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Breaking Free: Conquering the Nail-Biting Habit

by Rebecca Fox July 17, 2023

Breaking Free: Conquering the Nail-Biting Habit

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Welcome to our blog, where we tackle one of the most common and persistent habits that many individuals struggle with nail biting. Whether you find yourself biting your nails out of nervousness, anxiety, or sheer habit, you understand the frustration and longing for a way to break free from this repetitive behavior. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind nail biting and explore effective strategies to overcome it. Additionally, we will introduce an innovative solution in the form of nail wraps that can help you avoid the urge to bite and achieve healthier, more beautiful nails.

Nail biting, scientifically known as onychophagia, affects people of all ages and backgrounds. It is often categorized as a "nervous habit" or a form of "body-focused repetitive behavior." Nail biting can be triggered by stress, anxiety, boredom, or even as an unconscious response to certain situations. Whatever the cause, this habit can be both physically and emotionally damaging, as it can lead to unsightly and damaged nails, sore fingertips, and potential infections.

Overcoming nail-biting requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes while providing practical solutions to redirect the behavior. We will explore various strategies, from building awareness and mindfulness to finding alternative habits and managing stress effectively. By understanding the underlying triggers and implementing these strategies, you can gradually regain control over your impulse to bite your nails.

In addition to these techniques, we will introduce a game-changer in the battle against nail biting: nail wraps. These innovative adhesive nail wraps that acts as a protective shield for your nails, preventing direct contact with your teeth and providing a visual deterrent to the biting habit. Nail wraps come in a myriad of designs, colors, and patterns, allowing you to express your personal style while simultaneously encouraging healthier nail care practices.

Throughout this blog, we will provide valuable insights, practical tips, and success stories from individuals who have triumphed over nail biting. We aim to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed to embark on your journey towards breaking free from this habit. By understanding why nail biting occurs and exploring effective strategies, combined with the assistance of nail wraps, you can finally bid farewell to nail biting and embrace a new chapter of self-confidence and well-groomed nails.

Join us as we uncover the mysteries of nail biting and discover how to conquer this challenging habit once and for all. Get ready to transform your nail care routine and reclaim your beautiful, bite-free nails.

When it started, how and what causes

Nail biting, also known as onychophagia, is a common habit that can begin in childhood and persist into adulthood. While the exact causes of nail biting are not fully understood, several factors contribute to the development and continuation of this behavior.

One of the primary triggers for nail biting is emotional or psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, or boredom. Nail biting often serves as a coping mechanism, providing temporary relief or distraction from negative emotions. It may be an unconscious response to relieve tension or anxiety in certain situations, becoming a habitual behavior over time.

Nail biting is associated with higher levels of anxiety, perfectionism, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Individuals who experience these traits may be more prone to engaging in repetitive behaviors like nail biting as a means of self-soothing or seeking a sense of control.

Additionally, there is evidence suggesting a genetic predisposition to nail biting. A study found that nail biting can run in families, indicating a potential genetic influence on the development of this habit.

It's important to note that nail biting can have physical consequences as well. Continuous nail biting can lead to nail infections, damage to the nail bed, and misshapen or weakened nails.

Effects of nail-biting on the nails, teeth, and overall health

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Onychophagia, or the behavior of chewing one's nails, affects people of all ages. Although it may appear innocent at first, chewing your nails can have a variety of negative impacts on your physical and mental health. We’ve checked the resources online and narrowed it down for you. Let's go ahead and explore the surprising effects of nail biting and why breaking this habit is essential for a healthier you. 

Damages Your Teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your precious teeth; grinding the front teeth together to bite through fingernails can gradually cause your teeth to shift. In time, this creates a gap, or malocclusion, between the top teeth that lead to alignment issues. The repetitive motion of biting your nails can lead to chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth. This may also cause jaw pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can result in chronic headaches and difficulty in opening and closing your mouth properly. Overall, this can negatively impact your beautiful smile.

