Are you tired of unhealthy, unattractive,weak, soft and brittle nails? Here are ideas on how to strengthen your nails naturally at home, after shellac and acrylic, DIY strengthener and best nail polish that can help in making your nail stronger.
Why Strengthen Weak Soft Fingernails & Toenails.
The appearance and strength of your nails is a reflection of your general health. Discolored, thickened, weak, brittle and soft nails may imply that there is an issue somewhere you need to fix urgently. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). These signs can suggest health problems, including liver and kidney diseases, heart and lung conditions, anemia and diabetes.
Weak and soft may also mean that your beauty is getting out of control. It is a fact perfectly groomed and strong nails will add to your beauty. It is quite difficult to shape, apply a colorful nail polish, or even do some art on your nails when they are weak and brittle.
Weak, brittle splitting nails make you to be less self-conscious and this can make you to withdraw from public and social situations. Strong nails look attractive and healthy always to give you the esteem you require to get out and have fun with your buddies.
Strengthening your nails prevents them from injuries when coming into contact with hard surfaces. This will help to prevent pain and contracting various nails infections which can as well affect your normal body functioning
Nails that split long ways causes unsightly fractures in the nail plate making your nails not grow healthy. Strengthening your nails also strengthens all the parts of your nails making them to grow faster and healthy always.
How to Strengthen your Nails Fast at Home Naturally
Weak, brittle, cracking, splitting nails and broken painful cuticles can be a huge disaster if you care about your overall look.
The nail care industry claims that there are nail products ranging from moisturizers to nail polishes that can make your nails stronger, harder, longer and grow almost instant but the big question is…do these products really work? It is also a fact that some of these products are full chemicals that can even exacerbate the condition of your nails.
Are there safe ways to strengthen your nails without using the harsh products? Yes, there are. You can keep your nails strong and healthy by taking a few practical simple steps which include:
Protect your Hands from Harmful Products/Chemicals
Some products such as nail polish removers, hand sanitizers and cleaning products can harmful on your nails and also speed up the aging process of your hands. Even water itself is not good for your nail.
Here are ideas to go about it.
- Limit usage of hand sanitizers since they are often alcohol based. Alcohol is drying not only to the skin, but also the nails.The alcohol will dehydrate your hands and leave your nails brittle and breakable. It is a better option to wash your hands with antibacterial soap and dry immediately, if you must use a sanitizer.
- Wear gloves when cleaning whenever possible. Keep your hands covered to prevent the moisture from being stripped away from your nails.
- Avoid acetone-based nail polish removers. It has been proved relentlessly that acetone-based nail polish strips the nail, making it weaker over time.Instead, opt for water-based, organic and acetone-free remover.
- Use gentle polishes. Standard fingernail polishes contain harsh chemicals that actually weaken nails over time. These include alcohol, solvents, and resins that help the color stick to the nail. Many brands contain toluene, formaldehyde and phthalates. Look for brands that don’t use these harsh
- Limit water exposure.Wear gloves when you wash dishes, and don’t soak in the bath tub for too long—or keep your nails outside the water for most of your soak.
Moisturize and Drink lots of Water
This may sound quite confusing considering that the previous idea suggests that you avoid water. Direct contact of water and nails is what is considered disastrous. It will dry your hands and cuticles within no time. This is common particularly if you have your hands in the water a lot every day.
Get used to slathering moisture on your hands, and add some extra to your cuticles at night. You can make your own cuticle oil with vitamin E and essential oils like frankincense, myrrh, and lemon, or try jojoba, almond, or olive oil.
Drink lots of water and let the water the water work from inside. One health and beauty secret everyone can all benefit from is that hydration is key for beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and you’ll feel and look better, all the way down to your hydrated cuticles and nails.
Leave your Ridges alone
If you have ridged nails someone must told you to try buffing. but the truth of the matter is that the ridges are not only the thickest but also the healthiest parts of your nails. According to some manicurists, the dips are in fact an insufficiency in thickness. What this therefore means is that whenever you opt to buff your nails off you are rubbing up down the stronger, healthier part of the nail.
