Dont Overdo The Hand Sanitizer
Because hand sanitizers are typically alcohol-based, constantly applying the stuff can dry out your nails and leave them super brittle. If you have to use hand sanitizer, try not to get it on your nails, and dont overdo it, says Dr. Solomon. Using hand sanitizer wipes can make it easier to avoid the nail area during applicationor if you prefer the liquid variety, make sure to slather on moisturizer afterward to balance the scales.
Vitamins For Strong Healthy Nails
1. Vitamin B7 : This vitamin is found in a number of products designed to support strong nails. For good reason. Biotin is needed to support healthy cell growth and metabolization of amino acids. Research has found it helps nails become firmer, harder, and less brittle for most people. 1 It may also help prevent nails from splitting. 2
2. Vitamin B12 : Speaking of B vitamins, vitamin B12 is also necessary for keeping nails healthy and strong as it impacts iron absorption and red blood cell development. If you dont get enough of this nutrient, you may notice bluish or brownish discoloration and wavy lines or streaks in the nails. It can also lead to other dermatological conditions if you get either too much or not enough. 3 Because most natural sources of vitamin B12 are from animal products, strict vegetarians and vegans run the greatest risk of becoming deficient if they dont seek out additional sources or supplements. 4
3. Folate : Another B vitamin that plays a role in nail growth due to its affect on new cell development, including red blood cell formation, is folate. Deficiency of this nutrient can lead to a change in nail color and also make nails rigid and prone to breakage.
4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for so many processes in the body, including the production of collagen. Collagen, in turn, is known as the glue that keeps the body together. This protein provides strength, shape, and integrity to tissues throughout the body, including nails. 5
Start Using Nail Strengtheners
We’ve talked before about nail care products such as nail strengtheners, and we can’t stress this enough that you should start using them if you want strong beautiful healthy nails. Here are some of the best: The Best Nail Products to Strengthen Weak Damaged Nails.
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Protect Your Nails From Chemical And Uv Exposure
In case you didn’t know: Your nails can experience sun damage, too, turning them yellow, brittle, or dimpled. To protect your tips, experts recommend a UV filter polish that’s able to absorb the rays .
On the chemical front, it’s important to be mindful of any harsh ingredients seeping into your nails. You might have swapped your acetone polish remover, sure, but think about other ways your nails are exposed to chemicals on the daily. For example, if you have traditional dish soap in your kitchen, perhaps wear gloves while cleaning to avoid drying out the nails. “It might be a small step, but over time you’ll notice the difference in your health and the appearance of your nails,” says Lin.
Home Remedy Nr 2 Olive Oil & Lemon
This is one of the best natural ways to grow your nails faster and makethem stronger! Soak your nails in a mixture of three tablespoons of olive oiland one tablespoon of lemon juice for 10 minutes. Follow this home treatmentfor about 10 minutes every day to strengthen your nails.Simply applying warm olive oil to the ends of your nails also serves as aneffective treatment to grow your nails.
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Always Apply Base And Top Coats
Base and top coats are especially helpful when your nails are on the weaker side because they provide your nails with an additional protective barrier from things like dehydration and breakage, says Dr. Evans. Essies Grow Stronger Base Coat leaves nails nourished and protected, for example, while the brands Good to Go Top Coat protects your mani from chipping and peeling.
Signs Of Unhealthy Nails:
- Peeling or splitting nails could be dryness or the result of vitamin deficiency
- Tiny white spots usually mean you’re biting your nails or painting them too often
- Horizontal grooves could be from stress, high fevers, or jamming your finger
- Red, swollen skin around nails could be from removing or biting cuticles
- Spoon-shaped nails could be a sign of iron deficiency or anemia
If you’re concerned about your nail health, it’s important to consult a dermatologist. Since your nails are super visible, it’s easier to tell if an issue arises meaning you can treat it early if you get help, says Dana Stern, M.D, a dermatologist and nail care specialist in New York. Now here’s how to get strong, healthy nails:
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Hydration Will Strengthen Your Nails
Now that the gel-dip-acrylic is off, the key is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. “Prolonged use of gel manis and acrylics dehydrates your nails, making them dry, brittle, and fragile,” says manicurist Jin Soon Choi, founder of JINSoon nail polish and salons.
