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Julian

Posts: 33
Joined: Sep. 22 2010
From: Aachen, very western Germany

Nananananaaaails 

Hi friends of good music,
so I made some experiences with my fingernails that I want to share...

Today I started another attempt to reinforce my nails, it must be the twentieth or so...

It all began when I started to play guitar, exactly one year and four months ago, after playing violin for >15 years (no nails needed for that thing...). After a life of nail-biting I had to grow my nails to get a somewhat passable sound. Man, that was hard. However everything went well until I fell in love with flamenco (one year ago) and I began to take lessons (10 months ago). I learned my first rasgueo, good thumb-technique, and my nails got shorter from lesson to lesson. With some nail-hardener as protection coat everything worked fine for some months. Then my technique got better, I played harder, my nails got thinner and thinner (from rasgueo-training) and finally split at the thinnest point: ouch!
So, I asked my teacher, who plays with fake-nails. We talked a bit and eventually I ended up having the same crap on my nails.
Ok - at first everything was great, I could push really hard - making sounds I never dreamed of (my poor Burguet must have thought I was fighting her....).
Then christmas came, my mother and my girlfriend convinced me to "just get them down for the holidays...". Well that turned out to be a good idea for my nails, but not that good for flamenco...
The nails got soooo unbelievable thin, almost like paper, as the upper layer came off with the fake-nails, leaving a destructed battlefield behind.
Ok, I then started to take food supplement (pantovigar, which is quite expensive) and a special nail-balsam from the local pharmacy. After some months my nails were pretty strong again, but at that point the "rasgueo-splitting-problem" came back...
So I used super-glue, which worked amazingly well... ... for one to maximum two days, until it began to tear off.

Ok so today was the day: I went to the local beauty-saloon and got some acrylics assembled. They are strong, you barely can see them and they feel great!

I started playing, which was really great: no worries about the nails. I could play really really hard.

After some hours I noticed that they got loose at the sides, so I went back to the nail-studio. The lady told me that this was totally uncommon and she hasn't seen this in her career (which must bee pretty long... ;-) ). She took the loose stuff off and filled the gabs with new acrylic (after cleaning everything thoroughly). I decided to not play for today to let the nails harden completely. 2 hours ago they came off anyways... with the upper layer of my nail.
Ok, the back part of my nail (that built up after I started to take the supplements) was not really damaged , but the front is wasted, again...

I really don't know what to do anymore.
Without protection my nails wear off too fast, and protection (nail-hardener, super-glue) just holds up for one or two days. Fake, acrylic etc. doesn't stick.

What can you guys recommend? Wait? Let the nails cure?
Short nails aren't wearing so fast, picado works well but arpeggio simply doesn't sound powerful enough.
Man, that sucks!

What about super-glue with acrylic-powder? At least super-glue doesn't seem to destroy my nails

It's very frustrating and I think I just needed to tell anyone who understands this sh*t (my girlfriend is eye-rolling all the time, since I spend more time on my nails then she is on her's)

I wish you all a pleasant weekend with lots of time for flamenco!
Olé!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 21:08:38
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 22:38:03
 
James Ashley Mayer

 

Posts: 115
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Tried acrylic but it felt too spongy and drug across the strings with abnormal friction. Maybe they were too thick? Never tried super glue because I don't want poison on my nails. I use silk and clear nail polish and it works fine. Simple, cheap, flexible and easy to maintain. Every couple of days I'll put another layer of nail polish on if it looks like it needs it.

I'm not sure if all the nail discussions on this forum are about the same situations or not. I ONLY need protection for rasgueo. No other techniques cause any wear at all. My nails are strong and I wear them short enough that I rarely ever break them. So, I just put a strip of silk down my index, ring and middle nails. I don't even worry about covering anything except the middle of the nail because that's the only part that gets worn down by rasgueados.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 22:42:09
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

quote:

The lady told me that this was totally uncommon and she hasn't seen this in her career (which must bee pretty long... ;-) )

great story Julian, I really enjoyed your post.

