Err On The Shorter Side
This might be common sense, but wearing your nails shorter equates to less opportunity for breakage. Shorter nails are less likely to catch on things and are then far less likely to tear, split, or crackâall unwanted side effects that don’t make good for our dreams of bend- and breakage-free tips.
“If you have damaged nails and are looking for a fresh start, your best bet is to cut them down and keep them short for a couple of months,” adds Hanna. “Short nails are super chic, and if you have an event that you want long nails for, press-ons have come a long way and are the best-kept secret in the celebrity manicure world. One of my favorite brands for natural-looking press-ons is Kissâjust make sure when you apply them that you use the glue tabs and not nail glue. And of course, donât rip them off!”
Try A More Natural Nail Polish
Quashie recommends giving ‘free from’ varnishes a go, which purposefully exclude any potentially toxic chemicals. ‘In terms of natural credentials, the scale runs from “three-free” all the way up to “13-free”, which means that brand does not have any of the most commonly used chemicals that have been identified as potentially harmful in their varnishes.’
So, which brands to go for? ‘Some great ‘free-from’ brands are Kure Bazaar, Nailberry and Butter London some of the larger brands such as Nails Inc and Orly are bringing out similar formulas too.’
How To Tell If You Have Strong Nails
In most cases, you can tell if your nails aren’t quite up to snuff simply by looking at them. “Youll know if your nails are not as healthy and strong as they need to be if they fray at the end, break, peel, or just fail to increase in length,” says Dr. Nazarian. In other words, if you can’t pick up a dumbbell without losing a tip, it’s probably a sign that your nails need a little TLC.
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Improperly Removing Nail Polish
There’s a reason why your nails sometimes look like crap when you peel off a gel mani or pick at your acrylics. “The way our nail polish is removed, either being peeled off or dipped in polish remover, can strip our nails of the natural hydrators that keep them healthy and strong,” says Dr. Nazarian. According to Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Founder and CEO of Olive & June, picking your polish can lift your nail plate, which leads to damage and peelingtwo things that aren’t only uncomfortable, but can also prevent future gels and polish from sticking properly to your nail.
Wear Protective Gloves To Strengthen Your Fingernails Naturally
Contact with chemical products is a factor that contributes greatly to the deterioration of our fingernails. Therefore, to maintain fingernail strength, you must wear protective gloves when it comes to domestic tasks that involve cleaning products.
Also, its helpful to only use environmentally-friendly products. After all, whats good for the environment is also good for your body!
No matter what, gloves act as a barrier that keeps chemicals from coming into direct contact with your fingernails. Whats more, they protect your hands when they need to be submerged in water for long periods.
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How To Strengthen Nails After Dip Powder
Strengthening your nails after a dip powder application isn’t always an easy task. If you have ever gotten dip nails, you probably know what we mean when we say that our nails tend to feel a bit weak or flimsy after the dip is removed. This is not uncommon, as any time your nails are covered by a polish of any sort, they can become dry and brittle. Also, if the dip isnt removed properly, further damage may be cause. So, whats one to do? You love your dip nails, but you want to re-strengthen your natural nails when necessary. Lucky for you, we have a few tips.
Once your dip is off, its time to reevaluate how your nails are doing. Be sure to cut them down and buff the nails where necessary. Its important to remove the bad so we can focus on the good. Now that your nails are neatly trimmed, its time to keep them natural, without any dip, polish, gel, or acrylic. Your nails need to breathe in order to regain their strength. Dont worry, though, as long as you care for your nails properly, youll be able to dress them up again soon!
Our next piece of advice may seem unrelated, but in reality, its very important- drink water. Every part of your body is affected by hydration . Your nails are just the same. Hydration promotes new growth and supports what you already have, plus the rest of your body will benefit, too.
How We Test Nail Strengtheners
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain products you can read more about our product review methodology here.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any nail strengtheners from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
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Use A Cuticle Oil Daily
According to Ama Quashie, session manicurist and founder of Ama salon, the secret to growing your best nails is: hydration, hydration, hydration. ‘To have strong nails, they need to be healthy and to be healthy, they need to be hydrated,’ she says. ‘Cuticle oil works by hydrating the cuticle and nail bed, which is why it’s such an important step in nail care, whether you’re growing your nails or simply want them to look their best.’
Her favourites? Skip the pricey branded bottles and opt instead for organic Dadi oil or a simple jojoba: they’ll do the job just as well and don’t cost the earth.
Remember Toenails Count Too
Everything that applies to your fingernails applies to your toenails, which experts say may be even more prone to problems due to careless pedicures. “Because feet are more often inside shoes — a dark, moist environment — fungus can grow more easily,” says Ravits. If you get regular pedicures, experts say take your own instruments and never let the tech dig under the nail or around the cuticle. Moreover, Ravits says cutting toenails at an angle — instead of straight across — increases the risk of ingrown toenails, which can be painful and sometimes develop into an infection.
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The Perfect Messy Bun In 3 Steps
The fool-proof way to nail the perfect messy bun hairstyle in just three steps and tips to create the perfect messy bun for every hair texture. Consider it one of lifes great ironies: When it comes to beauty, the most undone looks usually require the most effort. Take Meghan Markle, Duchess of the Messy Bun, for example. She waltzed into her wedding with a subtle …
Lemon Juice & Olive Oil
You can create a mixture out of really easy to find ingredients, lemon juice and olive oil, to fortify your nails. All you need is a few drops of the juice and about a tablespoon of the olive oil. Then all you have to do is rub the mixture right onto/into your fingernails. It’s best to follow this up by pulling on some plain what cotton gloves. Ideally you should do this at night, because then you can leave the gloves on while you sleep! If you do this two times a week, your nails will soon be much stronger.
