What Can You Do About Brittle Nails
by Salon Success Academy | July 24, 2019 | Under Manicuring/Nail Tech
How many times have you popped the top on a can of soda only to pull your finger away with a broken nail? Probably too many to remember. Weve all suffered the painsand ruined manicuresthat come with broken nails. But if your nails break or split with the slightest amount of pressure, they may be brittle, a condition that can occur with dry weather or age. To help you restore your brittle nails to their naturally strong state, check out the tips below.
How Do I Stop My Nails From Cracking
Let me guessyou, too, never give your nails a break when it comes to getting your nails done, like with your gel manis. The problem? The hard coating on gel polish creates a barrier that prevents your tips from getting the moisture they need, leading to dryness and breakage. Sound familiar? If so, give your tips a break, and instead, try getting a gel mani for special occasions only, like for a wedding or long vacation when you dont want your polish to chip.
Otherwise, incorporate a nail-strengthening formula into your mani mix, like Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Bamboo Nail Strengthener, and simply swipe on regular polish followed by a strong top coat, like Deborah Lippmann Nail Treatment Addicted to Speed Ultra Quick-Dry Top Coat or Jin Soon Top Gloss and Coat.
So What Vitamin Are You Lacking When Your Nails Split
Nothing is more cringe than a torn or split nail, but thankfully, with the right foods, you can often prevent it from happening. A diet low in nutrients can contribute to short, dehydrated, broken nails, since theyre all essential for proper nail growth. Iron deficiencies are definitely a common cause of brittle nails, explains Dr. Schlessinger.
Luckily, iron supplements can improve your nail strength, preventing breakage and splitting, he says, so if you suspect your levels might be off, make an appointment with your doc or derm for a little blood test. Its fast and easy, and itll give you a proper read on your vitamin levels .
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Brittle Nails: Causes And Tips To Strengthen
2 Minute Read
If your nails split, peel, or are simply weak, you have brittle nails.
Brittle nails occur for a variety of reasons. They may be a normal sign of aging or the result of polishing your nails too frequently. When the weather is cold, brittle nails may result from dryness. Weak nails also can be signs of a health issue, such as hypothyroidism or anemia.
Before you assume the worst or head to the doctor, learn how to strengthen brittle nails and the reasons why you might be experiencing them.
How Are Brittle Nails Treated
The B complex vitamin biotin has been demonstrated to strengthen weak, brittle nails. Over-the-counter biotin supplements such as Appearex can be found in most chain drugstores. Studies appear to show that 2.5 milligrams of biotin daily will improve nail strength.
Since a nail takes about six months to replace itself, it may take at least that long for the benefits of biotin supplements to become apparent, but 2530 percent of people who try biotin see improvement within four to six months.
Another product that shows promise in the treatment of brittle nails is Genadur. Unlike biotin supplements, Genadur is available only with a prescription.
The significance of this product is that it is the first treatment for fragile, brittle nails that has been approved by the FDA.
According to Genadurs manufacturer, Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals, a once-daily brush-on application may produce results within two or three weeks.
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Apply A Cuticle Oil Daily
The cuticle is a vital part of nail health, aas it overlaps the nail plate and rims the base of the nail And dry, frayed cuticlesas well as the skin around your cuticles can lead to picking. ” can damage the nail beds and matrix, which causes permanent indentations in the middle of your fingernails,” says Amy Wechsler, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist, who recommends applying a cuticle oil regularlyat least once a day. Barr agrees: The matrix is the part of the nail that constantly produces new keratin at the nail plate and slowly pushes the nail forward causing it to grow. Damage to this part of the nail can interfere with growth.
If applying a daily cuticle oil seems like an arduous extra step, don’t worry: You don’t need a special oil for this. You can keep your cuticles hydrated with a variety of oils, like olive, coconut, or sweet almond. And then just remember to rub the oil into the cuticles when you are applying your full-body moisturizer, as usual.
Types Of Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are classified into:
- Dry and brittle nails Dry nails, hands, and cuticles are a common problem caused by a lack of moisture, generally due to excessive washing of hands or using air dryers.
- Soft and brittle nails Excessive moisture can also cause brittle nails. This can result from exposure to detergents, nail polish remover, and household cleansers.
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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.
