8 Tips and Tricks for Healthier and Stronger Nails

11 February, 2020
In today's article, we'll share possible reasons your nails are fragile and break easily, and how to take care of them so that they look healthy and strong. You have to take care of them every day, and use the appropriate products.

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. It’s not about just addressing problems as they come up, but protecting them and moisturizing them on a regular basis.

Why are my nails so brittle?

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).

  • Using harsh cleaning products without wearing gloves.
  • 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
Stronger nails brittle nails need to be filed and moisturized

If you notice problems with your nails, you should talk to a dermatologist or podiatrist (for your toenails). In addition to your doctor’s advice, the following tips can help you properly care for them:

Wear gloves when you wash the dishes

You should wear gloves while doing any chores around the house. Soaps, cleaners and other cleaning products affect your hands, especially if you have sensitive skin. Try to keep your hands out of the dishwater as much as possible, and avoid chemical products.

2. Eat more protein

Your nails, just like your hair, are made of protein. Consequently, if you don’t eat a balanced diet, your nail will look bad and break easily. Think about your day-to-day diet, and if you aren’t getting enough protein, eat more white meat, skim milk, and soy. These foods are high in protein.

Of course, you shouldn’t make any drastic changes in your diet without first talking to a nutritionist.

You might like: 5 Protein Shakes that You Should Include in Your Diet

Eat more fatty acids

Healthy fatty acids are good for your skin and nails. Ideal sources are nuts, vegetables, and milk. Flaxseed oil and flaxseed can also help strengthen your nails because they are high in fatty acids.

Wooden spoon full of flax seeds stronger nails

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. The best thing to do is to talk to a professional before using these kinds of products.

Shorter nails, fewer problems

Some people like the way long nails look, but it can be hard to get them to 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!

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. 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 at least once a week.

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.

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. Don’t overuse fake nails and see a doctor if you notice something strange going on with your nails.

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.

Short nails manicure with blue black pattern stronger nails

At-home manicure

If you’re able, it can be good to get a manicure once a week. Another option is to do it yourself, at home, using this popular method:

Note: this procedure has not been endorsed by professionals, but comes from traditional, natural methods for nailcare.

  1. First, remove the polish.
  2. Then, exfoliate with olive oil (which is effective for the treatment of psoriasis of the nails).
  3. File the nails so they’re all the same length.
  4. Finish by applying a moisturizing cream.
  5. Massage from the cuticles up.
  6. Let them dry thoroughly and paint as usual.
  • Onicomicosis. https://www.msdmanuals.com/es-ar/professional/trastornos-cut%C3%A1neos/alteraciones-de-las-u%C3%B1as/onicomicosis
  • Acetona. https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/es/acetona/
  • Silverman, R. A. (2010). Alteraciones de las uñas. In Dermatología neonatal. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-84-8086-390-2.50029-2
  • Lai-Cheong, J. E., & McGrath, J. A. (2017). Structure and function of skin, hair and nails. Medicine (United Kingdom). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2017.03.004