9 Reasons Why Your Nails Break

January 20, 2017
If your nails break frequently, you should protect them well when using cleaning products, avoid biting them, and keep them moist with a hydrating lotion.

Lately, nails have evolved into a very important part of feminine beauty. Women often consider them to be a presentation card. Because of this, it’s not surprising that women want to know what to do when their nails break. 

It’s no secret that fashion trends have made nails increasingly important. Today, they are fundamental to highlight any style. They have become another accessory, one that we must take care of all the time.

So, what are nails made of? A high percentage of the structure of nails is composed of a type of protein called keratin.  In combination with vitamins and minerals, it is essential to maintain nails strong and healthy. Keep reading to find out more.

Many products are designed to keep nails in perfect condition. However, sometimes there are situations that make your nails break without you realizing it.

The problem is that many people are unaware, and unconsciously, end up destroying them in spite of caring for them. Because of that, we want to dedicate this space to those 9 things that make your nails break. 

1. Biting makes your nails break

nail biting

The habit of nail biting, medically speaking onychophagy, is addictive in children as well as in adults, and makes your nails break or become weak.

It does seem to be a way of releasing anxiety and stress. However, over time, it can deform the nails and cause serious infections. Therefore, it’s important to develop strategies to stop this unhealthy habit from worsening.

2. Chipping off nail polish

Nail polish allows us to highlight the nails with different styles, designs and colors.  However, there are individuals who have the bad habit of chipping it off after awhile.

This habit, even though it seems harmless, is damaging to the nails because it affects the outer coating that protects them. It’s best to use products to correctly remove the polish, making sure that they contain suitable chemicals for the nails.

3. Neglecting the cuticles

removing cuticle

The cuticles tend to be the most forgotten area when caring for nails. Some people cut them with nail clippers and in fact, some people pull them with their teeth in the same way that they bite their nails.

What most people don’t realize is that cuticles are a fundamental part of nail health.  Their neglect causes a progressive weakening and can even make nails break.

To avoid these issues you should use a cuticle remover when you peel off the dead skin that accumulates around your nails. If you don’t feel comfortable with one, ask a professional to help you.

4. Filing the surface of the nails

The habit of filing the surface of the nails is not recommended. Besides making nails break, it can also cause proliferation of some bacterias and fungi. 

You might also like: 5 Natural Remedies for Psoriatic Nails

5. Filing the sides

filing nails

Some people, wanting to file the nails in a square style, exaggerate when it comes to filing the sides of the nails and end up eliminating an important area.

Even though at first it doesn’t seem noticeable, taking away this part is conducive to a rapid weakening and cracking of the nail. Therefore, always be careful when filing the sides of your nails. Don’t overdo it!

6. Abusing the nails with gel

Women who have trouble controlling their anxiety by biting their nails tend to coat their nails with gel in order to maintain a perfect manicure. The problem is, even though they look quite nice,  during the gel removal the nails lose important nutrients.

The structure of the nail is then greatly compromised.  It is essential to use a professional for removal so as not to affect the natural nail. They know which products to use and how to remove the gel without harming your nail.

Read also: 17 Interesting Alternative Uses for Nail Polish

7. Not protecting them

cleaning with gloves

Did you know that chemicals in home cleaning products are extremely harmful? These substances are one of the principal causes of cracking and breaking of the nails.

Not using gloves when doing housework and handling these types of products directly affect the quality of the nails. Although it might feel weird at first, try your best to get used to using gloves when cleaning the house.

8. Using fingernails as tools

Be careful! Nails are not tools, even though they are useful in some circumstances. Using nails to remove stickers, scrape something or open containers can weaken them, including breaking them instantly.

Use the correct instruments to do these jobs instead of the nails, which need to be protected and not compromised. It might take two extra minutes to get the tools, but your nails will thank you for it!

9. Forgetting to moisturize

hydrating nails

As with other parts of your body, they need to be moisturized continually, to keep fingernails strong, healthy and long. As well as increasing your water intake, purchase a hydrating cream designed for the nails and cuticles.

Do you make some of these mistakes?  If you can identify with these errors then it’s time to start taking measures to take better care of your nails.

  • De Berker, D. A. R., André, J., & Baran, R. (2007). Nail biology and nail science. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2007.00372.x
  • Tanaka, O. M., Vitral, R. W. F., Tanaka, G. Y., Guerrero, A. P., & Camargo, E. S. (2008). Nailbiting, or onychophagia: A special habit. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2006.06.023