Brittle nails are often caused by our environment – exposure to chemicals, both the cold and the heat and repetitive movement like typing and texting can all weaken our nails. Our attempts to makeover our nails can also cause trauma – the chemicals in nail varnish, electric nail files and excessive buffing can all weaken them.
While our diet doesn’t heavily impact our nails, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and a lack of hydration can all have an effect. It’s important to follow a nutrient-rich diet to support overall health.
Read on for top tips for strengthening your nails:
Excessive moisture loss can lead to dry, peeling nails. Moisturising your hands can make your nails less prone to breakage. Choose a cream that contains a humectant, a common moisturising agent that can help draw water into the nail plate.
Consider your cuticles
Massage oil into the cuticle area. This is the foundation of your nail and can help stimulate nail growth. You can use multi-tasking olive oil, or a special cuticle oil containing jojoba, almond or safflower oils. However, avoid trimming your cuticles – they are your nails’ first line of defence.
Create a DIY nail treatment at home. Soak your nails, using a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. The lemon helps to brighten and strengthen nails thanks to the vitamin C, while olive oil is a great moisturiser.
Protect your hands and nails when your washing up or using cleaning products. This will help prevent your nails from peeling or becoming brittle.
Trim your nails
It might sound counterintuitive, but keeping your nails short can help protect them, and could encourage further growth. Tapping on a keyboard or phone is often a cause of nail breakage. Keep your nails trimmed and filed to avoid the repetitive trauma.
Polish with care
Traditional manicures are less harsh than gels or acrylics, but if you want a long-lasting option, opt for soak off gel manicures rather than filing and chose a salon that uses LED lights instead of UV to harden the gels. Take regular breaks from getting manicures to allow for optimum nail health.
For a DIY mani, choose a nail varnish that contains fewer chemicals and a nail varnish remover free from acetone, which can dehydrate your nails.