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Fingernail care?

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9 Users
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

At the request of my guitar teacher I'm letting the nails on my right hand grow to hopefully improve my tone a little whilst fingerpicking. 'Proper' fingernails are a bit of a strange concept for me as I've bitten my nails for as long as I can remember :oops:
They're growing fairly well but seem very soft, almost bendy. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for appropriate nail care shaping/hardening.

I draw the line at false nails :shock:


There are too many songs that have an 'F' chord in them.

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1704

Sorry. No Idea. I keep my fingernails very, very short.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.

Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827

I posted this a little bit ago -

I'm not a finger style guy though I'll sometimes do a little bit of hybrid picking. However, I took a fingerstyle course once through one of the local community colleges and my right hand nails weren't holding up. I did a bit of looking around and I found "Nutra Nail - Calcium Nail Builder". I got it in a local drug store in the ladies cosmetics section right beside the nail polish. There must be a bunch of similar products.

It helped a lot. You brush it on like nail polish but it doesn't sit on the surface but is absorbed into the nail. I would do it every night for a couple of weeks and then I dropped down to twice a week.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 228

I use OPI Nail Envy, which claims to be a nail strengthener. It comes in a matte finish (not shinny) . I've been using it for a while, and must admit that I haven't chipped or shredded a nail while playing guitar (I have doing other things). It works good.
Heres the link:

I may grow old, but I'll never grow up.

Vic Lewis VL
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264

Elecktrablue once recommended to me some cream that you rub in horses hooves to toughen them!

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 66

I've also heard of a cream similar to what Vic Lewis mentions...

There are also some vitamin supplements that are designed to help strengthen your fingernails and hair. My girlfriend took them for awhile because of her very pliable fingernails. After about two weeks of taking them, her nails were rock-hard.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1435

I bite my nails also, so it would be virtually impossible for me to grow mine out. How long are you talking? Personally, I don't like the look of long nails on guys. Well, specifically long, unkempt nails. I once interviewed a guy for a job and when I shook his hand at the beginning of the interview, I noticed his fingernails were all different lengths and 2 or 3 were extremely long. I finished the interview, but my decision was made at that moment. We sometimes do what's called "pair programming" at work where 2 developers work together on one computer and the thought of sharing a keyboard with those funky nails freaked me out.

Bass player for Undercover

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833

I like Ernie Ball "Pickey Pickey" fingerpicks.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 329

On his forum, I once queried Justin Sandercoe's wonderful nails seen on his videos only to find out they were fakes he regularly got down at one of those nail joints.

♪♫ Ron ♪♫