A Complete Guide To Filing Nails

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

How difficult can nail filing be?”- If you have asked yourself this question while looking at manicure sets, we don’t blame you. Honestly, it doesn’t look like rocket science when your manicurist does it. But, the real problem starts when you get hold of all the tools and find it difficult to get your nails in the perfect shape. While we would love to run to the manicurist every week, it isn’t practical or feasible. So this is where you need to take things (nail files) into your own hands! If you are a person who is new to nail filing but would want to flaunt beautiful manicure hands, we are here to help! Read on to know them all!

1. File Numbers

File Numbers
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When you go to purchase a nail filer, you will have to choose from file numbers that depict its coarseness. For instance, “180/180” is a common format for the numbers that appear on nail files. If the number is greater, the file is finer, and vice versa. If the two values are the same, then the grit for both sides is identical.

80 — used for filing down extremely long nails and shaping extremely thick or misshapen nails that have been painted with acrylic or gel polish.

100 — used in shortening the length and peeling off an acrylic coating.

150 — a tool for filing fake fingernails.

180 — used to file down and shape a free edge on a natural fingernail before putting any product. The number of minutes spent on nail prep before applying gel polish is 240.

2. Nail Buffers

Nail Buffers
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Nail buffers are a subset of nail files that are used for polishing as well as shaping and shortening the nails. Compared to standard files, these are far finer. There are unique numbers for buffers, but they have a distinct significance. Use a coarser file to smooth off any rough spots. 220/280 is perfect for prepping nails for polish. Polishing the nails is done with 600/4000. Most manufacturers provide buffers in two colors, often green and white. Shine is generated on the green side, and polished on the white.

3. Materials

Image: Shutterstock

The nail file’s composition is another thing you need to consider. Begin by checking out their constituent parts. When correcting or shaping your polished nails, metal tools are your best bet. However, using a metal file can be harmful for your natural nails since it exposes your nail tip, increasing the risk that you’ll break it or take off more than you meant to. Files made of glass are extremely long-lasting and can be sterilized quickly. The nails’ edges are sealed off by the files, so they won’t chip as easily. The degree to which they are abrasive may vary. This file’s underlying structure is also crucial. The bottom may be made of plastic or wood. Plastic files are more versatile than their wooden counterparts and are thus more often used. It’s hard to beat the durability and low price of the wooden ones.

4. Shapes

Image: Shutterstock

Be it shaping the border, polishing the entire nail, or only buffing the cuticle region, the file must be shaped accordingly. Banana file, with its spherical form, is suited to the cuticle region and thedesign prevents unnecessary wrist strain. Straight file makes it ideal for shaping the corners and points of the nail. The oval shaped files may be worn both on the tip of the nail and the full nail bed. It has a wider applicability than a banana. Like the previous two, the crescent shape allows for lengthy strokes along the sides, and cuticle work with the rounded end. The oval and crescent-shaped file can be used to gently straighten both sides of what is left of the nail.

Healthy Nail Myths

Healthy Nail Myths
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If you have been told that it’s safe to clip the cuticles, you need to stop doing it right away. The cuticle is a protective skin layer that keeps germs and illnesses away from our nails. Nail bumps can develop if you don’t take good care of your nails.

There is also a common misconception that the lack of calcium causes white patches to form on the nails. But the truth is, there are several potential causes of white patches on the nail bed. Nail polish removal can cause tiny tears in the nail plate, which manifest as white spots. White patches appear on the nails as the nail layers are lost along with the lacquer.

Another false accusation against nail polish is, nails can’t breathe under nail polish. Nothing breathes under a nail. They are made of keratinocytes, much like hair. The blood supply is the only source of nutrition for the nails.

So now that you know how to care for your nail and give it the TLC it deserves, nothing can stop you from flaunting gorgeous nails. What is your favorite design to go with everyday nails? Let us know in the comments section!

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