Damages Your Nails and Surrounding Tissues: One of the most immediate effects of nail biting is the damage it causes to your nails and the surrounding skin. Constant biting can lead to shortened, jagged, and weak nails. It can also cause painful hangnails and cuticle infections, making your fingertips prone to swelling, redness, and discomfort. In addition, it can damage the tissue around your nails. Nail biting interferes with the natural growth process of your nails. Constant biting can inhibit proper blood circulation to the fingertips, which affects the supply of essential nutrients needed for healthy nail growth. As a result, nails may become brittle, uneven, and discolored, compromising their appearance.

Risk of Infection: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs and are almost twice as dirty as your fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to the risk of infections. Our hands come into contact with numerous surfaces harboring bacteria and viruses. When you bite your nails, these pathogens can easily enter your mouth and cause infections. The transfer of germs from your nails to your mouth can lead to illnesses, including colds, flu, and gastrointestinal issues. 

Emotional and Psychological Effects: Beyond the physical consequences, nail biting can also have emotional and psychological effects. It is often linked to stress, anxiety, and nervousness. The act of biting your nails may provide temporary relief or distraction, but it can reinforce these negative emotions in the long run, creating a cycle that is challenging to break.

What are the known ways to stop it

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While it is extremely hard to break the habit of nail-biting, especially when this was formed during childhood, there are some known ways on how to stop this. It’s not going to be easy! That’s for sure! But just like any type of habit, no matter how bad it is, with the right practice and mindset, you can break free from it. According to ADD (American Academy of Dermatology Association), here are some proven ways to help you overcome this:

  1. Keep your nails trimmed and short. Just like the saying goes, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” The same goes with nail-biting! Having shorter or trimmed nails will literally give someone no option but to stop biting their nails. In the long run, it will trick your brain into thinking that you have no excess, making it less tempting to chew on your tips.

  2. Identify your triggers. To resolve an issue, you must know the root cause. Nail biting can be triggered by a lot of things. It can be physical, like the presence of hangnails, or can be caused by anxiety, stress, or maybe you’re just really bored. Whatever your trigger is, study the pattern and learn how you can stop it by leaning away from it.

  3. Replace the nail-biting habit with a good one. When you’re a nail biter and you are bored, looking at your hangnails can be irresistible. Instead of nibbling on your nails, the American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests that you look for other things to do instead, like playing with a stress ball. You can also rub a worry stone or click a pen. You can also keep your mouth busy by chewing gum. Basically, anything to distract yourself and keep you occupied!

  4. Try to gradually stop biting your nails. Take it one step at a time. When you are used to something and have been doing it for many years, it might feel impossible to stop it at first. When you’re already on it, you might seem to be successful in stopping this bad habit for a couple of weeks, but when something happens, like a trigger, you'll notice you’re nibbling on your tips again. Don’t fret! It’s totally okay to fall off the wagon. Just get back up twice as strong and three times as determined!

  5. Decorate your nails with your favorite wraps. If you are a nail biter or know someone who is, you know for sure that decorating your nails with your favorite manicure or wraps is a lifesaver! This is a great trick to end this bad habit. With Lily & Fox’s wide variety of nail wraps, we’re more than happy to help you with this dilemma. In the next portion of this blog, we will show you testimonies from some of our loyal customers on how our gorgeous nail wraps helped them stop nail biting.

Let's hear it from our customers! 

Nail wraps are known to add that pop of color and style to your tips. It has slowly gained popularity among nail enthusiasts who prefer the ease of using nail wraps over messy nail polish. They also provide extra protection to your nails, and are less damaging. We’re proud to say that we’ve done more than just our goal of simplifying beauty and making you feel confident and fabulous with each nail strip. Through the years, Lily and Fox has helped many others overcome their nail-biting habits. Allow us to inspire you with these great success stories from some of our awesome customers! 