If you must carry out buffing may be because you cannot stand the ridges, shop for a high quality top-coat. The top-coat should be used specifically ridging which will fill in the dips of your nail. This will give you the smoothness you are seeking without messing up your nails.
Improve how you use your file
Depending on the type of file and how your nails are filed, the nails can either be strengthened or weakened. How should you go about filing properly? Begin filing flat against the edge of your nail. After filing off the amount you want, take the emery board and file again at a 45-degree angle away from the nail. This will smoothen the edges of your nail to prevent the nail from projecting beyond the rest, and it will also prevent hangnails.
When it comes to files, opt for a fine-grit nail file. Avoid coarser grit and metal files. The coarser grit of nail files is made for artificial nails and can be damaging and harsh on your natural ones. Instead of using a metal file opt to use an emery board that has been cushioned.
Trim/Cut off your Hangnails
Splitting or improper cutting of your nails often causes hangnails. Your nail bed and skin can be left damaged after your nails tear away. These tears in your skin can allow infections to enter your body. When you have hangnails use nail clippers to gently clip off your hangnail.
If you lack clippers, do not opt for chewing as a way of trimming your hangnails. It is not safe. Besides the tearing away of your nail or skin, chewing your nails can transfer bacteria from your mouth directly into the wound on your nails.
Let the Cuticles Protect your Nail Bed
Cuticles may look like they are stealing away the looks of your nails but they are very very important parts of your nails. They seal and protect your nail bed. Therefore you should not attempt to cut your cuticles yourself unless you have qualified experience on how to do it. This is because removing the cuticles causes unwanted trauma and damage on your nails. If you really think your cuticles are extremely terrible try these tips
- Moisturize them instead of cutting them off. You promote healthy and beautiful nail growth by softening the cuticle with an essential oil or hand cream.
- Use a cuticle removal cream. The cuticle removal cream is massaged into your cuticles followed by using a soft-tipped cuticle stick to gently push the cuticle back towards the nail bed. This helps to keep uncontrolled cuticles look more trimmed and clean.
Eat Well for your Nails
Ensure your diet is made up of enough protein
Nails are made of keratin, which is a type of protein. If Weak and easily splitting nails is a sign that that you are lacking protein. Eat more eggs, lean meats, chickpeas, fish, yogurt quinoa, and beans
The body needs not only good but also enough fats to support the growth of strong and healthy nails. Include more walnuts, flaxseed, eggs, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish, almonds, and sunflower seeds to your diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Minerals and vitamins play an essential role in making your nails grow strong and healthy. Iron, zinc and B12 are the best vitamins for strengthening your nails. Iron helps improve brittle nails caused by an iron deficiency, while zinc and B12 are known for healthy nail growth. Additional vitamins that are good for strong, healthy nails are vitamins A and H (biotin).
Eat more cauliflower
It is a great source of biotin, which helps strengthen and thicken nails. Other good options include mushrooms, tuna, turkey, Swiss chard, peanut butter, and cheese.
Try horsetail extract
It’s a good source of silica, a mineral that naturally helps strengthen nails and hair. Try a horsetail supplement or enjoy horsetail herb tea. You’ll likely enjoy more healthy hair, as well! Check for a recipe below in home remedies section
To speed up the strengthening and growth of your nails, add a nail supplement to your diet. Based on some user reviews, majority of women find supplements to be useful for nail growth and general health. For example, some take biotin because it is thought to help strengthen nails.
Most of the nail supplements contain vitamin A, C, D, E as well as the B complex vitamins, folic acid, zinc, iron, calcium, and biotin. When these supplements are taken frequently the can have a positive impact to your general health. They do not only make your nails grow but they can make an improvement to your hair and skin.
Omega 3 Fats/Supplements
Sufficient intake of fish oil or omega 3 oil can also reduce your risk of soft, weak, brittle nails. Omega 3, also known as fish oil, can be taken in supplement form or found in dairy, eggs, nuts and fats such as olive oil
Avoid using your Fingernails as Tools
The weakest portion of your nails will be always at the tip when they grow. When this part is stressed it pulls the rest of the nail up and away from the finger therefore weakening your nail. You should not use your nails to open pop cans, peel off stickers or scrape things off the counter
In addition to the above discussed ways you can also strengthen your nails naturally at home. These are the home remedies to strengthen weak, brittle nails.
