When I'm at home in Vancouver I teach eleven classes a week and take three to five classes myself so I'm in the hot room a lot. That means a lot of sweat, a lot of water and my nails suffer as a result.
I try to put nail polish on to protect my nails a little bit but I find that after just one or two days my manicure starts to crack and chip off. If I take class my manicure is usually ruined by the end of it because there are many posture where you have to step on your hands and use your arm strength to get a stretch. If you practice Bikram Yoga the best way to keep your nails looking nice is a shellac manicure that lasts for several weeks.
Yet I always get embarrassed when I go to have a manicure. Without fail, the esthetician tells me my nails are too short to do a nice manicure. They look at my poor dry nails and cuticles and start asking me what I am doing to them. I have tried out so much advice ranging from foods to eat and vitamins to take but recently one manicurist gave me a tip that really works.
She looked at my cuticles and told me they were unusually high on the nails and she would have to cut them back. They were growing very thick to try to protect the nail bed from the heat, moisture and excess dryness that all the yoga was causing. She told me that ideally, healthy nails should not need to have the cuticles cut back every time you go in for a manicure.
The best way to prevent overgrowth is to moisturize your nails with oil. There are many products out there, I use Aveda Cuticle Control.
You just use a little dot in the centre of your cuticle, rub into your cuticle, nail and surrounding skin then let it sit for a couple of seconds before pushing the cuticle back. Once you have pushed the cuticle back, rub a little more oil into the exposed nail so that every time you use your hands the oil will be pushed further down into the nail bed to moisturize it.
When the esthetician told me how many times to do this I was shocked, apparently you have to do it at least once a day! She said if I take the moisture out... I have to put it back in. I can actually feel my nails are very dry after class and this feeling reminds me to apply the oil. I bought a second cuticle treatment from Bath & Body Works to keep in the car for after class. For the last couple of weeks I have been using the Aveda product every day and it is working because my cuticles have stayed down and my nails are starting to look healthier and stronger.