Attractive Hair And Nails Are A Sign Of Health
It’s not just about vanity the appearance of both hair and nails is a barometer of your internal health. No matter what issues you are experiencing, it’s important to address nutrition first. Include quality protein, healthy fat, and vegetable and fruit carbohydrates at each meal and snack. Reduce processed and sugary food consumption because those foods contribute to nutritional deficiencies that lead to poor hair and nail health. It may be necessary to complement nutritious eating with supplements, depending on your individual needs. Taking these steps will not only give you strong nails and shiny hair, but will assure of you optimal overall health as well.
Learn more about hair and nail health with these free resources:
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Wear Gloves For Chores
When doing the dishes, cleaning and gardening, wear gloves. Detergents and cleansers are harsh on your fingernails, causing drying, spitting and peeling. Soil and gardening can also cause damage to your nails.
As Dr. Tanzi pointed out, the best way to take care of hands and nails is to avoid drying them out. Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap is very harsh, she says. I recommend washing with a gentle cleanser, which will sanitize just as well as harsh products and a good moisturizer afterward to lock in the hydration. At night, a thicker moisturizer on hands with a rich cuticle cream will keep hands/nails looking great.
Use A Natural Nail Strengthener
Nail hardeners and strengtheners were traditionally made made with formaldehyde . This is why most natural or clean-leaning experts would tell you to avoid them, says Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of clean salon tenoverten, as formaldehyde is a potentially dangerous ingredient. Now there are plenty of plant-based options that use ingredients like vitamin E, olive oil, garlic, and tea tree to feed the nail nutrients, rather than superficially strengthening it.
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Become A Nail Filing Master
Go with a soft nail file to keep the edges of your nails smooth, says Dr. Klein. With rougher grains, you run the risk of making tears in the nail, which can lead to peeling and hangnails.
File your nails in one direction, using long and swift strokes. Back and forth see-saw motions will cause the nail to splinter, says Dr. Solomon, who recommends using the Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer.
The micro-fiber material its made from is very gentle on the nails, but still manages to achieve a clean shape, she says.
What Can I Do To Strengthen My Nails
Do you frequently wash your hands or do the dishes? Nails that fluctuate between wet and dry environments can become brittle. In fact, the most common reason for brittle nails is that they simply dried out.
If you want to strengthen your nails, there are several easy and inexpensive options:
- Moisturize. Try a dedicated nail oil or a hand lotion with alpha hydroxy acid or lanolin. If nails are soft but brittle, they may be too moist so cut back on the moisturizer.
- Limit manicures. To strengthen brittle nails, limit the number of manicures to avoid subjecting nails to the chemicals in nail polish and polish removers. Especially avoid acetone-based nail polish removers. For soft, brittle nails, a layer of polish may actually help.
- Avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are a convenient way to keep the germs away when soap and water arent available. But alcohol can dry out your nails and skin.
- Get a paraffin wax bath. As an indulgent nail treatment, an at-home paraffin wax bath soothes and moisturizes nails and hands. Soak your hands in the bath for 10 to 20 minutes then give the wax time to dry before peeling it off.
- Wear gloves. When washing dishes or doing housework, wear rubber gloves to protect your fingernails.
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Cause: Low Thyroid Levels
Sweat is your body’s natural moisturizer. Low levels of the thyroid hormone, called “hypothyroidism,” lessens how much sweat your body makes. The result is drier hair, skin, and nails. Along with brittle nails, you might have other symptoms like aches and pains, fatigue, weight gain, and memory problems.
Vitamins And Minerals To Prevent Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are a remarkably common problem, and a woman’s risk of developing the condition increases as she enters menopause. However, there are some vitamins and minerals that can help to strengthen nails and restore them to their original luster.
Continue reading below to learn about four vitamins and minerals to prevent brittle nails that every woman should include in her diet.
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Symptoms Associated With Brittle Nails
Like most people, you might be good at trimming, painting or decorating your finger and toenails, but how often do you indulge yourself in giving them the nourishment they require? The signs for brittle nails can be that they are:
- Slow in growth
Nails, skin, hair, sweat and oil glands are part of the integumentary system which prevent excess loss of moisture from the body and helps it in regulating body temperature. But when brittle nails, might not be just about your nails, it could also lead to:
- Hair loss
- Nails starting to fall off
- Experiencing mood swings
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
Tip: So if you see any of the above concerning symptoms, you ought to visit your dermatologist soon.