Purple Rain

I am totally obsessed with these nail wraps. First, they help with my anxiety and keep my mind focused. Second they look amazing, and third, they keep me from obsessively biting my nails & making bloody hang nails (I'm sure some can relate). For such a low cost, this is a literal life changer. Love love Lily and Fox fyi mind the cut on my ring finger. Slowly learning to ease off hangnails… “- Kristyn C.

If I could make one complaint about Lily & Fox....why do you make so many pretty designs?!! It makes it so hard to choose from Sometimes I wish I had more than 10 fingers LOL Today's wraps are Marble-lous Sea, and the photo does it no justice.... it's beautiful!

I took my wraps off yesterday and was going to wait until Sunday to apply as I go bowling every second Sunday and sticking my fingers in the bowling balls wrecks my wraps (only slightly), but I got impatient and hated having plain nails, so here we are LOL

I am a terrible nail biter (as you can see from the skin in the pics), so I used to get acrylics which destroyed my real nails, but since I have been using L&F (only about 2 months), my nails are long and so strong!!! Love love LOVE Lily & Fox and so happy they popped up on an ad, and I took a plunge and ordered!

Thanks for coming to my TED talk lol “ - Meggan D.

This is for the nail biters and short nail people. 

I love seeing all the posts and beautiful long nails, but I am a nail-biter… and I wasn’t sure the wraps would work for me, so thought I’d give them a go, and they are awesome!

Easy to apply, no lifting, and because my nails are so short, a set will actually do me 2 applications as I use half a wrap per nail. Anyway, if you’ve been thinking about it.… do it!

I’ve just placed my third order, and I’m not chewing my nails

WIN WIN!!!!!! Thanks, Lily and Fox - affordable amazing nails” - Amber

A little testimonial to the power of sticker wraps - when COVID shut down everything, I stopped getting my nails done. They were ridiculously brittle and weak without having acrylics, gels, SNS, etc. on them. I bought a UV light, tried at-home gels, tried at-home acrylics (disaster!), and even just painted on nail glue. FINALLY, after 3 years of this, I tried wraps, and my nails started growing again without breaking!!!! Also, they totally stop my nervous nail biting (which I'm so bad about when they are short and breaking). Altogether - wraps are the best thing I've discovered in forever for my nails! Plus, they are fun to use!” - Kinah L.

“As someone who has bitten my nails for 38 years, these nail wraps (and their affordable price), have enabled me to finally kick the terrible habit. Thank you!!!!!” - Lindsay S.

Just wanted to thank you for such an amazing product! As a nail biter for almost 30 years, your product has literally changed my life and given me the most beautiful nails I could ever imagine! I have application down to a science, and I receive compliments almost every day - and send them straight to your site! Thank you for all that you do to help people like me look and feel their best!”- Emily

Thank you! You have single-handedly stopped me from biting my nails! 🥰🎉 I cannot use regular nail polish and have had bad experiences with nail salons. I am so in love with these wraps because of the easy application, easy removal, long wear, and MANY, MANY designs! Thank you x infinity!! 🥰🎉” - Michelle, Indiana

There you have it! We hope we’ve helped you gain a better understanding of nail-biting. By becoming aware of what causes and triggers a person to develop this habit, hopefully,  you will be able to better remedy the situation. Is the urge to bite your nails possibly due to anxiety, boredom, or stress? Having a complete understanding of the effects it may have on one's body can also motivate one to stop. We definitely don’t want any infection or damaged teeth and nails.

Always remember, don’t be too hard on yourself!  It is important to be patient and to take things slowly, one step at a time. Set small goals for yourself! Furthermore, we are here to help you along the way. We hope the testimonials of some of our customers gave you that spark of hope and heaps of motivation. Get rid of this habit while sporting our gorgeous wraps! Head on to and enjoy our wide range of fabulous designs. We're pretty sure that our wraps will keep you from biting your nails and, instead, let you admire those gorgeous tips!

Rebecca Fox
Rebecca Fox


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