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Nail art for flight attendants Tipsy Turvy Nails by Heena Sharma

Nail Care for Flight Attendants


Why be a flight attendant?

Being a flight attendant/cabin crew for many is more than just a job or a way to make quick money. It’s a dream they grow up with and have harboured for a long time. And while it does bring in some challenges, it certainly is a glamorous and exciting job, offering life experiences that you will never forget and always will cherish. Well, who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel?

There are many other work benefits that come with the job than just travelling. From being able to enjoy flexible hours to meeting interesting people, you get to fly in one of the most sophisticated machines of the modern world.


But there is a lot more to it….

There is a lot that a flight attendant must go through before boarding their flight and commencing duty. One of the most important preparation is grooming oneself. Right from their uniform, hair, makeup to accessories. They must be on top of it.

However, in this grooming process, flight attendants often neglect nail care. It is expected that both men and women should take care of their manicure and pedicure. Flight attendants must keep a check on their nail care.

They are continuously on the move in flight which involves a lot of physical activity making their nails, especially their fingernails, highly susceptible to damage. They put their nails through a lot of torture like opening canned drinks, securing the many latches on a plane and knocking their hands and nails onto various hard objects during meal service.


Following are the common nail problems flight attendants deal with:

  • Stunt growth
  • Brittle nails
  • Chipped nails
  • white spots
  • long lasting polish comes off easily

Well-presented nails are a must when hosting a flight. Cabin crew are serving food, so it’s important that nails are kept tidy and clean.


Below are 9 nail care tips for flight attendants:


1. Keep your hands and nails moisturized

Flying can wreak havoc on your skin, leaving it dry, dehydrated, puffy and dull. You must use hand lotion/cream handy which will aid in moisturizing your skin.

Applying a nourishing face oil over your face, neck, eyes, lips and cuticles will keep your skin supple and moist. When applying lotion/cream to your hands, make sure to rub some into and around your nails. This will not only soften your hands, but your fingernails and cuticles can benefit too which will improve nail health.


2. Apply cuticle oil every time before going to bed

Not keeping your nails and cuticles moisturized leads to common nail problems like hangnails and dry skin which can turn into bigger problems, like chronic cuticle picking and nail peeling. Instead of cutting your cuticles which, when done incorrectly, can be painful and even provide an opening for bacteria to get into your nails, use cuticle softener to gently push them back, and apply cuticle oil regularly to keep them soft and moisturized.

Cuticle oil is used to deeply moisturize the cuticle, skin and surrounding nail area. It can protect the cuticle and nail against damage, improve the health and appearance of the cuticles and nails.

When you have extremely dry and cracked cuticles or where the surrounding nail area is dry, the oil provides quick repair and protection by moisturizing the area, repairing the nail, terminating the crack which eventually allows the nail to reattach.

Cuticle oil not only increase circulation in the nail bed but also stimulates new nail growth.

However, the oil should not be used as a first-line of defence against dryness, but rather to fix extremely dry, cracked nails.


3. Avoid nail biting

Biting/picking your nails can cause a temporary or permanent damage to them. It can create an inflammation around the nail which can disrupt its healthy growth. Biting nails can lead to broken skin on the cuticle. When cuticles are improperly removed, they are susceptible to microbial and viral infections. Biting nails can also have a social impact.


4. Meticulous hand wash

Many diseases are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water (preferable warm). This will prevent the build-up of bacteria on your hands, will clean your nails and may prevent dirt under your nails getting worse.

However, if soap and clean water are not accessible, use soap and available water or an alcohol-based product containing at least 60% alcohol to clean hands. Hand hygiene practices include not only washing hands but also diligently cleaning and trimming fingernails, which may harbor dirt and germs and can contribute to the spread of some infections


5. Drink a lot of water

Hydration is key for beautiful nails. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and you’ll feel and look better—all the way down to your hydrated cuticles and nails. Doctors recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water or more to stay properly hydrated throughout the day.

When nails lose the moisture they need, they naturally become weak and frail, causing easily damaged nails. Brittle nails that constantly break and peel can be a sign of dehydration. By keeping yourself well hydrated, you’ll promote nail growth and prevent dry, flaky cuticles.


6. Pull carts and drawers slowly especially if working in galley

Because of the nature of your job and the quick turnarounds, in-flight services can prove to be damaging to your nails if done in a haste. Be careful during services especially if you are working in the galley.

Pay attention while arming/disarming the doors, while opening cans, when opening coat closets and when dealing with the oven cage. You do not want your nails being damaged because of known reasons.


7. Maintain manageable length to avoid breaking of extension

Owing to your working hours and roster which may include back-to-back flights, you can preserve those extensions by managing its length instead of going and doing a touch up to your nails. So be gentler towards them.


8. Always apply a base coat to avoid the yellowing of nail plate

Painting your nails at home is no excuse to cut corners by skipping the base coat. This step not only protects the nail from being stained by the polish, but also helps the colour look more saturated and opaque with just one coat.

Applying polish too often can also cause nail discoloration, leaving behind an awful yellow tinge on your nails. Some nail polishes contain chemicals like dibutyl phthalate or DBP toluene and formaldehyde that can erode your nails natural protein layer that helps to protect your nails. These toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking. Instead, opt for acetate formula removers to clean off your polish and leave behind beautifully hydrated and fresh nails. Switching up this simple step in your beauty routine can save your nails for healthier, stronger nails in the long run.


9. Give your nails time to breathe by keeping them away from nail polish and product every 4 months, a regular manicure is advisable.


You can pamper your feet by treating yourself with a nice foot massage. You can also use a foot scrub and keep them moisturised.

Men should also have manicured nails with nice, tidy cuticles.

Having your nails done shows that you take care of your appearance, which is so important.

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