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What Can I Do About Brittle Nails?

Regular manicures can help brittle nails.
Biotin supports healthy nails and can be found in lentils.
Applying polish with nail hardeners helps to improve brittle nails.
Biotin, a vitamin which promotes healthy nails, can be found in cauliflower.
Using gloves when washing dishes can help prevent brittle nails.
Wearing rubber gloves while cleaning can help keep nails strong.
Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Brittle fingernails are a condition that people of all ages and genders can experience. Fortunately, there are several methods to deal with nail problems and restore them to a healthy and strong state.

One of the first things to consider if you have brittle nails is your daily routine. People who have their hands in water several times a day are particularly susceptible to problems with their fingernails, and even washing dishes by hand several times a day can lead to this condition. The solution is to cover the hands with rubber gloves. They can be purchased at any supermarket or drugstore, and will effectively protect the nails from absorbing large amounts of water during the course of the daily routine. For individuals who perform tasks that require the hands to be in water for extended periods, consider wearing a thin pair of cotton gloves underneath the rubber gloves. The cotton will absorb perspiration from the hands and prevent the moisture from collecting around the nails.

Poor nutrition can also cause brittle nails, so a healthier diet can provide a solution. Biotin is a nutrient that promotes the health of nails, and can be found in several vegetables, most notably cauliflower and lentils. Foods rich in vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, and niacin are also helpful. In the way of herbal remedies, horsetail is often considered to be an excellent source of necessary vitamins and minerals to combat nail problems.

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Having a manicure can also help, and keeping the nails trimmed and makes it less likely that the nails will crack or tear. Trimming your nails shortly after a bath or shower will result in a more even cut, which in turn will cut down on the chance that the nails will snag on fabrics or some other material and cause the brittle nail to split.

Making it a point to massage your fingertips at least a couple of times a day can help improve the flow of blood around the nails. Increased circulation will allow the nails to absorb nutrients easier and promote the production of nails that are healthy. If the nails are very dry, using a moisturizer as part of the massage will also help to add the right kind of moisture to the nail during the process.

You may also want to avoid a few personal habits if you experience brittle nails. Tapping the nails on hard surfaces promotes growth, but that new growth is often weaker and takes some time to toughen up, making breaks and tears much more common. In similar manner, biting your nails can make them more brittle as well. The trauma to the nails, coupled with the rough edges that are left behind, creates the perfect environment for the nails to become brittle.

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Discuss this Article

healthy4life
Post 9

@cloudel – It is important to give your nails a break now and then from polish so that they can breathe. Also, you have to use a base coat if you want to prevent yellow nails.

As far as the brittle part goes, you should be using a cuticle oil all over your nails and fingertips. When you have removed your polish, massage the oil into your nails and cuticles and let it soak in for half an hour or so.

I noticed a big difference after I starting using cuticle oil. My nails appeared smoother and more hydrated. The oil locks in moisture, and I apply it once a week.

cloudel
Post 8

I started applying polish on a regular basis to my nails to make them stronger. Now, whenever I remove it, I have both yellow and brittle nails. What am I doing wrong?

orangey03
Post 7

I have no doubt that eating a proper diet can help combat weak and brittle nails. When I ate mostly potato chips and chocolate, my nails were in bad shape. After I started to eat more vegetables and fruits, I saw a big change in my nails.

The potassium in the bananas I ate on a regular basis helped. Also, the calcium in the carton of yogurt I ate every day contributed to the recovery of the strength of my nails.

Perdido
Post 6

@bestcity – I think that acetone nail polish remover can actually be a cause of brittle nails. That stuff is way too powerful, and I think that non-acetone remover is much safer.

I once used acetone remover because nothing else was available, and my nails instantly lost strength. In addition to the polish, the acetone also stripped the top layer of my nail itself.

Olive oil is great for a nail massage after you remove your polish, but even this oil cannot undo the damage done by acetone remover. I don't see why anyone would ever choose acetone over non-acetone remover.

anon136618
Post 4

I worked with plasticine for months in industry, and had to knead out air bubbles prior to use of plasticine in experimentation and I found that the linseed oil worked wonders.

anon29098
Post 3

Silicon is good for brittle nails, but it takes months before you will notice a difference.

leenaltnn
Post 2

Hair, skin and nail complex by Nutrilite works better than anything I have ever tried.

bestcity
Post 1

I definitely agree that having manicure done on a regular basis helps keep nails from breaking. It is good not keep the nails long, short nails will have less chance of breaking.

Acetone dries nails, so if you have to use it for removing nail polish add a little olive oil to it. Do not use nails for picking things up, pulling staples and such, better use the fleshy part of the finger.

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