A cuticle oil is your BFF for imparting deep hydration. Focus on slathering it not only on the nail itself, but also massaging it well into the cuticle the cuticle is where new, healthy nail growth will start so it’s important to nourish and hydrate this area, says Choi.
One best-seller to try: CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner. Holford also likes using straight up jojoba oil, which can strengthen nail beds and boost healthy nail growth. She recommends applying it three times per day for five days for the best results.
Choose Nail Tips Over Full Extensions
All our experts told WebMD that, in general, nail extensions are bad news for nails, frequently leading to fungal or even bacterial infections — and, says Stern, sometimes to permanent damage. If you must wear nail extensions, she says, opt for just tips. While they can still cause problems, the potential for damage is less since the surface area covered is smaller.
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Strengthen Your Nails By Giving Them A Break
“While there’s no scientific evidence that keeping your nails polish-free will make a difference, anecdotally I can tell you that we totally notice a difference in the strength and health of the nails when our clients do take a break,” says Tuttle. Choi and Holford agree all three recommend keeping your nails au naturel for at least a few days after sporting a gel, acrylics, or dip.
If you really need to keep them polished, use a nail strengthener as a base coat, suggests Holford. You can also look for a color that contains strengthening ingredients.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Apart from ingesting protein as a keratin supplement, you should also be incorporating food with protein into your diet. Not only is it important to eat the right amount of protein for your overall health and nutrition, but it can also affect your nails and the speed at which they grow. “Vitamins and eating healthy promotes better conditioning from within to help with the growth of your nails,” says Aaron.
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Top 10 Tips For Nail Care
An important element to healthy nails is consistent, daily nail care. Keep your nails looking beautiful by practicing these top ten nail care tips every day.
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Clean With A Nail Brush
Many women risk infection with rigorous cleaning under the nails using long, pointy tools, both at home and during manicures. “Women themselves or the manicurist are trying so diligently to clean under the nail that they end up with a kind of a gap between the nail and the nail bed,” Kleinsmith explains. This kind of aggressive nail care is an open door to bacterial or fungal infections. Instead, scrub gently with an old-fashioned nail brush for healthy nails.
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Indulge In Acrylic Or Gel Treatments Sparingly
Any nail expert you talk to is going to do their best to steer you away from acrylic or gel manicures as long-lasting and convenient as they are because they’re very hard on the nail. But if you’re keen on getting them, there are some ways to minimize the damage to your hands and nails.
The main issue with a gel manicure is the exposure to UV light in the drying device, which can damage the skin below and around the nail, leading to an increased risk of cancer. To help reduce that risk, Dr. Prystowsky recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 before the procedure to help block the damage, or you can try special gloves that expose only the nails themselves, shielding the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.
There’s also a professional service that the Good Housekeeping Institute‘s Beauty Lab found won’t ruin your nails: CND’s Shellac Luxe salon service, which won a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award in 2019.
Ditch Nail Polish Removers That Contain Acetone
A nail polish remover loaded with acetone is harsh on weak nails and can dry them out something fierce. This can cause peeling, splitting, and those unsightly white, mottled marks, says Dr. Solomon.
Her rec? Tenoverten Non-Acetone Polish Remover. Its essential oil-based, removes polish in a matter of seconds, and feels very gentle on nails and cuticles, she says.
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Prioritize Nail Health Over Length
Long nails are elegant, but if you’re someone who has struggled with hangnails or breakage, Dr. Shamban recommends that you keep your nails short at least for period of time as you allow them to grow stronger. A shorter style with rounded edges looks neat and tends to be easier to manage, so you won’t have to subject your nails to extra wear and tear. As long as each nail is uniform in shape and matches its nine neighbors, you won’t miss the added length.
Always Keep A Nail File On Hand
If your job or workout routine exposes your nails to potential damage, Dr. Prystowsky advises keeping a nail file handy for on-the-spot buffing of any rough edges. For the smoothest finish, work in one direction with the grain of your nail.
