How To *Actually* Stop Biting Your Nails, According To An A-List Manicurist

No more nail nibbling.

If you’ve ever been a nail biter, you’ll know it’s a hard habit to kick. Whether you’re constantly nibbling at your nails, or you’ve managed to quit before and our current situation has you straight back at it again, there are actually ways to quit for good.

“Biting your nails can be a real problem,” award-winning beauty expert, Leighton Denny MBE, tells Glamour. “It’s usually a reflection of personal anxiety or nervousness. You can overcome the habit, but in order to do this you must recognise the underlying reasons. Nail biting is, in fact, an uncontrollable reflex which usually occurs during a particular situation: i.e. waiting at a red light, talking on the phone, during a moment of reflection or looking for an answer.”

So with that in mind, here are five ways to help you kick your nail-biting habit to the curb.

Recognise your triggers

Find yourself biting when scrolling through your mountain of emails, or when tuning into the news to hear the latest goings-on? Knowing your nail-biting triggers is the first step in quitting. Open up the notes app on your phone and begin to track of when you’re most inclined to bite your nails. Write ’em down to help you become more aware of when you’re actually doing it. Then, day by day, work on trying your best not to bite your nails when you’re triggered. Try to distract yourself, whether it be by actually sitting on your hands or keeping them busy in other ways.

Keep your nails short and cute

If you’re a nail biter, chances are your nails are weaker than others. So if your nails are in any way long, they’ll be weaker and will tend to break easily. Cue, nail-biting. Keeping your nails short (by clipping or filing, not biting) will also not give you any satisfaction if you are tempted to bite them. Every little helps!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (@amie.edmonds) on

Give yourself a manicure

If your nails are coated in a gorge gold glitter, you might be less tempted to wreck them by biting away. Treat yourself to an at-home mani, and pull out all the stops. From soaking and filing to cuticle oil and painting. Leighton suggests painting your nails a bright red, aka, a signal to stop. He says, “Keep applying the red over your nails for 10 days then remove and see how much your nails have grown, usually this is enough for you to see how fast the nails grow and how good they look, then add a home nail care to your regime and enjoy nurturing your nails back to good health.”

In bad taste

You may have tried it before, but now is a better time than any to give it another go. Plenty of online sites are packed with anti-nail biting products, from Boots to Amazon. Having an awful taste on your nails will definitely help to deter you from biting them every chance you get.