Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

I've developed a bad habit of biting my cuticles and hang nails. I've tried to stop several times but it's almost an unconscious act. Is there a sartorial cure for this? Maybe a treatment you could recommend?


Bitter Biter


Dear B.B.,

The first step is identifying the cause or circumstances that trigger you to bite your cuticles. It may be beneficial to keep a log that shows the day, time and action that caused your compulsion.
Once you identify the trigger(s), try replacing your unconscious cuticle assault with another action, like chewing gum, repeating an affirmation (e.g. "I will not bite my cuticles") or focusing on an object until the urge subsides.

Now it's time to restore your cuticles to a healthy state. One strategy would be to keep a standing manicure appointment. Not only will the nail technician be able to clean up and repair the damage, their judgement of your poor nail care may just be the kick you need to kick the habit for good.

If bi-weekly manicures aren't in your budget then i
nvest in a pair of cotton "moisturizing" gloves and a bottle of cuticle oil
("vitamin E" oil would be an equivalent)
. Right before bed, wash your hands, lather them with lotion and then apply the oil to your cuticles. Carefully put on the conditioning gloves and take them off in the morning. (If sleeping in the gloves becomes cumbersome, try to wear them for at least two hours before bed.) This allows the lotion and oil to nourish and strengthen both the nails and skin around them, making
your nervous habit that much
harder to initiate.

Take a photo of your weekly progress and whenever you feel the need to nibble, just look at the picture you took from 'week one' and hopefully that will be enough of a deterrent.

If you are truly serious about kicking this habit, realize that t
his is a process that only perseverance and patience can treat over time. As the expression goes, idle hands are the devil's playground, and I think as a direct result your cuticles have had enough "fun" for one lifetime.

Need sartorial advice? Email me:

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