Weak, brittle nails are a beauty concern for many because apart from being unsightly, they are likely to chip, crack, and break off easily. In addition, they can lead to painful cuticles.
More often than not, nails tend to become brittle due to increasing age.
Plus, factors like nutritional deficiencies, improper nail care routine, long-term use of nail paint, psoriasis, excessive sun exposure, lack of moisture, prolonged exposure to harsh cleaners, etc. may give rise to this problem.
Furthermore, certain diseases and health conditions such as thyroid disorder, Raynaud’s disease, lichen planus, lung disease, infection, and so on can also cause brittle nails. Intake of certain medications like antibiotics, too, can contribute in causing the same.
How to Get Rid of Brittle Nails
Here are 6 ways to help strengthen your nails and cure dry, brittle nails.
- Olive Oil
- Honey and Lemon Juice
- Vitamin E Oil
- Argan Oil
- Biotin Pills
- Soak your fingernails in a cup of olive oil for about 15-20 minutes so that it gets absorbed in the nails, cuticles, and the surrounding skin. Before using the oil, you can heat it slightly in a microwave for about 20 seconds because warm oil penetrates deeper in the skin. Follow this hot oil treatment at least once a week to strengthen and moisturize your nails. Alternatively, you can saturate 10 cotton balls in warm olive oil and secure them on your nails. Remove the cotton balls after about 10 minutes. Besides, you can apply olive oil or jojoba oil daily.
- Another natural remedy to heal brittle nails involves the application of a mixture of one teaspoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. Leave this solution on your nails for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Apply vitamin E oil on your nails and the surrounding area to nourish brittle and weak nails. In case you do not have vitamin E oil, then you can simply prick a vitamin E capsule and apply its contents on your nails. Besides, you can take vitamin E capsules as a vitamin supplement for your nails and overall health.
- Moisturize, strengthen, and protect your nails by massaging pure argan oil on your nails for about five minutes and leave it overnight. You can follow this natural cure on a daily basis. You may also add an equal amount of lemon juice in the oil and then apply for 10-15 minutes. It promotes nail growth, softens the cuticles, prevents nail splitting, and adds a natural shine to your nails.
- Horsetail is useful for healing weak and brittle nails. You can prepare horsetail infusion by steeping two teaspoons of dried horsetail herb powder in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. Next, immerse your nails in this solution for about 20 minutes. Finally, apply olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice and leave it on your nails overnight. Follow this treatment three to four times in a week. Besides, you can take horsetail extract regularly.
- Dietary supplements, particularly biotin pills are useful in maintaining strong, healthy nails. Moreover, biotin or vitamin H can help you grow nails as well as hair. Plus, you can consume almonds, walnuts, peanuts, Swiss chard, cauliflower, cucumber, and other foods containing biotin.
Tips to Prevent Brittle Nails
- Having a nutritious diet with emphasis on foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, calcium, iron, folic acid, etc. is highly recommended to prevent and cure brittle nails. Hence, include fresh fruits, beans, legumes, flaxseeds, and vegetables like broccoli and celery in your diet. You can take vitamin supplements as well.
- Avoid hiding your brittle nails under nail paint too often as it does not allow the nails to breathe, thereby making them all the more brittle. However, you can use clear nail polish containing protein as it can help strengthen your nails. Avoid using acetone-based nail polish removers as they tend to dry out your nails.
- While working with water and harsh detergents, protect your nails by wearing plastic or rubber gloves.
Dos and Don’ts
|Do moisturize dry, brittle nails by massaging a petroleum jelly around your nails every night before going to bed.
||Do not expose your nails to water for a long time.
|Do apply a skin softening cream on your nails after taking a bath or shower to retain the moisture and prevent brittle nails.
||Do not use acrylic nails; they can damage your real nails.
|Do keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed, or else they can crack or tear. Make sure you also trim the hangnails.
||Do not bite, tear, or pick at your nails.
|Do maintain a good nail care routine.
||When using a nail file, do not file your nails back and forth as it tears the edge of the nails and leads to peeling and breakage. File your nails from the edge to the center in one direction. Plus, do not over-buff your nails.