IMO you should avoid these products on your nails. I mean if you're not a professionnal you don't need fake nails. Or the toxic superglue.
The result is what you already notice that your natural nails gonna agonize slowly...

Me too have brittle nails. I just use some basic nail-hardener as protection coat. Not on all the surface but just on the last end of the nail. The probleme is when i play rasgueos the coat go off in 1 or 2 days. I don't use nail polish remover. I scraped to remove residue.
Lately i play a lot of compas, rasgueos pattern. And I always forgot to put the protection coat. Result, my index and medium nails got thinner and thinner and finally break.
ATM i play with no nail on index and just a little on the medium. Yeah that sucks!! But imo the nail gonna grow up stronger and stronger.

But keep in mind that it's not something you can notice immediately. It takes months and months if not years for the nails to get stronger.
When you take food supplement the result is not in the next few days but in the next few months (4 months if i remember well).
Prob we want immediate result. So we opt for the bad option, the fake one.

Just my 2 cent let your nails cure. Of course your sound is gonna lake brightness but for my experience you can play with no nails and produce an accepable sound. It just take some time to acclimate your brain to this situation

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 22:46:06
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 22:51:38
 
Julian

Posts: 33
Joined: Sep. 22 2010
From: Aachen, very western Germany

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Thanks you guys!
I think I just have to wait (which is hard ), perhaps with a bit of supporting nail-polish for compas-exercises.
At least the food-supplement seems to have an effect, since the part of the nail that started to grow with this stuff looks good (there's a huge "bump" in my thumbnail, which is growing much thicker from there on).
Perhaps it's really more the brain that has to get used to the sound, which is hard when listening much to Moraito's stuff (where you can hear the fake-nails ;-) ).
That nail-magic sounds really interesting, perhaps I'll try that!

Thanks!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 23:36:57
 
odinz

Posts: 407
Joined: May 26 2010
From: Sarpsborg,Norway

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

I myself use nail hardener(i think its called depend) and as soon as i put the first layer on i squeeze i piece of drying paper on( like toilet paper os something simmilar) and let it dry, then i just put another layer of nail hardener, it works really well for me, the paper seems to add strenght and some structure to the nail hardener stuff, lasts longer and no ruined or broken nails anymore and its cheap

-Jonas

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2011 23:58:35
 
Lascaux

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep. 30 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Two layers of fibreglass, one layer of silk!

Find yourself a good nail technician and get silk wrap. Built up in layers with resin, then filed and buffed, they take a good two weeks before starting to lift. And a good nail tech will know how to properly apply them so they don't lift.

Take caution: Once you've used wrap you won't be able to use your natural nails to play guitar for a good 6 months or so till they grow back... the silk wrap makes natural nails as thin as tissue paper at least until they grow through.

But that being said, I can play flamenco for a good two weeks for 5+ hours a day and they'll hold out before I get them replaced.

As for tone, I played classical with natural nails for years, the first day I had wraps on I noticed a very slight negative alteration to the sound as your nail comes in contact with the string. I have got used to it now and overall see tone has improved in both flamenco and classical playing as it is so much more consistent with the wraps, and you can play for far longer before the nail shape wears down and you loose the perfect nail shape you spent ages getting right!

I have strong natural nails that never bothered me once in my classical playing but they just can't stand up to flamenco. No supplements or coatings made any difference, flamenco nails have to be built like tanks.

I honestly think those lucky few guitarists that can play as much flamenco for as long as they want with natural nails... they're less than 1% of us. My honest opinion, if you have nails that aren't freakishly thick and strong to start off with, no amount of supplements or nail coatings is ever going to get on top of it, if you're serious about flamenco, you have to use the wrap!

Silk wrap is a god send with a good nail technician!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 0:40:18
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

drink more milk and vitamins .

