(See color photo-illustrations and video below for hand exercises)
These tips are updated from time to time, so check back once in awhile for new info! Last updated December 30, 2016.
Ever since I was 19 years old, I’ve been on a quest to find out what it means to be “natural”. Now that I’m 64 years old, I have to tell you my journey has led me to one conclusion. Being natural for me is being “authentic”. I’ve found three factors for what it means to be authentic. One is to remain true to myself… Learning to listen to my inner voice. The second is to never wear a mask – to take the chance and allow my inner state of being to show on my face and body. Lastly, I try to always remain in the present, because all falseness enters either from the past or from the future. This is a process I’ve come to trust. I know when I’m on the right path for myself when I feel happiness, contentment and joy in my life. As I’ve aged, it also meant that I wanted to look my best… even younger than my years, but the process had to be as “natural” as possible.
Even though I’ve been eating whole, organic foods, “watching my weight” and exercising all along, my face, skin and body were all showing the signs of age. While I love that my laugh lines showed a lot of laughter in my life, I also found myself “wishing” there was an alternative, more natural way to address these aging issues without doing some kind of physical harm to my body. It seemed that everywhere I looked there were chemicals and surgical procedures that guaranteed to make me look younger – but at what a price! I found myself on a quest to look and feel as young outside as I felt inside. I’d like to share some of my findings with you!
One of the most telling signs of aging showed up on my hands! My fingernails were splitting and breaking and having ridges on them and just looking horrible, no matter how much I tried to care for them. I decided I wanted beautiful, strong nails that didn’t need a lot of attention. Here’s what I did:
- Wearing Gloves: Whenever I put my hands in water I always wear rubber, cotton-lined gloves. After just three days of wearing gloves, my hands and nails showed great improvement! I also wear good protective gloves when I garden. I can’t emphasize how important it is to wear gloves, even for washing only one dish! Water weakens nails and dries them out.
- Hand Cream: Nails are ten times more porous than skin, meaning they can easily chap. I apply hand cream after (every time) my hands have been in water. I keep a bottle in my desk at work. I use the hand cream that claims to also strengthen nails. This is the best. Always massage a little cream into the nails, as well. My nails stopped splitting, cracking and peeling at this point, but they still weren’t strong like I wanted. Our Velvet Smooth Body Lotion is also a great hand cream!
- TIP: Slather your hands with a good organic/natural moisturizer/hand lotion just before you go to bed and cover them in cotton white socks. If you wish, you can use either Moisturizer Plus or the Hydrating Crème Masque from the CFFormulas™ skin care line. Here’s a new tip from Susan. She suggests using olive oil on your hands and then the socks. Thank you Susan for this tip as it does indeed work very well! Even though there is a controversy about using petroleum products, some people use Vaseline as the moisturizer in the socks and this has also worked well for them. Be sure to rub the cream into your fingernails and onto your wrists, as well. Sleep in these socks. Do this for 5 nights in a row and then go to once a week for a month, plus. This is an inexpensive and effective way to improve the texture of the skin on your hands and nails.
- Nail Strengthener and Conditioner: Next I tried these special polishes. The only ones that worked claim they strengthen and condition the nail and are safe for your cuticle. Meanwhile, I’ve also tried to rub in the CFFormulas™ Hydrating Creme Masque as a conditioner and it’s been fabulous in keeping my nails strong and flexible. Within three weeks my nails started to look really pretty. Within four months, I had beautiful nails and this has been so for over two years, now. I use the product every time I use the masque on my face which is almost every day. I also rub in the Moisturizer Plus from the skin care line and my nails are looking great. It’s wonderful having healthy, strong beautiful-looking nails!!
- TIP: One of my clients did an experiment in strengthening her nails. First she tried this formula:
- Vitamin D3
- Her nails became very strong and grew out “like crazy”. She then stopped these supplements and her nails eventually broke off and got fragile again. She then tried a cheaper brand of cal/mag and her nails improved only a little bit. Then she tried a soft gel brand of cal/mag and sure enough, her nails are now, once again quite strong, seem thicker and are vastly improved.
- Shape of Your Nail: Now, as your nails grow and become strong, I advise you to let the nail grow out “square-shaped” and rounded on the sides. I wear my nails about 3/8ths of an inch long and this shape is the best one for longevity and in my opinion, beauty, as well. Also, use paper emery boards and file in only one direction, from the sides towards the middle. This prevents a rough edge. You can buff and shine your nails, too, but I found this unnecessary as the nail conditioner I use does this automatically.
- Just a Note: While I like to wear nail polish when I go out, I advise you to wear a “stain-stopper” polish under your colored polish. Also, remember, nail polish remover dries the nails out. I suggest you stay away from anything with formaldehyde, acetone or nathacrylate. These “chemicals” can destroy the integrity of the nails. Read labels!
For your information, I have read, fingernails take 6-8 months to grow out fully, thumbnails take 8-12 months, small toenails take 12 months and great toenails take 12-18 months. I have also heard it is normal to lose between 30 to 50 strands of hair per day, and up to 100 during shampooing.
Next, I became interested in improving my hair. I have rather long hair and I wanted it to be full, glossy and beautiful. Here is what I did:
- Brushing: Some experts claim you should not brush your hair very much. They say it can cause damage to the cuticle at the base of the hair follicle. However, brushing every night one hundred strokes, starting from the base of my scalp, following the brush with my hand, from the roots to the ends of my hair, brought shine and bounce within five days to my hair! Brushing also adds noticeable volume to short hair. I understand you can “over-stretch” your hair by brushing it when it is wet or tangled. Never brush your hair when it is wet. Comb out hair of any snags before brushing. It’s best to brush at least eight hours after your last shampoo when more oils are on the head, transferring the natural sebum down the ends of the hair.Curly hair is a different story altogether. My friend with very curly hair NEVER brushes it. NEVER shampoos her hair, either. She simply rinses it with water and uses a conditioner which you combs through with a wide-toothed comb.
