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College Girl: Nail Biters Anonymous, A Solution Awaits

“You’re never going to get a boyfriend with nails like that,” my roommate Melissa’s psychology professor used to tell her. Ridiculous, I know. But living with hera chronic nail biterthis summer has shown me that if there’s any appropriate time to kick a bad habit to the curb, it’s while you’re still in school and before heading out into the real word.

Melissa has been biting for as long as she can remember, and she was once even hospitalized for a cuticle infection. She’s tried a million different things to stop, including once wearing winter gloves year round. Needless to say, that did not work. I’m sure all other biters out there understand how frustrating and time-consuming it is to quit, so read on for classic solutions as well as a new method that’s proven to be quite effective.

Because nail biting is such a psychological habit, one tried and true remedy is to find a distraction and keep your hands busy in other ways. Focus on leaving one nail alone for a few days, and once you see the progress with that one, move on to the next.

If setting mental goals for yourself isn’t enough and you want to physically do something to your nails to stop biting, try Bite No More—it’ll leave a horrible taste in your mouth that’s nearly impossible to tolerate. Similarly, Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream makes picking at cuticles about as hard as going uphill on skis.

This summer I’ve seen Melissa re-apply artificial nails on a daily basis, and just watching this hour-long procedure wears me out. A temporary solution yes, but these plastic subs don’t seem to stand a chance against her chompers, so our friend Amanda suggested long-lasting nail gels. The application normally cost upwards of $300 at a salon, but luckily a cheaper $80 alternative—Red Carpet Manicure—will be soon available at Ulta in September. With strong adhesive powers that will last for weeks, my bet is that this sturdy lacquer will be the final solution to Melissa’s biting. Fingers crossed.

—Shana

In the meantime, prepare with new polishes from our Birchbox Shop

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