Nothing will ruin your day faster than a nail that splits or breaks without warning — and don’t even get us started on those weak nails that won’t stop peeling. Dry and damaged nails can be a source of embarrassment that even the prettiest polish won’t fix, which is why we are top beauty experts giving you advice how to strengthen nails, naturally.
1. Soak nails in olive oil
For weak, thin nails, soak them in cuticle oil (can be purchased in the salon) 10-15 minutes a day for a month, then twice a week thereafter. This inexpensive home beauty treatment will help fortify damaged, weak or peeling nails. Also extra virgin olive oil is an alternative solution to use along with cuticle oil.
Applying vegetable oil helps relieve dryness and cracking of toenails, Unlike creams, oils do a better job soaking into the nail bed and moisturize the structural toenail bed longer than creams and gels.
2. Use a cuticle cream like it’s your religion
A soothing cuticle cream like Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme helps nourish dry cuticles and brittle, damaged nails with vitamin E. Massage the cream into and around your nails nightly before going to bed.
Cuticles can dry out from repetitive hand washing and manicures, so if they are not given extra protection with a nourishing cuticle cream, they will crack and split, increasing risk of nail infection.
3. Don’t overuse your nails
Your fingernails aren’t intended to be tools to open soda cans. Instead, use a pen or other object rather than your fingernails to do these everyday tasks.
4. 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.
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, 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.
5. Eat biotin-rich foods
Make sure your diet features foods rich in biotin, such as liver, cooked eggs, whole grains, cauliflower and avocado, among others. In addition to other health benefits, biotin can help strengthen and thicken nails. You can also take a biotin supplement, if necessary.
More: Nail art spotted backstage at Fashion Week that you can create yourself
6. Take a multivitamin daily
Vitamins are essential for your overall well being and can do wonders for your nails too. Lack of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium can cause dry, brittle nails. Be sure to take a multivitamin and calcium supplements daily. Also be sure to eat a protein and calcium rich diet.
7. Find a ‘miracle’ treatment
Sally Hansen Miracle Cure (available for sell in the shop) for Severe Problem Nails works wonders. It stops nails from peeling almost overnight. Using a mineral rich formula with protein and antioxidants, this treatment helps restore dry, splitting, damaged nails. A clear coat of nail polish may also help protect nails.
8. Actually massage your nails
Massaging your fingernails stimulates blood flow to the area, helping them grow longer and stronger. Use a moisturizing lotion and massage hands, cuticles and the nails themselves.
9. Drink a lot of water (no surprise here)
Just as water is for your overall health, that goes for your nails too. Drinking water can help hydrate dry, damaged nails, just like it does for hair and skin.
Even when you’ve reached the point of no return — where your nails are a hot, hot mess — there still may be a light at the end of the tunnel. For very severe nail damage, time is what you need, and lots of it. when following the steps above, it may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months for new and healthy nails to grow out completely.