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Do Gel Nails Ruin Your Nails
Gel manicures can cause nail brittleness, peeling and cracking, and repeated use can increase the risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging on the hands. Gel manicures can cause nail brittleness, peeling and cracking, and repeated use can increase the risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging on the hands.
Watch Your Nails For Signs Of Health Problems
Most of the time, nail problems can be traced to environmental assaults — exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips.
That said, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that the condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health. Here’s what they say to look out for:
- White nails — liver condition
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What Brittle Nails Can Mean
If these techniques dont work to strengthen brittle nails, its time to see your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Brittle nails can be signs of other health conditions, so be sure to let your doctor know of any other changes you notice.
Some health conditions that can cause brittle nails include:
- Raynauds syndrome: This disease causes circulation problems in the extremities, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. When the smaller arteries in hands and feet narrow, those extremities might feel numb or cold. Not surprisingly, this can affect nail health.
- Hypothyroidism: Low thyroid levels can cause more than just brittle nails. You might also notice fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, memory problems, depression, and constipation, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Anemia: Low iron levels can cause your nails to be brittle, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. You may also experience fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, cracks in the side of your mouth, or frequent infections. If blood work shows low iron, your doctor may recommend iron supplements.
- Cancer treatment: Brittle nails can be a side effect of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. If youre undergoing cancer treatment, talk to your oncology team about how to keep your nails and skin healthy and moisturized.
Strengthen From The Inside Out
Along with addressing nails from the outside, all the experts we spoke with agreed that the right supplements can help strengthen your tips from the inside, out. One good option? Collagen. An essential protein for hair, skin, and nails, ingestible collagen peptides are easily incorporated into your daily routine and can help promote healthy nails.
“Collagen has really made a difference in the health of my nails. They feel resilient and stronger,” says Holford. Try: NeoCell Super Collagen Powder. Another good option? Biotin. The B vitamin is one of Tuttle’s top picks for strengthening nails. Choi adds that along with supplements, you can also get these internal benefits by focusing on incorporating biotin-rich and collagen-synthesizing foods in your diet, such as salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.
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Home Remedy Nr 3 Horsetail
Add one teaspoon of dried horsetail stemsin two cups of boiling water. Steep it for about 10 minutes and finally drinkit as a herbal tea to cure brittle nails and enhance nail growth. If you dontlike the taste, add some honey. Soaking your nails in this mixture can alsohelp you to grow long and strong nails.
Change Your Daily Habits
Adjusting your daily habits can also help your nails grow stronger over time. “Be gentle with your nails and try to minimize using your nails as tools to open things,” says Dr. Garshick. “Try to keep your nails trimmed so they don’t snag on things which may make them more susceptible to breakage.” Another tip is to avoid exposing hands to water for a prolonged period of time. If you’re washing dishes, for example, she says to wear gloves.
Dr. Graf agrees and lists other habits such as eating a well-balanced diet , avoiding nail-biting, and taking breaks from using nail polish can also help the health of your nails. She adds that some abnormalities to the nail are harmless texture and color can change temporarily if you’ve been wearing fake nails or polish for a while. But if areas around the nail start to hurt, change in color for a long period of time, bleed, swell, or separate from the skin, then consult a professional.
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Making Your Nails Stronger
Why Does My Gel Nails Keeping Breaking
One of the biggest questions gel nail polish newbies have is Why do my nails break so easily? The problem, unfortunately, is that its a very difficult problem to solve, especially if you have weak nails.
While a lot of people think they have weak nails, in most cases its the nail polish holding the nail together thats causing it to break not some inherent weakness of your nails.
So what are some of the other reasons why your nails break? One of the most common is dry or brittle nails. If you have dry nails, gel nail polish may not be sufficiently penetrating the surface of your nails and causing strong bond, which will lead to breaking.
For this same reason, a dry nail can also break because of over exposure to harsh chemicals like nail polish removers and artificial nails cleaners .
Finally, brittle nails can break because their edges are more easily damaged, and this can happen when trying to clip or snap your nails.
Of course, one of the biggest and most obvious causes of gel nail polish breaking is the actual gel you are using. Gel nails are a very different form of nail art, and a poor quality product can mean that your nails will break more easily.
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Don’t Become A Serial Nail Polish Wearer
Give your nails a break, folks! Sure, there’s nothing as satisfying or sweet as having a beautiful, fresh paint job, but letting your nails have a week or so to breathe in between manicures will help your cuticles regroup and reclaim their health.
Personally, I’m a VERY serial polish wearer and don’t feel completely human without nail polish, but when I started doing this, I couldn’t believe how many fewer dents and ridges my nails had. It was actually miraculous. A little sad, but miraculous. Instead, treat your fingers or toes to something else luxurious, like a peel or overnight mask. This pedi version from Barefoot Scientist is everything.
Invest In Clean Polish Products
Of course, make sure the polishes you use contain nourishing, conditioning ingredients rather than harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, camphor, and toluene.
Same goes for polish removers to swipe off your mani: “If you want to keep your nails strong, you don’t want to use 100% acetone removers,” Lim says. Instead, try to find options that contain moisturizing ingredients for the natural nail, like a soy-based removerthese can effectively dissolve polish while simultaneously strengthening the nail, and they’re typically pumped with other vitamins and hydrating ingredients.
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Maintaining Healthy Grooming Habits