How to Strengthen Brittle Nails
Whether your nails have been weakened from acetone or a monthly habit of gel manicures, keeping your natural nails in tip top shape is quite important. When nails get weaker not only are they more likely to break, but they can even peel which makes simply painting them that much more difficult. Not to mention the pain that can come along with breaking or cracking nails. For those reasons we wanted to share a few insider tips on how to bring your nails back to their former glory. Say goodbye to brittle nails and hello to long and strong ones.
1. This is probably the easiest one on our list, and that is to avoid too much water. When will you ever hear that? When it comes to your nails, water, especially hot water is a no-no. Washing your hands, doing the dishes, or scrubbing the tub are all ways to dry out your nails and your hands. Whether it is the shocking water temperature or constant contact with harsh soaps and cleaning products, try to cut down on your sudsing up. This means alcohol-based soaps or sanitizers, bleach, and even disinfectant wipes are things your nails should avoid. Of course wash your hands when need be, but when using detergents use rubber gloves to protect your nails from further damage.
2. Another easy one that helps a whole lot more than just your nails is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water has endless benefits, and stronger nails is one of them. Water hydrates the body including your hands, and that means your cuticles will retain moisturized. This effectively enhances the quality of your nails.
3. Use a cuticle oil. Nearly every brand of nail polish has a cuticle oil on the market. You can pick up your favorite. Ours is Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1 as it is readily available, affordable, and offers tons of benefits to improve your nails' health. Not only does a cuticle treatment like this moisturize the entire nail bed, but it strengthens, fills ridges, enhances growth, and even works as a base and top coat for polish. You can also make your own cuticle oil or cream by mixing ingredients like jojoba, coconut, and vitamin E oils among others. If you apply one of these regularly, you are sure to see a big difference.
4. Then if you have the time, a soak is not only relaxing, but intensely beneficial to weak and brittle nails. You can find a ton of DIY options on Pinterest, but our favorite has three simple ingredients:
1. ¼ cup fresh orange juice (for antioxidants and vitamins)
2. One clove of chopped garlic (which has selenium and antifungal properties)
3. ¼ cup of olive oil (that offers intense moisture)
Add the mixture to a dish, and soak your nails for about 15 minutes. This works so well that you should start seeing a difference in only two weeks, if you do it three times a week.
5. Quit using your nails as a can opener. There are other tools like scissors or actual can openers that are made to open difficult packaging. Putting your nails through that trauma can lead to intense breakage that will set you back on your nail strengthening journey. Also, if you happen to be a nail biter it may be time for a new habit.
6. Take a manicure holiday. Yes, we know how addicting a trip to the salon can be, but the strong and dangerous chemicals in many of those products can be extremely damaging to your nails. And even more so than the polish, the nail polish remover works similarly to a paint thinner. So skip the acetone and harsh scrubbing, and go au naturel for at least a few months to help rebuild your brittle nails. And if you think peeling or picking off your polish is more convenient than using a chemical remover, well it actually will not do you any favors. When you scrape off nail polish the top layer of your nails comes along with it, thinning them out even more.
7. Finally here are some supplements and yummy foods that have been known to show an improvement in nail strength. Biotin helps to maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. If you have ever purchased a women’s vitamin, there is a good chance there was biotin included. But taking a supplement will only go so far. Naturally adding biotin into your diet by way of delicious foods is the best route to take. Some biotin rich foods to add to your grocery list are eggs, almonds, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
This might seem like a lot of changes for you to make, but if you want stronger and healthier nails they are certainly worth the effort. The days of struggling with thinning, weak, and even painful nails are over!
Photo Credit: cover via OPI, first photo via Easy Safe, second photo via Phentermine, third photo via Sally Hansen, fourth photo via Makeup and Beauty Blog, fifth photo via Vanity Beauty, sixth photo OPI, and seventh photo via Organic Facts.