People are always talking about how they wish they knew what was causing their fingernails to split and peel. We hypothesize that we are too hard on our nails while doing the dishes, or use them as tools to peel or pry labels from jars or bottles. But have we ever taken a close look at the tool we use to care for our nanail clippersils at home.

I have never been a fan of those tricky little metal devils. When my children were born, I had to buy those teeny tiny clippers to trim their ever-growing nails. That is whenI changed my mind about nail clippers being a helpful tool. Lets first talk about the odd shape they are made in. There are curved blade clippers and straight edge blade clippers. Neither one fit the shape of a natural nail plate. The curved blade is curved in the wrong direction! We are trying to fit an arched nail plate into a concave apparatus! And the straight edge clipper gives me the heebie jeebies even more.

I recently made a video showing  your nail plate between the blades and what happens when you squeeze down, the blades actually flatten out your nail. This is such an awful feeling. It feels like the edges of my nail were just going to snap before the blades ever cut through the nail at all. Even if the nail clippers were inserted at an angle the nail still flattened out when the clippers were squeezed. The nail plate is not intended to have excess strain or stress on the layers of the nail plate. And if there is excess force it can crack the adhesion of the keratin that is holding all the layers together.

I don’t know why it took my giving birth and using clippers on my infant son to figure out the nail clippers were actually the culprit of the splitting and peeling nails of my clients. Now when I give a manicure in the salon I use a nail file to shorten the nails 99% of the time. Some clients were still having a problem with their nails splitting and peeling. And would ask what I thought the reason for that was from. I never stopped to ask if they were using clippers on their nails at home.

I decided 15 years to never use nail clippers again. I began asking my clients if they were using clippers at home and asked them to stop using them so we could see if the splitting and peeling ceased. I asked them to use a nail file if they felt the need to shorten their nails before their next visit to the salon. The clients nails improved, the splitting and peeling stopped when they started using a nail file to shorten their nails.

I do not even keep clippers at my nail station at the salon. I have had clients ask me to “clip” their nails and I tell them I will shorten them with a file or use my cuticle nippers. When you insert the edge of the cuticle nippers on the edge of the nail plate and squeeze it doesn’t bend the nail. It just shears off the length. I have had one client who just couldn’t get past not using nail clippers. She began to clip her nails at home before coming in for her manicure service. Every visit she came in with chipped, peeling nails. I tried to explain it was from her using the nail clippers but she was not convinced. It took about 6 months before I could convince her to just stop using the nail clippers for 3 appointments. Let me shorten your nails and see if your nail polish chips off and your nails split. She agreed. And now she is a believer. Her nails are doing wonderfully with no chipping, no splitting, no peeling.

Now if you don’t have a problem with your nails splitting or cracking, that is great. But if you are, and you are using those little metal nail clippers, it may be time to do a little experiment of your own. Go buy a nice nail file to shorten and shape your nails with for a while and let’s see what happens 🙂

There is also a video coming out in the next few weeks on my YouTube channel, about how to apply the correct amount of pressure on your nail file to avoid damaging your nail plate, so watch for that. Be sure to subscribe and you will be notified so you can be one of the first to watch it.


One Messy Mama



4 Comments on The Cause of Splitting, Peeling Nails and Better Alternative Revealed (USA)

  1. I must admit, I have accidentally clipped to much nail and had my newborn screaming as her finger bled. #parentingfail! We clips ours kids nails all the time and both my sons fingers peel and tear. Definitely something to look into! Who would have thought!!! Thanks for sharing! #GlobalBlogging

  2. Oh wow this is really interesting! You’re totally right, the nail clippers don’t form to your nail and really flatten it. I have to try this test now! What do you do with baby nails? I’ve been using those baby nail scissors which are alright but my son is SO squirmy it’s always a big chore. Thanks so much for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

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