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The Therapeutic Power of Nail Care for Neurodivergent Individuals





For many, nail care is simply a cosmetic indulgence, but for neurodivergent individuals, it can serve as a powerful tool for self-care and social interaction. As someone who is neurodivergent, I have found immense value in wearing “fake” nails such as acrylic, gel, or dip powder with tips, and I believe it can be a game-changer for others who struggle with issues like skin picking or nail biting due to conditions like autism spectrum disorder or hyper fixation. Of course is every single individual is different, so what may work for me might not be the best option for you and that is 100% OK, however I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share my reasoning and benefits behind getting my nails done.

One of the primary benefits I've found is the diversion it provides from compulsive behaviors such as skin picking. For years, I battled with the urge to pick at scabs I scratched into my scalp, a behavior exacerbated by my neurodivergency. However, by investing in nail care, I found a constructive outlet for my impulses. The presence of the fake nails acts as a physical barrier, making it more difficult for me to engage in harmful behaviors. This simple change has had a profound impact on my overall well-being, allowing me to break free from destructive habits and take control of my actions.

Additionally, the process of getting my nails done has become a therapeutic experience in itself. It provides me with one-on-one interaction in a controlled environment, where I feel comfortable expressing my preferences and boundaries. This has been instrumental in developing my social skills and confidence, as I learn to navigate social interactions and advocate for myself in a safe and supportive setting. Each appointment becomes an opportunity for growth, empowering me to assert my needs and communicate effectively—a skill set that extends far beyond the salon walls.

In summary, for neurodivergent individuals like myself, wearing fale nails goes beyond aesthetics; it's a form of self-care and empowerment. By addressing compulsive behaviors and providing opportunities for social interaction and self-advocacy, nail care serves as a valuable tool in managing neurodivergent traits and fostering personal growth. It's time we recognize the therapeutic potential of something as seemingly simple as a manicure and embrace it as a legitimate form of support for those navigating neurodivergency.


-Destaney Andrade

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