I never used anything with my nails .. and I think the only problem I face is the shorten of thumb due to alzapua .. I'm ok with others ..

in addition those stuff you're using on your nails are expensive .. better buy new set of strings instead .

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 4:47:00
 
ralexander

Posts: 797
Joined: Jun. 1 2010
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

I used glue-on fakes and acrylics for years playing steel string fingerstyle, and they worked like a charm. When I moved to flamenco, it didn't sound right. Too harsh sounding with a lot of nail noise against the strings. I realized for one thing that the nails were simply too thick. I tried the glue on "guitarplayernails" which sounded nice but were way too much trouble to maintain. I went back to acrylics and tried a thinner application which worked ok, but after all my experimenting and research on this site I learned that it's best to have some flexibility in the nails. At least this is what works for me. I gently filed off my last acrylic application and I have been using Witchcraft nail hardener, which I think is only available in Canada. It does flake off a bit after a few days of hard playing, but it's a simple brush on application which is sooooooo much easier than any other method I've tried (except going to a salon, I guess).

Now I just have to find more crafty ways to have beautiful women hold my hand
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 11:31:04
 
rogeliocan

Posts: 811
Joined: Nov. 23 2009
From: Canada

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Funny picture of your cat, he's sitting up straight
Next thing would be a video and him starting to talk, sing, or even better, play flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 11:46:23
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Hi Julian,

( Can it be that I know your avatar from GS? It would mean good memories.)

Here is what I think about nail treatment, without certainty of it being all correct.

Nails are made of creatin. With hair, horns, hooves, skin armings and feathers consisting of it, one of the significant inventions of evolution.

Unusually thin nails should be because of lack of biotin ( vitamin H or B7 / B8 ).

Here is what I gathered once, when a girl-friend asked me to make a quick research on biotin:

Daily dosis: 0,03 - 0,1 mg

Symptoms of lack:
Skin irritations, hair loss, brittle nails, anemia, depression, tiredness, faint, anorexia, raised general chlosterine level, low bloodsugar, tongue inflammation.

Symptoms of affluence:
Delayed or decreased insulin distribution, encreased demand of vitamine C + B6, encreased level of bloodsugar.


Most supply would be with calf liver, salmon, peanuts, cauliflower, raw oats, yolk and rice.

However, unless with overconsumption of raw egg, with pregnancy and nursing ( + 0,005 mg adviced ) or with genetical preference ( +0,05 - 15 mg ), lack of biotin won´t commonly occure.
Lack through diet being practically non-existent.
-

Once stuffed with pretty thick ones, my nails have become quite thin too since almost twenty years.
Maybe I must be rasping much less rasgeuados than other fellas, still there gathers quite some nail dust on tops section under the strings, and my way of plucking tends to be rather forte too.
But there seems no problem with the nails despite daily practising ( mostly for hours ).


Could be the nail issue to be similar like the one with car shells.
Constructors used to go for stiffening / arming race cars, until it showed that deforming was the way to go. ( Laotse must have said something to the extent of: "The gras blade won´t break as it flexes" or so. :0D )

I think to have read here on the foro from players who returned from all the hardening measures from tinctures and laqueres and sheets back to plain, only to find that things were much better without applications.

They found that used chemicals had thinned out, brittle ( and slow down in growth / diameter ) and that their natural / deflecting nails would wear off less than nails with rigid layers on top. Rediscovering the advantage of felxible nails, some even mentioned how they like to wetten their hands / steep fingertips before practising.

Women will also confirm that laquered nails over time suffer from being suspended from air.

Another note is the hearsaying that nail as an reaction will grow encreasingly at rasped spots. From there moderate measures of rasgeuados could even be beneficial to nail growth.
-

Supplements logically might work either not at all or only very little; seing how normal diet already supplies more than enough of biotin.
With enhancement of nail growth intented the solution should not be lying in symptomatic treatment, but in analyzing the individual, metabolistic background of biotin absorption and going from there.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 13:46:15
 
lelandv

 

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar. 17 2011
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Back in the early 80s, my nails used to split along horizontally. Someone at the time mentioned that gelatine cubes work... (eating them, of course..) After a staple diet of half a pack of gelatine cubes per day, after about 9 months, the nails just became stronger and stronger.