Instead of an emory board, which can cause nails to peel and snag, try a glass nail file. “A glass file will create an even edge to the nail and can be used on the weakest, brittle, and damaged nails,” Dr. Stern says.
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How Long It Takes To Strengthen Your Nails
No matter what intervention you end up taking, don’t expect to see any differences overnight. “Changes can take many months longer for toenails than fingernails because they take longer to grow to become noticeable,” says Dr. Kim. “People tend to give up too quickly. Unfortunately, there are no super-quick solutions if the end goal is to have truly healthier nails.” Again, it could take up to several months depending on your personal growth rate, so stick it out.
Part of it comes down to your genetics. Your genetic makeup and the presence of conditions such as psoriasis or thyroid issues can affect nail growth.”Because some people will genetically be more prone to weaker nails, any intervention may take even longer to reap visible results and the degree of improvement may be somewhat diminished, unfortunately,” says Dr. Kim. “But with patience and perseverance, it is still possible.”
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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Avoid Rough Emery Boards
Those old-fashioned orange emery boards are too harsh for nails, causing small fissures and cracks that lead to breakage and tears, says Ravits. Instead, she says, file nails with a smooth, fine file and don’t saw back and forth. Instead, Ravits says, file in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.
How To Strengthen Nails: 9 Expert
Even if you have immaculate, smooth-to-the-touch nailsnary a fray in sightkeeping them strong is an entirely different story. Sure, your nails might not feel dry, or brittle, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook. You wouldn’t shrug off your daily skin care routine just because you don’t see any blemishes or areas of concern, would you? Same goes for nail care: The best offense, after all, is a good defense.
Experts would agreethey’ve weighed in on nine ways to strengthen your nails, so you can keep those tips in tiptop shape:
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How To Strengthen Your Nails
Want harder, healthier nails? Look no further than these best ways to strengthen your nails plus the pro-approved products that help.
Maybe you’ve thought, “Dang, why can’t my natural nails be this long?” after a recent nail tip application. Or maybe you need stronger nails for playing the guitar. Whatever your motivations, if you’re yearning to strengthen your nails, there are various tricks that can make a noticeable difference.
Problem is, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the cause of weak nails, let alone figure out the best way to address them. Artificial nail application, genetic disposition, malnutrition, illness, dehydration, medication side effects, and underlying nail infections are just some of the common causes of weak nails, according to Flora Kim, M.D., F.A.A.D., a Texas-based dermatologist. Whatever the reason, the result is still the same: fingernails that are best described as fragile, rigid, and prone to breakage. Sound familiar? Then you’re probably wondering how to strengthen your nails and you’ve come to the right place. Read on for experts’ perspectives on the best way to strengthen your nails.
Add A Cuticle Oil To Your Routine
If you want strong and healthy nails, one of the most important things you can do is to start using cuticle oil regularly, says celebrity nail artist Pattie Yankee. “You should massage it into the matrix area right at the base of the nail and the skin right below,” she says. “If you really massage the oil into that area, you nourish the matrix of your nail, which is the root of your nail. And as it grows out, it’s going to grow out healthy.”
Yankee suggests looking for a formula containing jojoba oil as one of the main ingredients. “It has small enough molecules that it’s able to penetrate to your nail plate,” she says. She also suggests looking out for almond and safflower oils, which moisturizes and, in turn, helps to strengthen your nails. While there are a lot of options out there, one of Yankee’s top picks is CND Solar Oil , which has both jojoba and sweet almond oils.
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Moisturize Your Hands And Nails Regularly
Frequently moisturizing your nails and the surrounding skin with a hand cream can prevent further impairment of the integrity of the nails, says Philadelphia-based dermatologist Rina Allawh, MD. Ointments, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaniply Skin Protectant, pull a double-duty by nourishing your nails and protecting them from future damage by locking in moisture.
Cuticle oil helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize weak nails as well, says North Carolina-based board-certified dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD. I recommend LOccitane Shea Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil, she says. Its formulated with a high concentration of shea oil to help soften cuticles and nourish nails.