- Shampooing: I wash my hair once a week. This may be too dramatic for some of you. However, I wash my bangs or “fringe” almost every day. For the last few years I’ve only been using my Moisturizing Sulfate-free Shampoo and Therapy Hair-care Conditioner, and my hair is healthy, soft, bouncy, shiny and smooth. They are both sulfate and paraben-free. They both help to revitalize color-treated and gray hair. They are good for all hair types from curly and thick to straight and fine. I don’t have to worry about my hair being stripped of its natural oils or unwanted chemical build-up residue. My hair continues to have more body and feel soft and light with repeated use. Air-drying is best for the hair and blow dryers are supposed to damage the hair. It is probably best to use a low-heat setting if you feel you must blow-dry your hair. I’ve also recently seen a new styling tool that has ion-fussion technology and ceramic heated plates … This is probably okay to use on your hair daily without fear of damage.
- TIP: This from one of my clients. Thank you Irene. She says her hair becomes very dry and brittle from coloring it and when she tries using a dry-hair moisturizing product it leaves her hair too oily and limp. However, she sprays the ends of her hair (about one inch from the scalp down) with GSTM and it’s perfect! It even makes her hair feel lively and look shiny!
In my research I couldn’t find any reliable information on cutting the hair. My personal experience is to trim my hair every two months or so. My hair seems fuller and more manageable, therefore. Also, permanents, hair coloring and the like all damage the hair to a certain extent. Using products claiming to be more gentle, conditioning your hair appropriately and eating a good diet will probably help in keeping a pretty head of hair.
Here I did a lot of research. I tried gelatin drinking. I didn’t notice a difference in my nails. However, the following vitamins and minerals not only seemed to make my hair and nails more beautiful, but my skin seems smoother, too. Here’s what I found for myself:
- Proteins: They carry the essential amino acids necessary for the synthesis of keratin (the fibrous cells of the cortex of a strand of hair contain keratin)
- Fats: are vital to the health of your hair & help eliminate “bad” cholesterol (best to avoid animal fat);
- Vitamin A: helps retard the aging of hair
- Vitamin B: plays an essential role in hair growth and vitality and helps in the renewal of body proteins
- Biotin: significantly improves nail strength
- Vitamin E: fights against oxidation and slows the aging of tissues
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: key component in lubricating layers that keeps skin supple
- Glucosamine sulfate: 1800 mg per day can produce a significant reduction of lines and age spots in about 45 days
- Copper: stimulates enzyme activity and accelerates the synthesis of keratin
- Zinc: keeps nails and hair healthy
- Selenium: has an anti-oxidation effect protecting cells
- Sulfur: stimulates cell regeneration
- Calcium: prevents brittle nails and dull hair and helps reduce dandruff
- Magnesium: essential to various functions of cell synthesis
- Iron: prevents brittle nails and thinning of hair
- Water: is rich in minerals and helps eliminate toxins. I drink a lot of water!
- Trace Minerals: stimulates enzyme and cell activity.
|It is recommended by some nutritionists to take the following for nail problems:||For hair problems:|
Lastly, I wanted to address the way my hands looked, overall. Since I have a company that specializes in exercising the face to look younger and I was concerned that now that my face looked so much younger, my hands were giving my age away, I devised hand exercises to help make my hands look younger – especially the tops of my hands and my fingers. I’m amazed that in only two months, my hands look at least ten years younger than they did before!
Remove all jewelry from your hands and wrists. Dab a bit of hand cream onto the tops of each hand and then work the cream into your hands and fingers, quickly.
|Step 1||Step 2|
|Resting your left hand against your abdomen, take the fingers from your right hand and starting at the knuckles, just above the index finger on your left hand, slide your fingers from the knuckles over the top of the hand and ending just past the wrist, pressing gently, yet firmly. Move your fingers over to the middle knuckles and slide once again, over the wrist. Next, slide your fingers from the knuckles, just above the baby finger and then over the wrist. You’ve just made one round. Do this for at least three rounds.||Next, on your left hand, grab each finger where it meets the hand with your thumb and first two fingers from your right hand. Massage the whole finger down to the tip, remembering to give special attention to the sides of the nail and the nail itself. Do this to the rest of the fingers as well as the thumb.|
|Step 3||Step 4|
|Turn your left hand over and grab your hand so your right thumb rests on the wrist at the heel of the left hand, below the little finger and the right fingers are on top of the hand – as if your right hand is a “pincher”. Slide the thumb up from the bottom of the heel, across the palm of the hand towards the little finger, ending just below the little finger. Next, move the thumb to the middle of the wrist, just below the heel of the hand and stoke the whole palm always ending at the base of the fingers on the palm. Lastly, starting at the heel below the thumb, go up the inside of the left thumb, ending at the tip. You should have massaged the whole entire palm area, including going up the thumb.||Finally, make a pincher with your right thumb and right index finger, grabbing the area between your left thumb and left index-finger. You should be able to feel your right thumb and right index fingers through the thinner skin in this area. This is sometimes called the “triple heater”. Massage gently for a few moments. This may be a bit sore at first, so go slowly and stop when it’s too much.|
Do the full treatment, twice a day to both the right and left hands. Within four weeks you should start to see great improvement in the way your hands look and feel performing these hand exercises. See the tip above for moisturizing your hands in an overnight treatment!
I hope this information is helpful to you. If all this seems a little over-whelming, I suggest you consult your local health food store and/or your doctor, when in doubt. I now have strong, beautiful, natural nails, younger-looking hands and shiny, thick hair.