Strong Nails with No Strings Attached
14 Tips for Stronger Nails
If you think that strong, healthy nails can be an indicator of good health, then you are right!
Whether you realize it or not, nail health can be a strong indicator of your overall health.
However, there are times when our nails aren’t as strong as we’d like them to be.
The nail is extremely absorptive. It’s about 10 times more absorbent than skin! Therefore, when you take a long bath, your nails get super soft and bendy.
Their absorbent nature also makes them susceptible to many external factors, all of which can cause them to break and split.
We all want strong, thick, beautiful nails. Weak or brittle nails can not only be damaging but it also makes you self-conscious. Thankfully, there are lots of methods you can adopt to help strengthen your nails and improve them.
If you’ve tried various remedies and nothing helps, you must see your doctor. There are high possibilities of an underlying condition causing thin or brittle nails, and only once the root cause has been treated, will your nails be able to become strong again
The good news is that we can always make changes to our lifestyle and habits to help strengthen nails and get them where we’d like. You can start growing healthy strong nails by fine-tuning your everyday habits. Here are our top tips for strengthening your nails and preventing nail damage. This will ensure you can better enjoy all your gorgeous manicures.
1. Take biotin supplements
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin (also known as vitamin H and vitamin B-7). Biotin helps convert food into energy. It isn’t stored by the body because it is water-soluble. Therefore, you must ensure that you consume it daily.
Most people get the biotin they need from eating a healthy diet.
Biotin can help strengthen hair and nails. It also helps the body’s nervous system to function properly. It can be found in foods like:
- cooked salmon
- cooked eggs
- soybeans and other legumes
- cooked beef or pork liver
- whole grain and cereals,
- dietary supplements, individually or as an ingredient in multivitamins.
Supplements of biotin increases nail thickness and prevents splitting and breaking.
Check with your healthcare provider before taking a biotin supplement to ensure that it’s safe for you.
2. Limit water exposure
- Water is absorbed into your nails when you wash your hands, take a bath or even when you get a manicure.
- This absorbed water eventually diffuses back out.
- As a result, this constant change in water content causes the cells to expand and contract.
- Due to this, the cells get strained as they continually change size to accommodate water.
Your nails can become weak and brittle by soaking them in water.
Wear gloves when washing dishes, try to keep your hands out of the water while taking a bath and don’t soak nails in the pool for too long. Keep your nails outside the water for most of your soak.
It is impossible to always avoid submerging your hands, of course, but this is something to be mindful about.
3. Stay hydrated
Hydration is key for beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Therefore, drinking enough water is essential for nail health.
Drinking enough water helps your nails to retain moisture and stay strong.
If your nails do not get the moisture they deserve, they can become brittle and break and peel easily.
4. Pay attention to your diet
Nutrients in food can help your nails, taking them from dry and brittle to healthy and strong.
Make sure you’re eating a healthy and varied diet. A vitamin and mineral deficient diet can affect your entire body, including your nails.
Foods that can improve your nails include fruits, lean meats, salmon, leafy greens, beans, eggs, nuts, and whole grains.
Nails are made of protein, so the first thing you can try is adding more to your diet.
Upping your protein intake will also help keep your nails strong and in good shape.
5. Be careful about the products you use
Many nail polishes or treatments contain harsh chemicals that can weaken your nails.
Avoid acetone-based polish removers if you have brittle nails since it can be damaging.
It has been documented time and again that it strips the nails, causing them to become brittle.
Heavy-duty nail polish removers, especially those that contain acetone, dry out your nails, cuticles and fingertips, leaving them susceptible to breakage and peeling. Try using a protein-enhanced non-acetone remover.
Look for nontoxic nail polishes and soaks as well as acetone-free polish remover.
Nail hardeners do more damage than good. Unless nails are exceptionally weak and fragile, most people don’t benefit from a nail hardener.
Healthy and strong nails are flexible nails. So, to keep yours from breaking, avoid anything that makes them more brittle.
As for polish itself, it helps to hold the delicate nail cells together. As a result, it prevents the tips from peeling. But here’s the problem: eventually you have to take it off.
