Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about caring for your nails?  Here are Sally's answers and tips for some frequently asked questions.

Still not sure which Sally Hansen product is right for you? Visit the Nail Clinic for a personalised nail diagnosis and treatment regime.

Cuticle and Hand Care

q I suffer from extremely dry hands and cuticles, which also affects my nail growth. What do you recommend?

Using a good handcream and cuticle oil are essential.   An oil is better to treat extremely dry cuticles, as opposed to a cream, because it penetrates the skin more deeply.  A good way to intensify the effect of handcream and oil is to put gloves on top as the warmth generated will help the pores of the skin to open, and intensify the moisturisation - try this with washing up gloves while doing the dishes, or overnight with cotton gloves.  Try Sally Hansen 18 Hour Handcream and Diamond Strength Cuticle + Nail Oil.   Exfoliation is also very important as it sheds dead skin and helps boost circulation.  Try Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover, to gently exfoliate dry flaky skin.

q My cuticles are long, ragged and sore. How can I make them look and feel healthy?

If possible do not remove cuticles, as this will result in them growing back thicker.  If cuticles are very long, remove with Sally Hansen Cuticle Trimmer.  To groom cuticles, again soak or treat with cuticle cream, leave for 2 minutes, and then gently push cuticles back with an orange stick.  Make this part of your manicure routine in order to get soft, pliable cuticles and well groomed nails. 

Use in conjunction with Sally Hansen Diamond Cuticle + Nail Cream, an ultra rich cuticle treatment formulated to infuse nails and cuticles with instant hydration and long-term strength.  Use morning and evenings.

q I am constantly battling against rough dry hands. I need a product that's easy to use and non greasy. Any ideas?

Its no wonder hands need TLC, we use them everyday. Look after yours with the Sally Hansen Hand Care range. For a little touch of luxury, smooth in Sally Hansen 18 Hour Protective Hand Cream, to leave your hands smooth, silky and smelling of fresh clementine and creamy vanilla flavours.


For a nourishing spa treatment for hands, try Sally Hansen Radiant Hands Nails & Cuticles Crème.  It nourishes and softens thirsty rough hands, smoothes dry cuticles and strengthens weak nails.

Nail Colour

q How do I get rid of yellow stains caused by dark polishes?

Discolouration of the nail plate is generally caused by UV light reacting with the pigment in the polish so it is essential to wear a good base coat which acts as a barrier.  There are some things you can do to "cure" yellowing ..... after removing polish, you can lightly buff away the top discoloured surface of the nail with a multi way nail buffer. This will leave the nail plate fresher and cleaner underneath. 

There are also brightening treatments, such as Sally Hansen Insta-Brite Nail Whitener, which instantly lighten the nail plate removing the yellow appearance.

q Why does my nail polish peel or chip off the same day or the day after application?

There are lots of factor that can cause your polish to chip or peel, the most common ones are not using a base and top coat.  For advise on the best way to apply nail colour, click here.

q What nail colour should I choose?

There are a number of things you can consider when choosing a nail colour.

Bright bold colours will draw attention to nails that are short or in bad condition, so paler colours such as Diamond Strength Nail Colour in Brilliant Blush or Hard As Nails Extreme Wear in Petite Pink are better.

Your choice of nail colour will also be affected by your preferences and the season, with lighter bright colours working best in spring and summer, try Diamond Strength Nail Colour in Sunrise Sunset for summer toes. Darker, bolder colours like Diamond Strength Nail Colour in Royal Romance are best used in autumn and winter.

Dark colours are not limited to longer nails.  In fact, they can look very sophisicated on shorter nails.

For advise on the best way to apply nail colour, click here.

q What is the best way to apply paler, whiter colours, which can tend to go streaky?

Streaking tends to be more common when there is a lot of white pigment in the nail polish.  The sheerer the colour, the easier it is to achieve an even coverage, so make sure your polish is not too thick.  If it has thickened up, trying using a nail polish thinner, which will also help prolong the life of the colour.

q After applying my nail polish and letting it dry, the polish has tiny bubbles. Why?

Bubbles may form if the polish is too thick when you apply it.   Always shake your nail polish gently or roll the bottle between your palms to avoid bubbles forming.

Nail Treatment

q How important is it to ensure that I pick the right nail treatment for my problem?

If a treatment is too harsh, nails will come too brittle and split.  Ensure that the treatment is suitable for the problem you have.  To find out what treatment is right for your nails, visit the Sally Hansen Nail Clinic.

q I moisturise my hands religiously to keep them looking young, but how can I help my nails to beat the signs of ageing?

Hands are one of the first areas of the body to show signs of ageing and this includes nails.  As we get older our nails tend to become brittle and discoloured and more prone to breaking, peeling and splitting. 

Sally Hansen Natural Nail Growth Activator has been specially formulated with rose oil and soy extract to nourish ageing nails, stimulating healthy growth.  For weak nails, use Sally Hansen Miracle Cure, to fortify and hydrate your nails. 

q Why do I have white spots on some of my nails?

Leukonychia, the presence of white spots on the nail surface, is very common. It's often caused by a minor trauma to the nail bed or matrix. The white spots will grow out as the nail grows.

q My nails are soft and weak. How can I strengthen them and stop them from breaking at a certain point?

