How do you keep your nails strong? These seven easy tips will help you strengthen your weak, brittle, or peeling fingernails. You’re going to love them!
Your fingernails are like mini, mobile canvases.
You can paint them any color of the spectrum to match an upcoming event, bedazzle them with tiny gemstones that glisten in the sun, or keep them short and shiny for a more professional look.
But maintaining a well-manicured look isn’t always easy. Especially when they crack, bend, or break whenever you jab your finger or when the December chill strikes again.
How do you keep your nails strong?
Strengthen your weak, brittle, or peeling fingernails with these seven tips.
1. Trim and File Them Every 1–2 Weeks
Did you know that your fingernails grow about 2.5 millimeters every month?
While that might not sound like much, every millimeter brings you one step closer to long, breakable nails that also collect grime and dirt underneath.
The first step to fixing this is clipping and filing them every week or so to keep them short, well-trimmed, and rounded.
If your nails are naturally brittle, experts recommend trimming them after showering when they’re softer and less likely to split.
You can also smooth jagged edges — notorious for snagging loose threads — and trim down breakable corners with a low-grit emery board.
This strategy will fortify your nails against situations that cause chipping.
2. Eat Biotin-Rich Foods
Biotin — more commonly known as vitamin B7 — is responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
In fact, studies show that 5.5+ months of biotin supplements can thicken nails by up to 25% while reducing the risk of breaking and splitting.
The question is:
Short of pricey biotin pills or gummies, where can you find this nutrient naturally in foods?
Foods rich in vitamin B7 include:
- Egg yolks
- Sweet potatoes
Doctors recommend about 30 mcg (micrograms) of biotin per day for the average adult.
After a few months, you might even notice some improvements in your hair growth and fewer scaly patches on your skin!
3. Moisturize With Moisture-Sealing Creams
Every time you wash and dry your hands, you rob your skin and nails of the natural oils they need to stay moisturized, smooth, and touchable.
But that means nail care often comes at the cost of good hygiene.
Fortunately, you aren’t left to choose between clean or healthy nails. You can guarantee both with hydrating and moisturizing hand products like Yes to Coconut’s Hand & Cuticle Cream.
These creams help to lock in moisture while strengthening the nails with a vitamin A, C, and E mixture. Whenever your hands feel dry or scaly, use these hand creams.
Just don’t forget to work a little extra into your nails!
4. Skip Harsh Products Like Acetone
Frequent hand washing can turn normally strong fingernails both weak and brittle. Yet, some of those everyday nail care products under your sink might be doing even more damage.
We’re talking about harsh products like acetone nail polish removers.
Harsh enough to double as a paint stripper, acetone-laced nail polish removers can undercut a nail’s natural strength and irritate the skin around the cuticles.
It dries out the nails, making them more prone to cracking, discoloration, breaks, and brittleness.
But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through patchy manicures until all the paint washes out naturally. There are plenty of non-toxic and acetone-free nail polish removers that can actually strengthen your nails!
5. Protect Them With Gloves
Unfortunately, it’s challenging to keep nails strong and beautiful when you have household chores to handle — dishes, laundry, washing floors, and more.
Every time you expose them to detergents and harsh household chemicals, you’re also depriving your nails of their natural oils.
When chore day rolls around, slide those waterproof gloves on! It’s even better if they’re elbow-length gloves that stop soap and water from leaking through.
6. Water, Water, Water!
Of all the nutrients your body needs to survive, none are as important as water! Water is responsible for everything from healthy blood pressure and nutrient distribution to digestion and body temperature stability.
Not surprisingly, proper water intake can also strengthen weak fingernails.
It all simmers down to the extra moisture that water adds to the body. This extra hydration spreads to every body part, including the hair, nails, and skin.
Brittle nails are also a warning sign of dehydration!
The Mayo Clinic recommends 11.5 cups a day for women and 15.5 cups for men. But this also includes the water in foods and non-water beverages like sodas and juices.
To stay hydrated and get more H20 in your diet, keep a water bottle on you throughout the day.
7. Add Reinforcements With a Nail Hardener
Whether you’re adding sweet potatoes to your diet, drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or trimming your nails twice a month, there are dozens of ways to strengthen your nails,
Yet, you can also add artificial reinforcements in the form of nail hardeners.
Products like the OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener offer unique recipes that combine wheat proteins and calcium.
Thicker, healthier, and more resilient nails worthy of a fresh manicure!
You have two options:
- Buy a tinted version to add a little color while secretly strengthening your weak nails.
- Use these strengtheners as “base coats” and apply your favorite color polish on top of them.
This is the best option if other nail-strengthening strategies don’t seem to work for you.
If you want to strengthen and forever “beautify” those weak fingernails, don’t make these common mistakes:
- Picking at your cuticles obsessively
- Biting your nails (find another habit to distract you as you concentrate)
- Taking steaming hot showers
- Applying harsh nail polish removers
- Washing your hands too frequently
When it comes to your nails, less is more. Let them grow naturally, avoid artificial products, and wet them as little as possible.
Angus Flynn is the business manager for Chatham on Main. With over five years of experience in the multifamily housing industry, he is one of the most dedicated managers in his field. He loves to help others and takes great pride in working in a community that so many love to call home.