How to Prevent Nails from Breaking

Do you have fragile, brittle, and easily breakable nails? Learn all about how to prevent nails from breaking in this article.
How to Prevent Nails from Breaking

Last update: 26 May, 2022

One of the most common problems for women are weak nails that break for no apparent reason and make your hands look a little sloppy or unkempt. If you suffer from this problem, then don’t hesitate to read this article. We will tell you how to prevent nails from breaking.

Why do I Have Fragile Nails?

There can be many reasons why you suffer from this problem. The most common symptoms are brittle nails that don’t grow, chip, or break off in layers.

Fragile nails are very thin and wear out no matter what you may do, whether it’s washing dishes, typing on the computer, playing a musical instrument.  However, the causes of brittle nails  don’t have so much to do with the activities you do, but rather other factors.

These include:

  • Diet: If you don’t consume enough of vitamins A and B, as well as too little iron, protein, zinc, and calcium, your nails will look very unflattering and even yellowish.
  • Calcium deficiency: This is produced by not taking in the necessary amount of calcium or having a problem that doesn’t let your body absorb it well.
  • Illnesses: Anemia, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, poor circulation, and rheumatism can all cause fragile nails.
  • Overall poor health: if your body is weak and its defenses are low, it’s more possible for nails to break.
  • External factors: These include high exposure to chemical products (bleach, detergent, disinfectant, etc.), as well as a lot of contact with water (washing dishes, bathing children, rinsing vegetables).

Things that Harm Your Nails

There are some “enemies” of your nails that you may not always be aware of. Unfortunately, these can be responsible for them breaking or not looking very healthy. They are:

  • Aging
  • Dermatitis (like psoriasis)
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Excessive cold or heat
  • Biting your nails
  • UV radiation
  • Excessive manicures (fake nails, air-brushing, heavy filing, etc.)
  • Fungus

Recommendations to Prevent Nails from Breaking

prevent nails from breaking

If you don’t want to suffer from this problem or you are predisposed to it, then keep in mind the following tips to prevent nails from breaking:

Wash dishes with gloves and, if possible, only once a day.

Dish detergent and hot water are very bad for your hands and nails. After all, both the chemicals and the temperature weaken them and make them more vulnerable to problems.

Instead, you can fill a bucket with water and detergent to put dirty dishes in later so that it’s easier to get food off of them. Also, don’t forget to wear latex gloves to protect your hands.

Eat more protein to prevent nails from breaking.

Nails and hair are both formed from protein. If there’s a deficit, then it’s because you need to eat more of this nutrient.

Protein is found in meat, leafy vegetables, and soy, among other foods.

Eat foods with fatty acids.

Fatty acids are also very important for maintaining healthy, strong nails.

You can find them in eggs, whole milk, walnuts, all vegetables, butter, and as a supplement in flaxseed oil.

Repair them immediately.

If your nails tend to break, the best thing to do is to cut them as close to your finger as possible. Also, repair them the moment they break so that they don’t keep breaking. You can file them and even put a bandage on them.

prevent nails from breaking

Pay attention to your manicure to prevent nails from breaking.

Don’t scrape the nail polish off when it starts to come off because this weakens your top layer.

In addition, limit your use of nail polish remover: use very little and only once a week. Otherwise, it dries out your nails.

In addition, avoid nail hardeners and fake nails. These are used to “hide” the underlying problem. When you stop using them, you will go back to having the same weakness or worse.

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Homemade Remedies for Moisturized Nails

Don’t use your nails as tools.

Your nails aren’t can openers, nor are they meant for scraping off stickers, for example. This makes them very weak and easier to break.

Don’t hold them underwater for a long time.

Once a week, you can give them an immersion bath, but it’s also not good to put your nails underwater everyday for an hour. Be careful when you go on vacation or in summer when you go in the pool everyday (in the last case, chlorine is not a good friend to nails or skin).

prevent nails from breaking

Correctly maintain them every week. 

  • To do this, exfoliate your hands with a mixture of salt and olive oil, completely scrubbing them.
  • Then, remove the nail polish.
  • After, file them so that they are even and have no imperfections. Always file in the same direction (from one side to the middle).
  • Soak them in warm water for a few minutes.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream and massage them. Another good option is to wrap them in a towel for a short time.

Use a homemade remedy to prevent nails from breaking.

The most popular remedies include:

  • Mixtures of lemon juice with sugar,
  • Apple cider vinegar and warm water,
  • Castor oil, honey, and wheat germ oil,
  • Raw garlic,
  • Baking soda with water,
  • Papaya,
  • Egg whites,
  • Almond oil.

In all of these cases, you should apply it to your nails and leave it on for a few minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm water.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Larruskain Garmendia, J., Idígoras Viedma, P., & Mendiola Arza, J. (2008). Onicomicosis: diagnóstico y tratamiento. Información Terapéutica Del Sistema Nacional de Salud.
  • Cabeza Martínez, R., Leis Dosil, V., & Suárez Fernández, R. (2006). Uñas y enfermedades sistémicas. Piel.
  • Fernández Pugnaire, M. A., Serrano Falcón, C., & Serrano Ortega, S. (2013). Exploración de las uñas con dermoscopia: Onicoscopia. Medicina Cutanea Ibero-Latino-Americana.
  • WebMD. Why Are My Nails Cracked?
  • J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Dec;16(4):520-526. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12393. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.