Quick Tricks for Strengthening Your Nails
Everything from the aging process to cold weather to excessive handwashing can weaken your nails.
While it might be tempting to book an appointment for a manicure in an attempt to hide your thin, peeling nails, it's always better to resolve the root issue first.
Are you looking for ways to strengthen your weak nails? Here are some tips for keeping your nails in tip-top shape.
#1: Moisturize them
Cuticle oil helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize brittle nails. Since dehydrated cuticles can lead to damaged nailbeds and infection when left untreated, it's important to keep the area hydrated. Add a cuticle oil formulated with shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or vitamin E to your daily routine to keep your cuticles strong and healthy -- as well as your nails! Remember, healthy cuticles = healthy nails.
According to the pros, you can use a cuticle oil up to three times a day if the skin is feeling especially dehydrated. It's also important to apply after sanitizing, which is notoriously drying due to its high alcohol content.
In addition to applying oil, regularly moisturize your hands and nails themselves with a nourishing hand cream or lotion. This will both soften and strengthen your nails while protecting them from drying out.
Try Rainbow's Hydrate Bundle on your hands and cuticles for super strong nails.
#2: Cut them
To promote better nail health, dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD recommends keeping your nails on the short side just while you try to build their strength.
"Shorter nails are less prone to breaking because there are fewer exposed edges to tear, and less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed," says Dr. Solomon. Once trimmed, round the edges with a nail file to prevent snags.
#3: Push Your Cuticles Back
Cuticle care is crucial in any nail care routine. To prevent breakage and promote healthy, strong nails, make sure you regularly push back your cuticles. If you leave them to grow too long, it's harder to push them back. Then when you do get around to working on them, your cuticles may end up cracking. In more severe cases, they may even develop an infection.
You don't need to go to the salon to do it. Simply grab an orange stick and gently start pushing them back. You can also use a nail softener or natural oil like coconut oil or olive oil to soften the cuticles before treating.
Make sure you do this regularly to improve the overall health of your nails.
#4: Pop a Biotin Supplement
To get stronger nails and boost nail growth, don't underestimate the power of supplements. Your nails are made up of proteins like keratin, so it's important to fill up on keratin-boosting supplements like biotin and collagen.
Several studies on biotin note its ability to support the thickness and firmness in nails, while a separate study found that patients who took collagen every day for 24 weeks experienced improved nail health and reduced breakage.
The most important thing is to stay consistent. Stick to your daily dose of biotin or collagen, and you will see visible results.
#5: Cut Back on Acrylic Manicures
Are you someone who loves a bi-weekly gel or acrylic manicure? While these nail treatments are said to be an easy alternative for people who struggle growing their nails, gel polish and acrylic nails can take a toll on your natural nails.
Besides causing your nails to peel, these manicures also expose your nails to excessive amounts of acetone which is extremely drying to the nail.
Just until your digits start recovering, keep these manicures on rotation. If you can, cut back on them completely until your nails regain full health. The same goes for gel pedicures! On that note, cut back on nail polish, too, which can also be drying and potentially damaging to nails.
#6: Apply Base and Top Coats
According to some nail professionals, base coats and top coats may be helpful for providing a protective barrier from issues like breakage and dehydration. They can also be effective for protecting nails against chemicals found in certain cleaning products.
#7: Wash Up in Rubber Gloves
It's always important to be mindful of what could be weakening your nails.
Do you regularly wash up? If you're exposing your hands to hot water and traditional dish soap, you could be inadvertently contributing to your nail problems. Wear gloves while washing up or cleaning the house to avoid drying out the nails.
#8: Try a Nail Strengthener
If your nails feel parched, invest in a nail strengthening product.
A nail hardener can work wonders on weak nails -- provided that you choose one that doesn't contain formaldehyde. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural options on the market that include plant-based ingredients like olive oil, tea tree oil, and vitamin E.
Apply it daily for nourishment and hydration. Sooner than later, your nails will start looking and feeling stronger than ever.
#9: Or DIY
Instead of heading to the shops (or online) to get yourself a nail strengthener, why not make one yourself? You do it easily enough with just a few basic ingredients! With our home remedy, all you need is 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Mix these two ingredients in a bowl. Soak your nails in the mixture for about 15 minutes to allow the strengthening properties of olive oil and disinfecting powers of lemon to work their magic. Repeat the process two to three times per week to keep your nails in peak shape.
Castor oil is another good nail strengthener, which you can massage daily into the nail bed whenever you find time.
If you're seeking stronger, shinier nails, start incorporating these tips into your nail care routine. Don't have a nail care routine just yet? Establish one ASAP. The sooner you start nourishing your nails in hydrating formulas and stop doing the things that harm your nails (like washing up sans gloves), the sooner you'll look down to long, strong nails!