habit! (Habits are hard enough to break when it is not something you carry with you all the time, like fingers!)

Be patient. Don't clean under your nails too vigorously with a nail cleaner or whatever, if they're very dirty, use a soft nail brush, so that you don't damage any re-growth that may have occurred.

Meanwhile, experiment with polishes--you can probably find a "French Manicure" polish set with some pinkish polish and white polish. Paint the pinkish polish further down, to cover some of the white. Give it time, and don't forget to stretch your arm over your shoulder and pat yourself on the back now and then!

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November 29, 20141 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have been biting my nails for almost 20 years since I was little. I don't even remember how they used to look, but judging from my parents, they were supposedly nice. I have stopped periodically and as they were starting to grow out, something would cause anxiety and I was back at square one.

My girlfriend got me this polish called "No Bite" and it is absolutely disgusting if you touch it to your mouth. I think the biggest issue with chronic nail bitter is that you don't notice every time you do it. This gives you more control and awareness.

Now for the main point...the bed of my nails was considerably small from the decades of damage. In the course of a month, the nail bed is starting to grow back. Take progression to document not only the recovery, but also your success. Don't let your nails grow out too much or you might be tempted to quickly "cut" them by biting. This opens the door for relapse! Use nail cutters and keep them at a respectable length. If you get a hang nail, DO NOT tear it with your fingers. Get a proper nail manicure set. I never thought I would need a manicure set, but it's absolutely essential to your nail recovery.

Congratulations to all those who have taken this important step to enhance their health, body image, and personal growth! Keep up the good work and don't let anyone discourage you... especially yourself.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
December 1, 20150 found this helpful

Like many others replying to this question, I've been a nail bitter for more than 15 years. As I get older I see other people's nails and they are grown out and pretty. Also they don't have short nail beds like I do right now. It's been a week since I last decided to stop biting. And the number one thing that I've read online for growing out your nail beds is just not to put your nails in your mouth and scrape your teeth under the nail, which is exactly what I do. And same goes with picking at your nails. I'm trying my best to just let them be, even if it means that they have dirt under them. I'm very proud of the results and I hope this will help me and everyone else get pretty nails too!

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February 8, 20160 found this helpful

I've been a nail biter for many years I seen to do it when im stressed or bored and I can't seem to grow out of it im only 20 and could really do with some help i tryed gloves but it never helped an it's rude to wear gloves in houses so that didn't work I just don't know and I have a boyfriend now and I seem so sad to have horrible nailes when he's got good health names anyone help

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February 9, 20160 found this helpful

Same i put on hard mail polish and when i wanted to bite them i just tried to take it off instead of bitting tjem

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April 1, 20160 found this helpful

Ive been bitting my nails over 10 years now.But my mum was my insperation.Ive stopped bitting my nails now.

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April 6, 20160 found this helpful

I was a nail biter for 10 years and had the same problem. It will take a few months to grow your nailbed back, but it will go faster if you take vitamins, and massage your nails with coconut oil. Don't clean underneath your nails too hard, as this will damage your progress.

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August 29, 20160 found this helpful

Truly great answer, and so positive and heartwarming to see understanding and encouragement! I am 57 and have been biting my nails all my life. I have tried on a few occasions (many years ago) to grow them out, and they were so soft and fragile and then of course I would just go back to chewing my nails. My daughter is getting married in 12 days (eek!) and I have been attemting to grow them for the last 15 days or so... I didn't remark the date when I stopped, but I just stopped... cold turkey! I have been clipping instead of filing, and trying not to clean them too often (so disgusting what accumulates under them!), and applying Sally Hansen Hard as Nails and also using a cuticle cream and pushing them back. Here are my results so far.

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December 25, 20160 found this helpful

Ive been a nail biter since i was walking .im now 18 and just stopped biting my nails since Dec 2nd 2016 i have bitten a few here and there i just really want to have long nails and its a struggle each and everyday i try so hard not to bite them ive tried everything and i let them grow but once i feel the tips i want to bite them please any suggestion's

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January 10, 20170 found this helpful

It helps the nail bed grow if you don't scrape under the nail much , like when you clean them . Be more gentle when cleaning

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0 found this helpful
January 7, 2016

I've bitten my nails for as long as I can remember as embarrassing as it is, but they have now started to form an odd shape. What I see as "normal nails" are nails that are shaped like a U. But my nails are shaped where they are curved at the bottom and the go outwards like this \ / and it's really disturbing. The strips of skin beside my finger nails are getting thinner and thinner and is looking really unnatural.

Is there any way that I can fix this problem or make my nails grow in the shape of a U again?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 8, 20160 found this helpful

Human fingernail shapes are genetic-you inherit your nail shape from your parents. Some people have U shaped nails and others have variations of U, flared and other shapes. Nail shapes can also vary in the fingers of one person, as well. The only way to change your nail shape would be via plastic surgery but there is no guaranteed result.

However, you can consult with a dermatologist for help to improve the health and appearance your fingers and nail beds. The critical factor for improvement is, of course, to completely stop biting your nails.

Good Luck!

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July 8, 20160 found this helpful

I used to have what she is referring to as "u shaped nails". After a few years of biting the tips of my nails have flattened out into more of a V shape. It is not genetic as the change only came after biting consistently. After several months without biting they have recovered some of their natural curve again.

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February 20, 20170 found this helpful

I was a ravenous nail biter for over 30 years. My entire life. About 18 months ago, I stopped. I had the same "V" shaped nails and found as my nails got longer, the curve toward the tip got more pronounced, so they weren't as flat and wide toward the tips. You can also file them so they're a bit narrower.

I found the tricks to growing out my nails was using Nutra Nail Stressed Nail formula - it made my nails grow longer and faster. I was never able to even get them to my fingertips. But the Nutra Nail really worked. I also keep my nails polished and when I feel the urge to bite, I peel the polish instead. I carry a small nail polish remover and a bottle of polish with me at all times so I can re-paint if I peel it all off (because once my nails are bare, all bets are off on my ban on biting!)

I've not bitten in 18 months now! It took about 6-7 weeks to reach the tips of my fingers. But once they grew out, I didn't want to bite anymore as I'd ruin all the work I'd done manicuring and filing and so forth. Peeling off the polish is a nice alternative to biting for me.

I do lots of French Manicures and Hombre designs with sparkles near the tip. The 1 or 2 extra layers of polish makes my nails a bit stronger near the tips where they're most prone to break as they are still pretty weak but definitely improving. I also put clear polish on the tips and underside of my nails to help make them less prone to tearing in the shower. (Shampooing my hair always seemed to cause them to break. I tried wearing gloves but that sucked. Painting the tips and underside limits the fragility I've found.

I keep a nail file on me at all times as a snag or chip makes me want to bite. (And then once one is short, I'm compelled to even them all out by biting)

I now file my nails back because they're too long and typing gets difficult - a problem I NEVER had before!

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