my top 7 tips for growing natural nails

Hi lovies! Wondering how to grow natural nails? WELL, I recently posted a poll on Instagram to know whether or not you wanted a blog post on this topic and almost all of you said yes! My nails are 100% natural. I never have acrylic nails, use gel or shellac–I only use nail polish! So without further ado, here are my top tips on how to grow natural nails. (P.S. Almost ALL the products I mention are on sale at Ulta! They’re linked throughout or scroll to the bottom of this post to see more.)

This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

always keep them painted

My first tip is to always try and keep your nails painted. The added layers will strengthen your nails and help avoid breaks. I find when my nails aren’t painted, that’s always when one of them breaks. I make sure to almost always have them painted!

use a base + top coat

So many girls skip the important stuff: base and top coat! Whenever I do my nails, I always make sure to use base coat (I love OPI Nail Envy because you can get different formulas depending on your nails and lately I’ve been using Zoya Naked Manicure as a good base) under my colour because it’ll help your natural nails grow but also act as a sort of “glue” for your colour to stick on to. Depending on which base coat you choose, it can help strengthen your nails. Top coat will help your manicure last (I’m obsessing over Essie Gel Couture top coat lately) and make it extra shiny.

file in one direction

I have to admit, even I don’t live by this rule (oops) but when filing nails, it only feels natural to go in a back and forth or side to side motion. But doing this causes the tiniest of breaks in your nails, which, over time, can lead to major breaks (no, thank you!). Instead, try filing your nails only in one direction. It feels super awkward, but if you’re really having trouble growing them out, this trick might help!

don’t cut your cuticles!

Whether you DIY your nails or get them done at a salon, DO NOT CUT YOUR CUTICLES! They are there for a reason! As in, they stop nasty bacteria from getting into your system via your nails. I’ve always had a thing with cutting cuticles so it’s been easy for me to not touch mine, but I know a ton of people that just snip, snip, snip them away. Once you start cutting your cuticles, they kind of freak out and grow back twice as thick, which makes you want to cut them all over again… and it becomes a vicious cycle. Instead, just push your cuticles back with an orange stick or use this product, which I swear by (and have been using for years).

keep your cuticles moisturized

This tip goes hand-in-hand with not cutting your cuticles. Instead, give them some TLC by applying cuticle oil or coconut oil to them on the daily. This will keep them from looking dry and make them super soft and supple. I always find when I regularly apply cuticle oil, my nails grow faster! If you’re struggling with applying oil daily, try and keep some next to your bed or at your desk and apply it before you go to sleep or when you get into the office. One of my favourite oils is CND Solar Oil because it’s not too oily and absorbs really quickly into your skin.

get into a nail care routine

If you’re serious about growing your natural nails, try and stay consistent and establish a little nail care routine (you can find mine here). I always do the same steps when giving myself a manicure and once you get into it, you’ll find it super quick and easy to do your nails. Plus, you’ll save so much money by not going to a salon.

don’t use your nails as tools

Lastly, and this is a big one, is to not use your nails as tools. What I mean by that is to pay attention to how your using your nails. For example, if I’m opening a soda can, I never lift the tab up with my nails, I’ll use my finger instead. Or if I’m adding keys to my keychain, there is no way I’m going to pry open the keyring with my nail. Since it takes me SO LONG to grow my nails to a length I like, I’m always aware of how I use them to avoid breaking them… because I am totally one of those girls that gets sad when they break a nail. I will literally sometimes ask my husband/mom/whoever is around me to do something for me if it risks breaking my nails lol #noshame


Always keep your nails painted, use base coat + top coat for every mani, use cuticle oil instead of cutting your cuticles, file your nails in one direction.

That’s all, folks! Growing natural nails is a serious labour of love and there are so many days when I want to just chop them all off into shorties, but I just love my long nails way too much! If you’re struggling with growing yours out, leave me a comment below specifying why and I’ll try to help! And please share if you have any other tips and tricks.


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