8 Tips and Tricks for Healthier and Stronger Nails

· May 19, 2016
Do your nails keep breaking? Properly protecting and hydrating them is essential. Follow these tips to get healthier and stronger nails now.

If your nails break easily and you think there’s no way that they’ll ever look nice, please read this article. Your hands will look like you just stepped out of a nail polish ad. Learn how you can have stronger nails in this article.

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In order to have beautiful nails and hands, you need to care for them daily. You may not give them much attention until you actually look at them and think, “What am I going to do now?” Don’t despair.

This isn’t about solving a specific problem as quickly as possible, but about keeping up with your nails and caring for them every day.

Why are my nails so brittle?

Here are a few reasons why nails become brittle and break easily:

  • Using harsh cleaning products without wearing gloves (for example, while washing the dishes)
  • Bathing or washing hands in hot water
  • Using the nails to open cans or scratch things
  • Fungi (onychomycosis)
  • Biting your nails or constantly putting them into your mouth
  • Filing them with too much force
  • Keeping them painted
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Lack of moisture

When the nails aren’t healthy, they won’t grow uniformly, they’re irregular and don’t have a natural color. They can be scaly, opaque or even yellowish, and, above all, they’ll easily break (even without an apparent cause).

Stronger nails brittle nails need to be filed and moisturized

It’s important to figure out why your nails are unhealthy. This way you can give them an intense and effective treatment and get stronger nails faster!

Tips for Stronger Nails

1. Wear gloves when you wash the dishes

You should wear gloves while doing any chore around the house. Soaps, cleaners and other cleaning products negatively impact the health of your nails as the chemicals weaken them and make them more prone to breakage.

If possible, try to wash the dishes only once a day and try to keep your hands out of the water as much as possible.

2. Eat more protein

Make sure you’re getting enough protein and eating a diet rich in vitamins. That way your skin and nails will be much healthier because they’ll get the nutrition required for longer, stronger nails.

Make sure the fats you eat are the healthy ones like those found in nuts, vegetables in general, avocados, and salmon. Also, try flaxseed oil or flax seeds, which contain plenty of protein and healthy fats.

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Wooden spoon full of flax seeds stronger nails

3. Repair them immediately

Don’t leave nails damaged or with rough edges. File them as soon as possible to prevent further breakage and to keep them from getting snagged on something.

Don’t bite them. Some women use liquid glue to repair broken nails. Just let it dry, then file it smooth and apply a layer of clear nail polish. This technique is for emergencies, not for all your nails.

4. Shorter nails, fewer problems

We already know that long nails are beautiful, but, unfortunately, you can’t always get them to stay the same length. It’s better to keep them flush with the finger or just slightly longer. This way they’ll be harder to break, plus it’s in style!

5. Don’t keep them painted

One of the most common techniques people use to keep their nails beautiful is to keep them painted all the time. However, this isn’t good for their health. When the nails are painted, they can’t “breathe” and this can be counterproductive if they’re already brittle or break easily.

Moreover, it’s no big surprise that this is the reason they break. You should remove the nail polish and let them have a break for a least a few days a month.

Painting nails for a french manicure stronger nails

If you don’t like how they look or are afraid they’ll break, leave them unpainted overnight and then paint them again the next morning during breakfast. Or take advantage of the weekend to leave them natural.

Be careful with the type of nail polish remover you use because acetone (the main ingredient) is really harsh and can be damaging to the nails. It’s better to use an all-natural nail polish remover made with oil.

6. Be wary of quick fixes

As we mentioned before, you’ve probably thought about getting acrylic nails or gel polishes.  This may be fine for a special occasion like your wedding day, an important party or special event, but don’t continue getting fake nails constantly.

Why? To begin with, you need to file away a lot of the original nail in order to apply the artificial ones which require gluing to hold them in place on top of the original nail.

A fungus can develop between the artificial and original nail as these products don’t allow the nail to breathe, just like with nail polishes.

7. Nails aren’t tools

This is worth repeating because it’s one of the most common causes of broken nails. Don’t use your nails to rip a bag open, scratch off a label or dirt, open a can, etc. There are special tools for these jobs like scissors, a spatula, knife, etc.

Short nails manicure with blue black pattern stronger nails

8. At-home manicure

Give yourself a manicure once a week. You don’t have to go to the beauty salon and spend a lot of money. You can do it on the weekend. Aren’t you always complaining that Sunday afternoons are boring?

Take advantage of this time to care for your hands and nails! Remove the polish, exfoliate with olive oil and salt, and file the nails even. Finish by applying a moisturizing cream, massaging from the cuticles up, then let dry thoroughly and paint as usual. Enjoy your beautiful, stronger nails!

  • Gelotar, P., Vachhani, S., Patel, B., & Makwana, N. (2013). The prevalence of fungi in fingernail onychomycosis. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR7(2), 250.