Biting and picking at your nails is kinda gross. It also is a sure-fire way to make your manicure that was supposed to last all week last only a day. And while it’s a nervous habit that’s certainly on the more innocuous side of the spectrum, it can still affect your health.
Telling a nail biter to stop won’t help. Sheer willpower may also not stop the habit. But there are a few options for nail biters.
1. There are actually products created to stop nail biting. Look for a polish that contains denatonium benzoate, a bitter chemical compound that tastes so bitter and nasty, it discourages biting. Mavala Stop is an excellent option. You paint a tiny bit on your nails. It can also be used to discourage thumb sucking in children. But a little bit goes a long way.
2. Habit Reversal Training is a method that teaches a nail biter to replace one habit with another. It has shown a lot of promise. Read more about this technique on About.com’s Obsessive-Compulsive site.
3. Nail grooming. Keeping nails painted on a regular basis can cut down on nail biting because the biter may stop and consider what they are doing. My friend Deirdre swears a pricey manicure keeps her biting at bay and she suggests the brighter the color the better. After all, if your nails are painted, you won’t be as apt to bite. Especially if you paid for the color.
4. Get fake fingernails. If you have fake nails glued to your real ones, the chances of you biting them off are low.