How to Keep Your Nails Strong

It’s no secret that most women are not born with rock hard nails that never break. Even the best of us can undoubtedly benefit from stronger nails that don’t chip, break or peel. Fortunately there are remedies out there for those who have both the weakest and strongest of nails out there to make them more durable and sturdy.

Why are my Nails so Weak?

It is first important to understand what fingernails actually are. Fingernails are really just layer upon layer of keratin that has been placed over the softest tissue of your hands (your nail beds) to shield them from harm and injury. When nails become weak, it tends to be from these primary causes:

  • Age
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Medications (such as those used for glaucoma, edema and high blood pressure)
  • Poor or lacking diet
  • Coming in contact with water, detergents or solvents

Though there are some easy remedies to help keep nails strong (such as applying a hand moisturizer to your hands after washing them or coming in contact with cleaning products, or wearing gloves while doing the dishes) there are some nail strengtheners that can help make your nails stronger and last longer.

NOTE: If your nails continue to appear discolored, weak, or have odd indentations (not including the natural vertical ridges that occur) it is important to speak to your doctor. You may be suffering from a serious health issue, or have a bacterial infection.

Natural Nail Strengtheners

There are several things that you can find in your kitchen that will help improve the quality of your nails. Any foods or supplements that contain “biotin”, a B-complex vitamin, is sure to improve the quality of your nails. Try including more of the following foods in your diet to give your nails a durability boost:

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Almonds
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Eggs
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Dry and chipping nails can be prevented simply by using a moisturizer each and every time you wash your hands.

TIP: Try finding a hand moisturizer that contains “lactic acid”, and avoid any sort of alcoholic products that may be added. Lactic acid hydrates whereas alcohol dehydrates.

Some women swear by applying a natural olive oil or coconut oil to their hands each and every night, and covering them with cotton gloves. For those who may not be too keen on wearing gloves to bed each and every night, try giving your hands a soak in a 3-part olive oil, 1-part lemon juice solution and allow your hands to soak for up to 5 minutes.

Nail polish removers, though often thought to be the anti-nail strengthener, can help keep your nails in tip-top shape if it contains “acetate” and not “acetone”. Still try to avoid using nail polish removers by any means necessary – this means more nail touch ups, which will also save you time running to the salon or repainting your nails yourself!

Lastly, being sure to snip and file your nails if you do notice any cracks, chips or snags will help keep your nails strong and break-free!