Some more methods
Method One: Cover Your Nails with Adhesive Bandages
- Put adhesive bandages over your nails. Cover your nail with the pad of the bandage.
- Keep them on everyday. You can apply fresh bandages every time you shower, or every few days.
- You can remove them for a special occasion, or choose to keep them on so you look silly during the occasion and are even more motivated to stop biting your nails.
- If this process is starting to hurt your nails, you can take them off at night.
- After a few weeks, take off the adhesive bandages.
- Notice how much better your nails look. If you start biting your nails again, put the adhesive bandages back on.
Method Two: Take it One Nail at a Time
- Pick at least one nail to “protect” at a time.
- Go a few days without biting that nail.
- Notice how much better that nail looks than the others. After a few days, a non-bitten nail will flourish and reward you.
- Do not bite it. If you must, bite one of the ‘unprotected’ ones. Sometimes it helps knowing that you have another nail to bite, even if you don’t actually nibble at any unprotected ones.
- Pick another nail to stop biting. Once you have grown your non-bitten nail for a while, start protecting another one. And another.
- Continue the process until you have successfully avoided biting all of your nails. If you ever really feel the urge to bite your nails, focus on just one nail to bite.
Method Three: Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy
1. 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, twiddle their thumbs, clasp their hands, put their hands in their pockets, 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.
- Carry a rubber band, penny, or something else to hold in your hands. Play with that constantly in place of biting your nails.
- Distract your hands at times when you usually bite your nails, such as car rides, or when you’re sitting in class.
- Find a new way to replace the habit depending on where you are. If you’re in class, focus on writing extremely thorough notes. If you’re in the passenger seat of a car, fiddle with your keys.
- Try keeping an “egg” of Silly Putty with you. It is fun to play with and it occupies your hands during biting-prone times.
- 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.
2. Distract your hands by taking up a hobby.
- Not only will the new hobby keep you from biting your nails, but you could also discover a new passion at the same time.
- A hobby to distract your hands might be making models or maintaining your house, knitting or crocheting, running, or other outdoor pursuits, or even nail care and decoration.
- If you are artistic, try doing projects with clay or plaster. It gets all over your hands, and the flavor stays in your nails long after you wash off any visible mess. They both taste bad (clay tastes salty and can leave a slimy texture and plaster tastes chalky) and doing the projects will also keep your hands busy.
3. Keep your mouth busy.
Though you should avoid developing a serious new oral fixation, a few small tricks can keep your mouth busy and will cut down on the amount of time you spent biting your nails. Here are some things you can do:
- Chew gum or suck on mints or candies throughout the day. Biting your nails will be tough if you’re busy chewing gum or taking in the flavor of a delicious sucking candy. Also, the sensation of your bitten nails mixing with the flavor of minty gum or an orange-flavored candy will just be gross.
- Snack small throughout the day. Though you should avoid snacking so much that you end up gaining weight, you should carry around healthy snacks like carrot sticks or celery so you can munch on them throughout the day.
- Carry around a water bottle. Bring water with you wherever you go so you can always take a sip of water when you’re having a weak moment.
Method Four: Use a Nibble Inhibitor
- Paint a nibble inhibitor on your nails to discourage yourself from chewing them. Bitrex is a chemical that is put in products to make them taste foul, obtained from your local pharmacy.
- Apply the solution to your nails several times a day.
- Carry some solution with you at all times.
- If you get used to the taste of the solution, try using a different solution.
- Continue to apply the solution when you stop biting your nails. Even if you’ve stopped biting your nails, you can keep the solution around as a trophy.
If you’re ever tempted to stop biting your nails in the future, then you can smell the solution to remind yourself of how unpleasant the experience was.
Method Five: Cover Your Nails
- Cover your nails with nail polish. If you’re a female, cover them with a bold color like red, or a color like black that will look silly if it’s chipped because you’re biting your nails. For guys, polish them and apply some shine and growth promoter or petroleum jelly. It’s harder to bite nails that are looking great.
- 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 to stop biting your nails, whatever it takes. That should be manly enough for anyone.
- Wear fake nails. This is another great way to keep your nails covered. Get your nails professionally manicured, which involves getting acrylics glued to your nails. They last for ages and when you get them taken off, you will have your real natural nails underneath.
- If you’re really determined, you can get a particularly expensive manicure with artificial nails. This will make you feel even worse about biting your nails and ruining your pricey look.
- Cover your nails by wearing gloves. Keep gloves in your back pocket and wear them when you want to bite. This will motivate you even more if it’s the middle of summer and you look ridiculous wearing gloves.
- If you’re writing or doing something else that is particularly tough to do with gloves, you will be even more motivated to stop biting your nails. Remind yourself that if you didn’t have a nail-biting problem, that you wouldn’t need to wear the gloves.
Maintaining Healthy Nails
1. Treat yourself to a manicure as often as you can. You have earned a manicure for reaching your goal to stop biting your nails. Once your nails are in great shape, you should focus on keeping them that way, and the best way to show off your shiny new nails is to get a manicure.
Chat with the manicurist about having great nails. You’re allowed to brag!
2. Keep your nails relatively short. A simple manicure can help maintain your healthy nails, and so will keeping them relatively short and preventing yourself from biting them more.
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.
3. Push your cuticles back from time to time. 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.
4. Maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet will help you feel better overall and will help your nails repair and grow well. 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 a lack of calcium and magnesium in the body. The body needs that material back.
Eggs, soy, whole grains, and liver are also 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.
5. Celebrate your nail success. Don’t be afraid to show off your new nails to your friends, or even to people you don’t know very well. Show them your hands and say, “Can you believe I used to have a nail-biting problem?”
Take photos of your hands and enjoy how good they look. You can even hang them up, or hang them next to a photo of your ragged “before” nails to show that you are capable of making big changes in your life.
6. Keep your nails healthy. Regularly wash your hands, use cuticle oil, and use shine and growth promoter.