DIY Nail Strengtheners-Nail Soak & Other Home Remedies
In addition to the tips discussed above, a DIY strengthener can also help. It is far much better than other nail strengthening products which contain unfriendly chemicals. Following is the recipe
- 1 teaspoon castor oil
- 2 vitamin E gel capsules, broken open
- Several clean cotton balls
- A small glass container or bowl
- 3-5 drops of eucalyptus or lavender essential oil(optional)
- Place the castor oil in a small glass container.
- Over the glass container, pierce the vitamin E capsules with the tip of a sharp knife. Allow the liquid to drip into the container. Discard the capsules.
- If you are using essential oil, add 3-5 drops to the mixture and mix with a spoon.
- Use a clean cotton ball to rub the mixture over your nails, twice a day. Allow the mixture to remain on your nails for about 5 minutes, then gently off with a clean cotton ball or tissue.
Sea Salt Soak
Another easy and cheap DIY way to strengthen weak and brittle toenails and finger nails is to use sea salt and warm water soak. The soak softens the nail cuticles and adds a brilliant shine to your nails and also gets rid of dead skin cells from your feet.
- Take a big container in which you can dip your toenails comfortably. Add 2 tablespoons of smooth grain sea salt and 4 drops each of wheat germ oil and lemon essential oils,
- Then dip your toe nails and fingernails in the solution for 15 minutes and then pat dry. Apply a moisturizing hand and foot cream on your hands and feet. Follow this remedy for 2 to 3 times a week to get better results.
As mentioned earlier, you should try to limit the time your nails stay in water. Prolonged water exposure will soften your nails which eventually can cause the bend and peel.
A DIY nail soak can be made up of any combination of oils. You can try coconut, argan or olive oil mixed with tea tree or vitamin E oil. Your nails can get enough moisture by applying a large amount of oil to them using a cotton ball and leaving it to soak.
Other Home Remedies to Strengthen your Nails
It nourishes weak and brittle nails because the saturated fat in it works as a great moisturizer. It also prevents many kinds of nail infections.
How to use
You slightly warm some coconut oil and apply it on each nail. Massage gently and thoroughly for five minutes. This improves blood circulation and helps to keep your nails moisturized. You can do this remedy two to three times daily.
Smearing some petroleum jelly or Vaseline on your nails at night before going to bed helps to keep your cuticle hydrated and prevents splitting. Follow this remedy daily at night for 1 to 2 months and remember to cover your nails by wearing thin cotton gloves before sleeping.
Vitamin E oil
It is a highly effective natural moisturizer for healthy nails; it can be used topically as well as taken orally in the form of a capsule.
Massage vitamin E into your nails and cuticles for about five minutes every night before you go to bed. After about two weeks you will notice a big improvement in the strength, appearance and growth rate of your nails.
Soak your nails in fresh/lemon orange juice for 10 minutes daily to give your nails a boost of antioxidants that will improve their strength and appearance and also make them grow faster. When you are done rinse your nails thoroughly to remove the citric acid from your skin and nails and then apply a natural moisturizer.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is another good remedy for weak nails. It is burdened with nutrients that are healthy for your nails such as vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium and Iron. It also has malic and acetic acid that helps prevent and fight nail infections.
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl.
- Soak your nails in this solution for a few minutes then immediately after, push down your cuticles gently.
- Do this once daily and within a few days your nails will become much stronger.
It is also known as shavegrass. It is an herb with the ability to promote stronger, healthier nail growth. Like the nettle leaf, it contains high concentrations of nail strengthening vitamins and minerals.
To make this tea, soak ½-1 teaspoon of dried organic horsetail in a cup of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Sweeten to taste and enjoy once daily for best results.
Tea Tree Oil
It helps to treat brittle nails especially when caused by fungal infections. Being a powerful antiseptic it helps to fight infections. It also helps to treat discolored nails.
