My nails are in a terrible state, I have tried cream, repair nail varnish and even been to see the doctor. They split vertically on the nails and have ridges etc.
I am sick of the way they look and considering using gel nails or similar. Is there a particular type I should go for? How often do they have to be topped up? Just how expensive does it work out to be? How do you look after them? Do they need special nail varnish, can I just treat them as ordinary nails?
I had always heard they were really bad for your nails, but nothing can be worse than there current state.
I am a nail biter and tried gels. They do not damage my nails (like acrylics did) and have made my split, bitten, weak nails look amazing. They generally need doing every 14 days, but mine only go 12-13. Some people can get 3 weeks apparently. I pay £22 a go, but with a mobile therapist who comes to my house, I think salons may charge more? Mine last longer if I treat them with care, use gloves for washing up, gardening etc, put a drop of 'gel suitable' oil on the cuticles every couple of days (not normal oil) and it's now DH's job to flatten all boxes for recycling - that sort of thing!
I have terrible flaky nails and tried gel ones about a month ago. They looked ok (although I don't much like the really fake look of them even though the ones I had were about as 'natural' looking as they come). They lasted about a week as I was trying to look after them, but as soon as I went back to my regular life (I like gardening and make jewellery as a hobby) they chipped and looked bloody awful. The thought of compromising what I want to do just to look after my nails feels like I've got my priorities all messed up so I'm just going to embrace the flake!
My nails are exactly the same as yours . Over the last 5 years I've tried vitamins, cuticle oils etc. Nothing has helped. Shellac made them a million times worse (yes, it's possible to make them worse). I've accepted that I can't fix the problem and that ill never have long nails again. I am content with just making them look presentable. The best thing I've found is Nail tek extra. It's a hardcore strengthener. It's intended for short term use but I've been using it for a year. It holds the nails together and the polish lasts ages over it. If I stop using it the nails all split again.
My nails are awful. Terrible. So, I use the SensatioNail gel system from Boots. I do about 4 or 5 coats, and now I have nails that don't just snap off or peel back to nothing. I should probably use oils, wear gloves etc, but I can't be bothered. The SensatioNail stuff thickens and protects my nails so that I can grow them as long as I like (actually, I prefer them clipped short, but I could grow them if I wanted to).