Soft and weak nails are prone to flaking and chipping. You should use a nail hardener, like Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Premium Nail Hardener.  While the nails need to be made harder, they still need to be moisturised with oil, which keeps the layers within the nail plate from flaking off and promotes healthy nail growth. 

Try Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle + Nail Oil.   Visit the Nail Clinic to find out which hardener is best for you.

q I have a bad habit of biting my nails. I struggle to get them to grow, they just peel, split and break off. Do you have any tips to stop nail biting and repair the damage?

Nail biting is a habit which can be hard to break.  Sally Hansen Nail Biter is the first step towards achieving the beautiful long nails of your dreams.  Nail Biter contains a deterrent liquid that tastes unpleasant but is not harmful, and acts as a reminder whenever you weaken or accidentally start to nibble. 

It also helps strengthen your nails to aid growth.  For maximum efficiency, use daily and continue until the habit is completely broken.                             

q I recently removed my acrylic nails that I've had for years but now my nails are very weak. What products can I use to keep that wrap like surface to my nails?

Sally Hansen has the perfect product to make nails feel just like wraps.  Hard as Nails Wraps treatment is the perfect solution to get hard, strong, beautiful nails.  The 1 step acrylic formula instantly seals and hardens nails in 60 seconds and provides a long-lasting surface to the nail.

q I take good care of my nails but they just don't seem to grow, what can I do?

Waiting for your nails to grow can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when you take good care of them. However Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle will turn short stubby tips into beautifully long nails. This wonder product contains strengthening keratin as well as collagen and multivitamins to promote nail growth.

Use in conjunction with Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Cuticle Pen, which is specially formulated to nourish nails and cuticles, it fits neatly into any handbag, purse or pocket meaning that you can care for your nails wherever you are.

Visit the Nail Clinic for a recommended regime for short nails that won't grow.

q What else can I do to make my nails grow quickly?

Buffing is a great way to help stimulate the blood supply to the nail which helps promote healthy growth.  Sunshine is also known to make nails grow quicker.

q I have brittle nails that peel and flake how can I prevent this and make them strong?

This is caused by dry nails that fragment into layers and lift away from the nail bed. Brittle nails split and snap easily too, usually straight across or below the free edge or tip of the nail.  The problem is usually worse in the winter and in drier climates.  Brittle nails need to have flexibility restored by replenishing the nails' natural lipids with cuticle oil or cream.  Try Sally Hansen Diamond Nail + Cuticle Oil.

Sally Hansen Miracle Cure works wonders for severe peeling nails, filling in cracks to instantly strengthen and reinforce your nails.

There are many things which can trigger dehydration of the nails including frequent immersion in water or solvents such as soap or detergents, a lot of contact with soil and repeated use of nail polish removers. Try using Sally Hansen Acetone Free or Moisturising Nail Polish Removers to help prevent this.

Visit the Nail Clinic for a recommended regime for dry, brittle nails.

q My nails have developed vertical ridges from the bottom of the nail where it grows to the free edge. Why is this and what can I do about them?

Ridged nails like this can be embarrassing, but they affect thousands of people and can be caused by anything from genetics to diet and do tend to appear as part of the ageing process.

There are a couple of things you can try to improve the appearance of your nails.  Firstly try buffing away ridges using Ridge Reducer & 7 Step Buffer and whiten & brighten the nail surface with Sally Hansen Insta-Brite Nail Whitener.  Both will make nails look fresher and younger.

Alternatively you could try our Natural Nail Growth Activator or Miracle Cure. Both of these products have specific treatment benefits but also act as a ridge filler evening out the surface of the nails as they are applied.

q Can stress effect the condition of my nails?

When stressed people have a greater tendency to play, bite or pick at their nails and cuticles, often without being aware of it.  This can lead to mishapen nail beds and short bitten nails. Anxiety and stress can also have an effect on your skin's natural ph balance, which can result in nails breaking and flaking.

The affects of being run down will be different for different people.  For some nails become more brittle, for others they become softer and weaker.

Visit the Nail Clinic to find out what type of nails you have

De stress by giving yourself a manicure and massaging cuticle creme into the nails. Apply Sally Hansen Healthy Cuticles Now! morning and/or night, helping to protect them from damage and make them look healthier.

q I am considering having artificial nails for a party, but have heard good and bad things about them. What do you advise?

Artificial nails are a fantastic quick fix solution, however they are some down sides to them.  They need to be maintained fairly frequently, and also they can cause damage to the natural nails underneath.

Rather than applying artificial nails, we would recommend encouraging your natural nails to grow by using one of our nail growth treatments. Our Nailgrowth Miracle product with its exclusive protein complex stimulates healthy nail growth.

Shaping Nails

q What is the best way to file my nails?

While coarser, more abrasive files are okay for toenails, or if you have very hard nails, ensure you don't use a nail file that is too coarse for you fingernails, as it can rip the nail causing them to split.  Files with finer surfaces are gentler and do not cause splitting.

Nail should be filed in one direction, starting from the outside, moving into the middle of the nail.  Filling once a week is sufficient.  Excessive filling can cause the nails to become weak.

Click here for information on the Sally Hansen files available
Click here to find out what file to use for your nail type

q How should I file my nails? Is there an ideal nail shape?

There is no ideal nail shape; as the nail shape will largely depend on the individuals' preferences. However there are several options you can choose from and some that give more stability to your nails, therefore allowing them to grow longer without breaking.

Click here for advice on nail shape.