Why Are My Nails So Brittle And Breaking
Dry and brittle nails are the result of too little moisture. Theyre most commonly caused by the repeated washing and drying of fingernails. On the other hand, soft and brittle nails are caused by too much moisture, often a result of overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.
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Brittle Nails Are Quite Common Now
Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti | Updated : March 19, 2015 10:19 AM IST
Brittle nails are a sign of aging. However, if your nails are breaking often or are deformed in shape, it might indicate various medical conditions. Apart from this excessive exposure to water, dryness or thick coats of nail polish or remover can cause them to chip off. You have many nail strengthening creams, gels available in the market. But before you try out those expensive products to strengthen your nails, here are few home remedies that might help you in dealing with brittle nails.
Apart from using these natural remedies to deal with brittle nails, here are few things you need to keep in mind to enhance the healing process.
What Can I Soak My Nails In To Make Them Stronger
Soak your nails in a mixture of three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of lemon juice for 10 minutes. Follow this home treatment for about 10 minutes every day to strengthen your nails. Simply applying warm olive oil to the ends of your nails also serves as an effective treatment to grow your nails.
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Moisturize With Shea Butter
The application of shea butter can help nourish your nails and restore moisture, thus boosting the repair of brittle nails while promoting the growth of strong nails.
How to use:
- Use shea butter to moisturize your hands, including the nails, every day.
- You can also massage in shea butter to your nails for around 20 minutes before bedtime and leave it overnight.
Perform A Lemon Juice And Olive Oil Soak
Olive oil and lemon juice are common natural agents used for various dermatological treatments, including brittle nails.
Olive oil can penetrate the nail cuticles, helping in strengthening and repairing them. Lemon juice can help manage peeling and damaged nails while removing stains and giving them a bright sheen.
How to use:
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Give Your Nails Some Love
Cant make it to the nail salon for a manicure? Take matters into your own hands and start caring for your nails at home with these tips:
- Keep em short. Keep your nails on the shorter side to minimize surface area, since thats where water and chemicals can be absorbed.
- File your nails. Do this daily to keep them smooth and help prevent breakage and splitting. File in one direction using a fine emery board.
- Biting is a no-no. Avoid picking or biting your nails or cuticles.
- Buffing. Buff your nails every few days in the same direction as they grow. Dont use a back-and-forth motion. This can make splitting worse.
- Get hard. Apply a nail hardener to strengthen those bad boys.
- No acetone. Use nail polish removers that dont contain acetone.
- Pause the polish. Give your nails a break from polish to allow them to breathe. Constant use of polish can weaken your nails.
- Avoid acrylic and gel nails. If you do glam those nails up, avoid constantly using gel or acrylic nails. These can also weaken nails, and UV light that nail technicians use to dry gel can have a similar effect.
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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Knowing Your Type Of Brittle Nails And Treatment Options
Brittle nails can appear cracked, chipped, broken, split, peeling, and thin. They do not look very attractive and can sometimes hurt. They can range from mild to severe with different brittle nail treatment options.
- Mild and most common
- More Severe
Brittle nails, or nail psoriasis, can alter the way your nails appear dryness and a slight discoloration of the nails to a white or light yellow. Your nails can also feel a little thinner than normal and the skin underneath may thicken.
MILD BRITTLE NAIL TREATMENT
Treatment for your brittle nails requires patience because nails grow slowly. For minor symptoms, avoid drying out your nails by wearing protective gloves when using cleaning chemicals or moisture-stripping soaps. Be sure to moisturize and condition with DermaNail Nail Conditioner, which works to rebuild your nails.
In more moderate to severe cases, a higher level of discoloration, including a darker yellow, brownish red, and/or green, may occur. You may also see nail debris at the base, ridges on the top, and/or signs of slight peeling or cracking in your nails.
MODERATE BRITTLE NAILS TREATMENT
In addition to the treatment of mild cases of brittle nails, you also want to avoid creating further damage to your nails. Be gentle with them keep them trimmed and file them daily to avoid any further splitting or breaking while they try to heal.
SEVERE BRITTLE NAIL TREATMENT