How to stop biting your fingernails

I haven’t bitten my fingernails since October 18.  I went with my sister Leslie to get mani/pedis before her wedding, and I decided to get a manicure even though my nails were gross and really short.  Once I had the manicure I couldn’t bite them—they looked so pretty!


Apologies for the blurry picture.  And we’ll tackle not chewing on that index finger at a later date—yes, indeed, that callous you see is from me chewing on it.  Like I said, later date.

Since then I haven’t bitten my nails.  Two or three weeks ago I had to remove the pink polish because it was looking awful.  I considered getting another manicure but decided not to spend the money.  I considered painting my nails myself but I knew that would look bad and defeat the purpose.  So I just kept trimming my left hand nails (I need them really short for the violin) and letting my right hand nails grow  a bit more.  I just remind myself that I don’t bite my nails anymore.  I constantly remind myself of this. 


(I had fake nails put on for my wedding day…they looked great!)

I’ll catch myself with a nail in my mouth, particularly when driving—that is my most vulnerable time.  People have all kinds of suggestions, but it boils down to this:  you can quit biting your fingernails using the same technique you can use to quit anything else.

1.  Decide to quit.

2. Continue not doing it.

Like any bad habit you want to quit, the key is in number one:  deciding to quit.  You have to really want it.  You can’t do it for somebody else, you have to do it for you, and decide whatever it takes, you will quit.

I’m there with my nails.  I’m tired of being ashamed of my hands.  I know it’s taken a long time to get here, but I’m ready.


Look at that white bit at the end of my nails!  CRAZY. 

Yesterday I was pretty stressed out and my nails looked really tempting.  I fought through and ended up not biting them.  I felt pretty accomplished by the end of the day too!  See, you can quit a bad habit AND pat yourself on the back about it. 

Have you ever been successful at quitting a bad habit?  How did you accomplish it?

(Note to readers:  it’s been less than a month for me so I’d hardly consider this a surefire success, but I’m feeling good about it.)

5 thoughts on “How to stop biting your fingernails”

  1. Congrads, Hannah. I, too, was a nail biter and only stopped about 10 years ago; and I am much older than you. I am, also, most tempted to bit them when I am driving. What is there about that? I don’t have nice nails, they split and break easily so it is still very hard not to bite them, but I don’t. You are right. You just have to decided that you are not going to do it anymore and then don’t do it. Good work. Just keep it up.

  2. As a child and into my teen years I always bit my nails pretty bad. I was similar to you and I decided to just stop. Now so many years later you’d never know, mine get so long and beautiful. Some people think they are fake, but I swear they are 100% real. That could be you someday. For now just take it one day at a time. Good luck!

  3. I’m also considering quitting biting the area around my nails; my thumb cuticle last week looked so bad that my student said something along the lines of it looked like it had been through a cheese grater…? But my nails are great. Baby steps…

  4. In that first picture, the spot on your index finger past the knuckle looks like the face of the Virgin Mary. If a pareidoliatic grilled cheese is worth $28,000, I can’t imagine the value of a violin playing endurance athlete. Just sayin’.


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