Remember that you should never ever pick off polish.
The problem with picking off polish is you’re not only taking off the polish but you’re also taking off the top layer of nail cells. This is generally an issue with gel manicures if you’re not going into a salon to get them removed properly.
6. Let Your Nails Breathe
Give your nails a break from polish. Just like it’s a good idea to take a break from colouring your hair or wearing makeup, giving your nails a breather from polish can help them regain their strength.
Constant use of polish, even nontoxic polish, can weaken the nail.
After wearing nail polish for a week or so, remove the nail polish with an acetone-free polish remover and then let your nails be polish-free for at least a week.
Nails replace themselves after six months, so the longer you can go without polish, the better.
7. Keep your nails on the shorter side
If you have long nails, they are more likely to break and be caught on things. In contrast, shorter nails are less prone to breaking and are less likely to be chipped, cracked, or split.
This is because there are fewer exposed edges to tear and less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed. As a result, it keeps them strong.
Therefore, if you’re having trouble with weak nails, consider cutting down the length while you build up their strength.
8. Avoid using your nails as tools
Yes, you heard it right! Make sure that you are not using your fingernails for reasons that it shouldn’t be used for, like to open a soda can or use a paper clip to reach something in a small space; instead you can use the pads of your fingers.
Using your nails as tools can lead to breakage and chipping, which can, in turn, weaken the nail.
Even something as quick as scratching off a sticker puts pressure on the weakest part of your nail and can contribute to peeling and breakage.
9. Use cuticle oil or hand lotion
While there is no proof to show that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it can make cuticles look better. Furthermore, it helps prevent nail breakage due to a lack of moisture.
Putting oil around the cuticle helps moisturize the entire nail, which will reduce the incidence of chipping, cracking, and splitting, As a result, you will end up with strong nails.
Common nail problems like hang nails and dry skin can occur if you don’t keep your nails and cuticles moisturized.
Consequently, it can lead to bigger problems, like chronic cuticle picking and nail peeling. Instead of cutting your cuticles, use cuticle softener to gently push them back, and apply cuticle oil regularly to keep them soft and moisturized.
Don’t cut or manipulate cuticles.
Whether you have your nails professionally groomed or do them yourself, it is best recommended to leave your cuticles alone.
Cutting the cuticle which, when done incorrectly, can be painful and allows fungus and bacteria to enter the nail bed. As a result, it’s easier for infections to occur.
10. Avoid drying products
Refrain from using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, as those can be a nightmare on your nails (and hands).
This is because the sanitizer dries out nails (and hands), leading to brittle nails. If you use hand sanitizer, avoid getting it on your nails and don’t overdo it.
11. File your nails in one direction
Start filing your nails only in one direction, rather than filing back and forth. Don’t saw them back and forth as this can cause your nails to weaken, split and peel.
Filing your nails in one direction will keep them intact and less prone to breakage.
When filing, go easy on the sides of the nails since filing too much there can weaken the nail.
12. Be careful when cleaning
Exposure to water and cleaning solutions can wear down your nails and cause them to become weak.
Many cleaning products or cleaning wipes contain chemicals that can weaken the nail.
Use gloves (rubber gloves) when washing dishes and cleaning around the house
Although it is healthy to wash your hands frequently, but if you overdo it, you’ll wreak havoc with your nails. If you are in a profession where frequent hand washing is mandatory, use moisturizer as often as possible and rub a little extra around the cuticles several times a day.
13. Take a closer look at your shampoo
If you’re using a shampoo for oily hair that is drying or aims to strip lipids and other natural oils from the scalp, it might be drying out your nails and causing weak or brittle nails.
Try changing your shampoo for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a difference. If your nails are very dry and you are using any soap product that strips the oils, there is the potential to cause damage to the nails.
14. Talk to your doctor
If you’ve tried multiple things for several weeks and haven’t noticed any change in your nails, see your doctor (dermatologist).
It is important to note that if your nails become extremely brittle out of nowhere, it could be a sign of a health issue. If that’s the case, you should see your doctor
By seeing your doctor, they can prescribe a prescription-strength nail treatment that can help to strengthen your nails.