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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Man cutting fingernails using a nail clipper
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The Right and Wrong Way to Cut your Nails

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Proper nail care is an integral part of self-care. Short, well-manicured nails look good, and they are less likely to keep any infection-causing bacteria. In addition to that, well-kept nails also prevent common nail issues like ingrown toenails. While cutting your nails may seem easy, there are a few things you should do to ensure you safely trim those nails.

Clean and Soften the Nails

Soak your nails in some warm water before cutting them. Then clean on the surface and underneath them using a nail brush and some antibacterial soap. Alternatively, cut your nails immediately after taking a shower. Trimming them when they are clean prevents any bacteria from spreading in case of an accidental cut. When nails are moist, they are soft and easy to cut. However, be careful not to break them because they are also fragile at that point.

Use the Right Tools

Use nail scissors or clippers for your fingernails and toenail clippers for your toenails. Remember to disinfect these tools before and after use, and then dry them thoroughly before storing them. Using the wrong tools to cut your nails might cause you to injure yourself or just end up with a bad nail trimming.

Use the Proper Technique

There are two ideal ways to cut the nail. One, you can make one horizontal cut across the nail then two angled cuts at the corner. Alternatively, you can do two cuts, each moving from the middle of the nail to either of the edges, then cut the pointed part that remains at the center. The technique that you pick depends on how you want to shape your nails. Experiment, and find what works best for you. Be careful not to cut too close to the skin because you will hurt yourself.

File in the Right Direction

Now that the nails are cut you need to file them for that smooth finish. Do not move the nail file in back and forth motions because that will rough up your nail. Move it in one direction to smooth it. Use a buff to keep the top of your nails smooth and remove any abnormalities on the surface. Once you’re done, rinse your hands then moisturize. Moisturizing your nails keeps them healthy and strong; dry nails have a tendency to split easily. You may also add polish to your nails at this point.

Be Gentle on the Nail Cuticles

Cuticles have a purpose: to protect the nail root. For proper nail care when cutting your cuticles, do not push them back because then you will be making it easier for germs and bacteria to get into your body. Cuticles can also be extremely painful when cut improperly, so be careful with them.

It’s important to keep your nails trimmed. When they grow too long, they become jagged and dangerous. Even when they are filed but still long, they risk harboring germs and bacteria that could cause infection. The most important thing is that you trim them using the right technique to avoid hurting yourself.

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Matt
GR8NESS Writer
Matt is a GR8NESS contributing writer on such subjects as pets, CBD, pain relief, sexual health, time management, and family & parenting. When he's not placed in the awkward position of referring to himself in the third person, Matt tries to keep two Dachshunds, an 18-year old daughter, and one wife blissfully happy but not necessarily in that order.
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