I don't use anything at all on them even now, and can pretty much whack them against a brick wall without damage. Of course when they get longer and I have to file them, I need pretty much an angle grinder to file them down because a run of the mill emory board runs out of grate before I get through all the nails. (the thumb is the worst... need a power sander for that one!)

;)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2011 16:08:28
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Could be you went through a temporary sickness that affected metabolism.

I doubt the recovery to have been connected to consumption of gelatine, as that advice seems to ground on popular belief according to which hair and nail growth was bound to calcium supply.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2011 10:01:01
 
M.S.A.

Posts: 493
Joined: Mar. 10 2009
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) might help. It does with mine. But if you have genetical predisposition to very thin nails that can be tough one. Try it, it may be worth it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2011 17:03:16
 
JieXian

Posts: 86
Joined: Aug. 8 2010
From: Malaysia

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

My nails are really hard even since I first kept them 6 years ago. I suppose I'm trying to eat more protein now but one thing was constant for a few years.

I drink 2 cups of milk everyday.

And I really enjoy the flavor too :D

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2011 12:33:39
 
Julian

Posts: 33
Joined: Sep. 22 2010
From: Aachen, very western Germany

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Thank you guys!
I think I'll wait and see how my nails develop. I had a really tough last year, perhaps this is a side effect...
For the first time I'm going to leave them short, without stuff on them (just some nail-oil). In the meantime I'll pay a bit more attention to my vitamin-supplies. But I usually eat fruit and vegetables every day. The pandovigar food-supplement I take already contain vitamin B, but I have to check which type.
Perhaps some additional diatomaceous earth and vitamin b5 won't do harm ;-)

@ Ruphus & Rogeliocan
The cat belongs to my uncle and he's so fat (the cat ;-) ) that he can't "sit" like a normal cat, that's why he's sort of standing. I don't think I could teach him to play guitar, because every time something even touches his belly he's going nuts. One doesn't want to experience this because instead of me he has really strong, painful nails

Julian
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2011 21:45:57
 
rombsix

Posts: 7853
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From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2012 22:59:54
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Krazy glue or brush on nail glue..... It's non toxic you can
eat it and put it on open wounds. It is like extra skin... Build it up.
When it wears off.... Put MORE on!!!! Always use new fresh
Bottle and store in plastic bag. Treat it like food, it goes bad

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2012 0:00:04
 
etta

 

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

I once gave up flamenco guitar because of nail issues. Then I discovered guitar player nails (available in kit form at stringsbymail.com.) With a little practice you can learn to make and apply nails that will last for weeks or longer. If they get loose, use a straight pin to keep the gap open while you apply more of their very thin glue. In an hour go play your guitar and stop worrying about diet and various compounds for nail strength. I envy the guys with iron clad nails, but you can still play and maybe with a better tone with these artificial nails. Good luck.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2012 1:51:33
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5078
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Krazy glue


I second that. Have a broken m nail for weeks. Completely cracked from left to right. I keep it with crazy glue. I just renew every 2 days till its grown out. Krazy glue with brush. Top. All u need.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2012 3:41:34
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

very nice video Ramzi
that method is pretty much alike with the one Jose Tanaka has taught me
except that James is applying lots of glue on a large area , I don't do that
since I started using this method (mainly with P) I didn't face any more nail problems.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2012 3:42:31
 
rombsix

Posts: 7853
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From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2017 4:56:30
 
pundi64

Posts: 234
Joined: Jul. 29 2016
From: Thailand

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to rombsix

Just eat your vegetables, and meat, grow your own.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2017 7:18:24
 
avimuno

 

Posts: 598
Joined: Feb. 9 2007
From: Paris, France

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

I would tend to agree with the people suggesting a diet with more vitamins and calcium.