- Mix one-half teaspoon of vitamin E oil and a few drops of tea tree oil.
- Rub this solution on each nail and massage gently for a few minutes.
- Leave it for 30 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water, pat dry and apply a moisturizing lotion.
- Do this twice a day for a month.
Lack of iron in the body can make your nails weak and brittle. Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron because it contains several nutrients that benefit your overall health.
- Mix one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of hot water or milk.
- Drink this once or twice daily for a few weeks.
Note: It should not be recommended for diabetic persons.
Beer is a great source of nutrients like potassium, phosphorous and selenium alongside biotin which are essential for strong and healthy nails and hair. Olive oil helps in moisturizing the dry and chipped nail cuticles from within.
- Heat a quarter cup of olive oil till it’s warm to touch then add half cup of beer and quarter cup of apple cider vinegar to it and soak your fingertips in this mixture for 15 minutes.
- Repeat this remedy for 1 to 2 times a week to get the desired results.
How to Strengthen Nails after Acrylics and Shellac
Making your nails strong after acrylics
Acrylic nails can damage your nails if they are not removed correctly. Acrylic nails can make your nails brittle, thin and they easily split. You need to follow these steps to make your nails strong again.
- Rub an acetone soaked cotton ball over your nails to catch any acrylic remains left over from removal but do not or tear at the residue.
- Wash your hands with a moisturizing soap and pat dry.
- Apply some moisturizer to your whole hand and rub your palms and fingers to help circulation.
- Trim your cuticles gently or just push them back with a stick so that you can have a clean looking nail to work with.
- Cut a tiny hole of vitamin E capsule and squeeze gently to apply it to all of your cuticles.
- Gently rub the vitamin E into your cuticles and into the finger itself because this will help to fill in the flaky ridges that remain after the acrylic fills.
- If your nails are not too sensitive, buff them with a fine-grit nail buffer with the oil still coating the nail. The oil serves as a protective layer and helps the nail to shine.
- When the nails are buffed smooth, wash your hands again and lightly file the nail tip in one direction so that you don’t weaken the nail further.
- Then apply light oil on your nails daily, and do not paint them with any kind of polish for at least a week.
Strengthening Nails after Shellac
Shellac manicures are more durable than regular manicures but they have different disadvantages to your nails after using them. This is because shellac cannot be used to strengthen your nails during the application process.
Correct removal of shellac prevents your nails from being damaged. There are two options users should use to remove shellac to avoid nail damage and they include:
- Using the cotton and foil removal method
- Using CND shellac remover wraps.
Shellac users should know that past the recommended 14 day period the adhesion of this substance increase which lengthens the removal process. Nail polish removers cannot remove shellac but there are some products that can be used to make your nails strong and healthy after shellac use.
The OPI nail envy works better on your nails when used better. It involves applying two coats on the first day and following with additional coat every day for the rest of the week until the bottle is empty.
Other products that can help repair nails after Shellac include
- Sally Hansen nail strengthener
- Renitanail nail strengthener
- Duri Rejuvacote and
- Prenatal vitamins
- OPI Avoplex oil can address cuticle damage
Other natural ways to repair your nails after shellac damage are what you’ve already learnt in above sections. They include;
- Nutrients such as Biotin and Vitamin C
- Soaking your nails
- Using olive oil or vegetable oils because they do not contain artificial ingredients or alcohol.
- Trimming your nail and applying petroleum jelly to keep your nails hydrated.
Best Nail Polish to Strengthen Nails
Nail hardener is a popular polish treatment that helps to strengthen weak and brittle nails. Nail hardeners treatments are enriched with proteins to encourage nail growth. They react with the natural protein in your nails to create chemical bonds that tie the protein chains to make your nails harder. It also contains calcium for soft or weak nails and nail conditioners for brittle nails which add a balance in the structure of the nail plate surface.
The best nail polish strengtheners include:
- Essie Grow Stronger
- OPI Start to Finish
- OPI Natural Nail Strengthener
- OPI Nail Envy
- Nail Care HQ Simply Smooth
- Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener.
- Orly Nailtrition.
Sources & Citations