Having weak, brittle nails can be so frustrating. There’s no way you can maintain your desired length and it doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing at all. This condition is very common and might be triggered by a lot of factors, such as lifestyle changes, health issues, or just poor skin care routine. So, how to avoid nail chipping and get strong, healthy nails? Here are my 10 simple tips.
If your nails tend to break easily, it might mean that they are lacking moisture. Make sure you moisturize your hands and nails daily; if your skin is very dry, apply hand cream every time you wash your hands. Massage cuticle oil to soften your cuticles and prevent hangnails & rough skin. This will protect your nails from splitting and make them look so much better!
Chemical exposure can do major damage to your nails, so try to avoid it as much as you can. This is a tough one since most manicure supplies (like gel polishes and acrylic nail glue) contain toxic ingredients that can be too harsh on the nails and make them brittle and thin. Acetone based nail polish removers strip the nails and cause dryness and splitting, so avoid using these at all costs. Try using a non – toxic nail polish (suggested brands: Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, Ella + Milla, JINsoon) and acetone – free remover. Make sure you protect your hands from contact with chemicals when doing housework (even dishwashing) and wear rubber gloves.
Have a healthy diet and take supplements
Diet plays a huge role in your nail strength, hair and skin health. Biotin is considered to be the best supplement for growing stronger, sturdier nails, so make sure you take your daily dose of vitamin B. Protein intake is very important when it comes to growing strong nails (and hair) – it’s best to eat foods rich in protein or take supplements. Lastly, don’t forget to drink plenty of water as it helps in hydrating your skin & cuticles.
Shaping your nails can be very damaging – if you’re doing the wrong moves. Never ever use back and forth motions when you’re filing your nails. This causes splitting, chipping and breaking. Instead, file in one direction using short, gentle strokes. Avoid rough metal files and shape your nails with a smooth, fine file or a crystal glass one.
Don’t pick off your nail polish
Picking away your old, chipped nail polish can cause nail peeling and cracking. When you pick off bits of your polish, you’re basically taking off the top layer of your nail. It’s always best to remove it with a nail polish remover instead of your own nails!
Make your manicure last longer
The longer you have your polish on, the less you’ll need to reach for acetone removers and layers of polish. It may sound confusing as nail polishes also contain chemicals, but truth is, if you use a long lasting polish/top coat you won’t need a touch up every other day. Polish can actually hold the nail cells together and prevent splitting and thinning, acting as a protective layer.
Take a break from gels
Gels last way longer than traditional polish manicures but at the same time they are so much more damaging. The UV lights are very harmful to the skin and nails and the removal process is too harsh and drying. Gel nails are definitely a nice treat, but on the long run, they can cause major damage, leaving your fingernails weak and fragile. Try to take a little break every few months and let your nails “breathe”. Alternately, pick up a gel – effect nail polish to get that shiny finish or apply a clear top coat over your favorite nail polish – this one by Essence is my favorite!
Do a DIY treatment
Give your nails a little TLC with a homemade treatment. You can make a simple nail soak with natural oils: mix together 2tbsp of olive oil and 2tbsp of coconut oil in a bowl and soak your hands for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water & soap, and apply a hand cream right after. Or try out these other easy DIY nail treatments.
Use a nail strengthening polish
Lastly, layer a coat of a nail strengthening polish over your manicure. These polishes are specifically designed to boost strength and length, so if your nails are getting too weak, you might consider using one. Here are some of the best ones out there:
- OPI Nail Envy
- Essie Grow Stronger
- OPI Natural Nail Stengthener
- Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula
- Jessica Bend Don’t Break
- Zeva Nail Guard
Do your nails get brittle? What are your favorite ways to keep them healthy? Let me know in the comments below!
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