Every person's body is different of course, and what works for some might not work for others, but it can only help to try to naturally strengthen your nails. I have personally gone through pretty much every trick in the book when it comes to strengthening my nails, and I have found that each one of them has always caused some damage to my nails in the long run. As such, I have stopped using any strengthener for about 4-5 years now (except very very occasionally, when I really need to).

I eat more vitamins and calcium, and those have actually done the trick for me... I now have naturally stronger and healthier nails, which never break (I have not broken a nail in more than 3 years - and it was for another reason than playing guitar). The downside is that using some sort of nail strengthener will allow you to have a stronger attack with the right hand, hence more volume - which helps in the dance studio. The upside is that not using anything anymore has made me work on my attack, which has become lighter and which also allows me to keep my nails really short... so much so that people do not notice that I have longer nails on one hand now - which has really helped my sex-life too!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2017 8:57:22
 
Erik van Goch

 

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From: Netherlands

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

As a youngster i did harvest rhubarb once for about a week and the extensive daily contact with the freshly cut rhubarb somehow made my nails hard as a rock (probably works fine until you accidentally cut of a finger or two since the harvesting involved the use of razor sharp cutting knives).

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2017 14:45:18
 
Pimientito

Posts: 2481
Joined: Jul. 30 2007
From: Marbella

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Krazy glue or brush on nail glue..... It's non toxic


I agree too. I tried everythig over the years. Acrylic nails work until they edventually come off and take away the natural nail. Krazy glue (called superglue in Europe) is non toxic, keeps pretty well in the fridge and doesnt damage the natural nail.

I use small pieces of tissue paper cut to size to the top part of the nail, glued in place with super glue, then buffed smooth. I add a coat of nail repair on top.

I would agree that nutrician does help but everyone is different. Some people have naturally tougher nails than others. You cant say that eating gelatine etc. will work for everyone but its true that good diet will promote healthier nails.
...plus my nails have become stronger as I got older too.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2017 7:42:29
 
avimuno

 

Posts: 598
Joined: Feb. 9 2007
From: Paris, France

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Pimientito

quote:

I use small pieces of tissue paper cut to size to the top part of the nail, glued in place with super glue, then buffed smooth. I add a coat of nail repair on top.


Hey Pimiento!

I've done the exact same thing for quite some time but in the long run my nails got seriously damaged (linear cracks appearing on my thumb nail in particular). As you say, each person is different so it's impossible to generalize, but have you had the same issues as I have with this method?

Cheers!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2017 8:19:47
 
Fitz63

 

Posts: 104
Joined: May 16 2016
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Julian

Just wondering if anyone had tried shellac, and if so what their experiences with it were. I've been using it for a few years, and it's mainly worked. Keep nails from growing too long, probably weakened nails, but not that I've noticed, UV lights are a little worrying.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2017 10:54:02
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3625
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Nananananaaaails (in reply to Pimientito

quote:

I agree too. I tried everythig over the years. Acrylic nails work until they edventually come off and take away the natural nail. Krazy glue (called superglue in Europe) is non toxic, keeps pretty well in the fridge and doesnt damage the natural nail.

I use small pieces of tissue paper cut to size to the top part of the nail, glued in place with super glue, then buffed smooth. I add a coat of nail repair on top.

I would agree that nutrician does help but everyone is different. Some people have naturally tougher nails than others. You cant say that eating gelatine etc. will work for everyone but its true that good diet will promote healthier nails.
...plus my nails have become stronger as I got older too.
didn't you post a while back that you were using some kind of nail varnish with fibres in it? Jessica? what happened to that?

EDIT: http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=254764&mpage=1&p=&tmode=1&smode=1&key=jessica

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2017 14:18:03
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