If Fergie and Lady Gaga are any indication, longer, almond-shaped nails are back in style for spring. As the trendsetters we are, though, we don’t want to wait until spring to start rocking the latest manicure trend that turned heads on the runways at New York Fashion Week. Unfortunately, our chronically chipping, persistently breaking and seriously short nails need some time to grow into the latest nail trend – and need some help to boot. Hand model Ellen Sirot, though, knows all about getting our nails in tip-top shape – and she’s sharing her secrets!

How To Get Your Nails To Grow Faster

Moisturize your cuticles. Dry, unconditioned nails and cuticles are the #1 reason for constant nail breaking. This also leads to flyaway cuticles, which can encourage biting, picking and nipping – which in turn can lead to infections.

Wash your hands less. Hand washing with soap and warm water leads to dry hands and nails so wash with lukewarm water and a gentle, sulfate free cleanser to nourish your hands and cuticles (rather than harsh soaps or dehydrating anti-bacterial gels). Also, keep dishwashing gloves around for cleaning and messy situations so you can avoid non-essential hand washing.

How to give yourself a salon-like manicure!

Oil up. Apply a nail-specific oil to condition dry, jagged cuticles and nourish and strengthen nails. Gently push back cuticles with a washcloth after applying oil to avoid the need to cut. It only takes a minute and makes a huge difference.

Break the cycle. Try breaking the polish, gel and acrylic cycle for a month. When nails receive extended amounts of oxygen and hydration they develop a natural shine and healthy glow. And avoiding drying nail polish removers for a month can do wonders.

How to keep hands soft all winter long!

Supplement the process. Make sure your diet is rich in both iron and calcium and ask your doctor if it would safe for you to take a Biotin supplement, which helps encourage hair and nail growth.

Handle with care. Get in the habit of treating your hands like jewels, not tools.

Fergie’s tapered nails!

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