Strengthen Your Nails - 16 Options That Bolster and Harden!
To strengthen your nails, all it takes is a little patience and TLC. There is no one miraculous solution that will spontaneously improve them overnight. That said, making nail care a top priority can help – and doing simple things that assist in their growth and length. While it doesn’t take too much time, you must be dedicated to the process.
The composition of your nails is very important to making them stronger. The more you know how to support your nails, the quicker you’ll get good results.
Fingernails and toenails grow from underneath your cuticles. This area is called the matrix, which is the living part of your nail bed. The cuticle protects the matrix underneath and is very important to nail growth and health. As new cells grow in the matrix, the older nail cells are pushed forward toward the fingertip. It is there they become hard and compact.
Most nails grow about .1 millimeter daily. It can take 4 – 6 months for a nail to fully regenerate. Healthy nails are naturally strong and smooth. They are uniform in color and free of discolorations.
While it is true that nails grow faster during the summer, daily activities can interfere with the process. This is true for anyone who spends much of the summer doing water sports. Water is not a friend if you’re trying to strengthen your nails.
The length of your nails are typically based on personal preferences and activities however, the nail tip should be no longer than 1/3rd of the body of the nail body. Anything longer can lead to breakage.
Here are some tips that can help lengthen and strengthen your nails.
Strengthen Your Nails Using These 16 Options
Try Knox gelatin! I was in bed last night when I remembered using this remedy from the 70’s. It is recommended to mix one envelope per day in water to strengthen your nails.
The most complete study published many decades ago, was in the AMA Archives of Dermatology (Sept. 1957). The study found that:
"Forty-three of fifty patients with brittle nails who ingested gelatin daily for three months showed improvement in their nail structure."
Your nails are composed of keratin. Therefore, you should get enough protein in your diet support them. Vegetarians can still get protein by consuming beans, nuts, seeds, and a variety of produce.
Just having all your nails equal in length helps! Rounded edges won’t catch on things you handle so even though you might love squared edges, better to file them and round them out a bit. Pointed nails also work well.
Using your nails to pick or scrape things is a big no no! Use a tool instead.
Nails that break or chip easily can benefit from using nail hardeners like Hard as Nails. Use a thin layer since you’ll be using it daily. Once nails start to grow out, use an undercoat of the nail strengthener + nail polish + an overcoat of nail strengthener. Optionally, you can try Hard as Hoofs Strengthening Cream.
Detergents are harsh on your nails, just as hard water can be. When you’re doing chores like gardening, cleaning, or washing dishes, wear gloves to protect nails from losing oils that can help strengthen your nails.
Weak nails can benefit from biotin and vitamin E. If you want to strengthen your nails, simply taking biotin everyday can work wonders!
Picking at your cuticles only damages the nail bed. Cuticle removers are really bad tools to use as well. Once the cuticle gets damaged, it can take months for the nail to recover.
Remember, that your cuticles are the protective barrier for the matrix – where new cells are formed. If cuticles grow out onto the nail bed, soak fingernails in warm water for five minutes or so, then using an orange stick/wooden cuticle pusher, push them back. DO NOT use the metal cuticle pushers! Be gentle! Moisturize nails well after they’re fully dried.
Cuticle oils used regularly can help strengthen your nails. They act as a massage lubricant for fingertips and help keep the cuticle and eponychium soft and supple. Cuticle oils consist of a variety of oil extracts and are renowned for skin absorbance and moisture retention.
Avocado oil is my favorite for good reason. It is one of the most highly penetrative oils among all plant oils. It has superior moisturizing properties and offers sun and bacteria protection. Other oils that work are jojoba oil and grapeseed oil.
Use clippers or manicure scissors to cut the length if necessary and use a fine grade emory board occasionally to smooth ridges along the nail plate. Using a SOFT nail brush not only gets out dirt and grime under the nails, you can also use them to massage the nail plate, which increases blood flow, which in turn stimulates growth. Cleaning your nails properly also decreases your chances of having problems with your nails in the future.
If you’re a big water buff (take long showers, baths, or swim regularly), be sure to moisturize your nails each and every time your nails are exposed.
If you get ridges or corrugations (called Beau’s ridges) in your nails frequently, try using a ridge filler. This in itself will help strengthen your nails quickly.
If your nails are brittle, decrease usage of nail polish removers. These contain acetone and can leave your nails more prone to breakage and tearing. Use a nail strengthener or growth formula if necessary.
Never try and pull or pick off hangnails, as this tends to rip into living tissue and could damage the nail bed. Clip hangnails off at a slight angle.
Try this option!
Although heredity may be an obstacle to overcome, doesn't automatically sentence you to having weak nails for life. Just because your nails break, chip, or split, doesn't mean you can't strengthen your nails!