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It takes a long time to break a habit, so take things in stages.
“I was a thumb sucker from infancy, and when my parents finally broke me of that at age 5, I immediately transferred over to nail biting. I would bite every nail down to the quick, so they would literally bleed on top from how short they were. When I went to get acrylics for my wedding, my nail lady had a really hard time, because my nailbeds were sunken in because of how short they were. This is just to give you an idea of the severity of my habit, and the damage I did to myself. I managed to get the acrylics, with a lot of hard work from her. If I had acrylics on, I wouldn’t bite, but when I could no longer afford them, then I was back to biting, and even worse than before, because of how thin/damaged the acrylics made them.
My prompt for biting was the jagged edges, and they could never grow out, because every time they’d start, there’d be an edge I could feel, and zonk, there I would go.
So, on to the cure! I decided I would bite all of my nails except my left pinky nail. It took several months, but it finally grew out, and I could file it, and keep it nice. Then I added my left ring finger. I continued one finger at a time, for probably close to a year, when I was down to just my right index and thumb, and did both of those at once. It’s been 10 years, and I haven’t bitten since!” – AmyKatscher
Find a combination of methods that works for you.
“A mix of press on nails, filing, and crocheting. I spent nearly 2 decades trying to kick the habit with methods like hot sauce and that god awful stop the bite stuff but nothing worked until I picked up crochet because that kept my hands busy. The press ons were a way to let them strengthen and filing is how I maintain. I’ve been bite free for a year and a half and I’m so proud of myself.” – steffanies
Try a mid-way method, like using a nail clipper or a file.
“A nail clipper! I used to bite my nails and the skin around them till they bled. As soon as they grew back I’d bite them again. Any loose bit of skin or slightly longer or jagged bit of nail would immediately get the bite treatment and end up making things worse – until I got introduced to clippers. Now I keep a pair in my pocket at all times and as soon as there’s a ragged bit of skin or nail I just trim it off straight away so there’s no temptation to bite or pick at it. It works so well for me that I can actually grow my nails to a decent length now that I can cut them with scissors, and when I finally did my mum honoured a bet she made with me as a kid and paid me a dollar for every nail I could cut.” – johnnys
“I always carried a nail file with me, so if there was a raggedy bit of my nail annoying me I could file that tiny bit down rather than bite it and make it worse.” – nicola
Realise there’s a reason you bite your nails, and take it easy on yourself.
I was a terrible nail biter for over 20 years, I’m not very old so that’s honestly most of my life, I finally decided I needed to stop, and I’ve been bite free for about 2 years now, for me it was 2 steps:
1. Get to the root of why I bite. For me it was a nervous habit, I had a trauma as a young girl so I developed this bad habit to cope with anxiety.
2. Find alternate things to do / deterrents. I purchased a worry stone and a spinner ring and when I got nervous I’d either rub the stone or spin the ring instead of bite, I’d also chew gum (I still use the ring to this day) as an extra step I paid for a full set of acrylics, I literally cannot bite those, I kept them up for a few months until I felt confident I wouldn’t bite if they were gone.
Honestly I still get the urge sometimes and I’ve even caight myself getting ready to bite in stressful situations, but that spinner ring has really changed my life, and there’s so many options, I even found a surgical steel one for those allergic to certain metals! – Caitlin Lindberg
Get a job where you get your hands dirty!
“Start a job working at a hospital! Trust me the things you deal with (even if you wash your hands!) you don’t want to put your hands anywhere near your mouth! 19 years of biting every solution tried – 1 month in a hospital job and my nails are longer than ever!” – Lauren Julliette Knott ·
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