Nail Biting: How to Stop Biting Your Nails

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How to Stop Biting Your NailsIf you suffer from nail biting, you know that it’s a habit that seems hard to quit. A condition called onychophagia, the practice of biting your nails is one that often starts during adolescence and usually tapers off by age thirty. Nail biting is more prevalent among guys than girls and it’s a habit that can leave your nails looking unsightly and ugly as bitten nails are easy to recognize as they are cut close to the skin. But from a health standpoint, it can even leave your nails susceptible to infection. Knowing how to stop biting your nails can save your nails from more permanent damage.

But how does one learn how to stop biting your nails? If you suffer from nail biting it’s probably a habit that you’ve tried to quit at some point or another, but the habit somehow finds itself safely nestled in your daily routine. Nail biting can become habit forming because it gives you a sense of control.

Before you jump in, however, it’s critical that you first make a decision and make a commitment to learning how to stop biting your nails. So let’s take a moment to find out how to stop biting your nails. There are 2 main approaches…

  • physical barrier
  • behavior changes


Physical Barrier:

There are several different ways to physically separate yourself from your nails to prevent nail biting. If you are a woman you can put nail polish on your nails so that if you bite your nails they leave a nasty taste in your mouth. You can also physically separate your nails from your mouth by putting your hands in your pockets every time you get the urge or putting band-aids on your fingers so you can’t bite them. Physical barriers may only work temporarily or as long as the barrier exists. The more effective way on how to stop biting your nails, however, is to make behavior changes.


Behavior Change:

Stop Biting Your Nails TodayIt’s really important to identify WHY you are biting your nails. Are your nail biting habits a result of stress, anxiety, nervousness, self-consciousness, or boredom? When you can identify the real reason why you bite your nails, you can recognize those triggering moments that compel you to bite them. Going through this process requires patience and awareness. Do you tend to bite them when you have thoughts that make you nervous? If so, it’s important to look further and identify what is triggering your nervousness and how you can remedy your nervousness. Perhaps this is a call for stress management techniques that can reduce nervousness and thus prevent nail biting. You can apply this concept to any emotional state to more deeply explore this behavior trigger. When you learn how to stop biting your nails through behavioral triggers, this can be all you need to get rid of this annoying habit.

Part of behavior change can also be replacing your habit with a better one. For example, if you feel you have a need to put something in your mouth, instead of putting your fingernails in your mouth, try putting carrot sticks in your mouth. This will help you to replace a poor habit with a good habit so you can get your veggies at the same time. Just be sure to not replace a poor habit with another poor habit or worse habit. Other alternatives are chewing gum or squeezing stress balls.  You may even want to distract your hands with a hobby so they are focused on the hobby and not on your mouth. Knowing how to stop biting your nails from a behavior standpoint can really make all the difference.


Other notes:

To have healthy nails, it’s important to eat healthy. Making sure you get adequate vitamins and minerals from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water is important to have strong nails as they grow out. If you have brittle nails, they will break easier and you are more tempted to bite them.

If your nails are growing well and they are growing out nicely, be sure to trim them with some good nail clippers. Cutting off sharp edges and hangnails is imperative to prevent temptation. Keep your nails trimmed and filed regularly. Be sure to also use moisturizer to keep your hands nourished to prevent skin tears and dry, brittle skin.

If you want to know how to stop biting your nails, try some of these techniques. But remember, you must first be committed to stopping. Without the commitment you will forever continue to cycle. Behavior changes often require you to continue trying even when you’ve had a relapse. Soon enough, your nail biting will stop, but it must start with your will to do so.



JATAI provides innovative and professional quality beauty implements with world-class customer service and educational support. To offer great products as a master distributor, we seek out and select only manufacturers who demonstrate superior workmanship, the most advanced technology, and respected business core values of reliability, honesty and integrity. Accordingly, JATAI represents three major ‘workhorse’ brands that dominate within their categories. Feather, Seki Edge and Fuji Paper. JATAI Academy brings beauty tools to creative life. It’s the ultimate professional information resource where Education, Artistry and Trends CONNECT for Stylists and Barbers.

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