If you’re trying to grow out your nails, you may think it takes forever! And you would be partially right. Fingernails grow very slowly, usually about one-tenth of an inch every month. That means that if you completely lost your fingernail, it would take about 6 months for it to grow back completely!
Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up your nail growth because it is based on genetics and how our bodies work. But there are many ways you can make your natural nails, cuticle, and nail beds stronger, which means they can grow out longer without breaking or chipping. Let’s look at some ways to grow longer, healthier nails.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your nails are a reflection of your overall health, so eating healthy is key for growing strong, healthy nails. Your nails are made out of keratin, a type of protein (so is your hair and top layer of skin!). By incorporating a diet high in protein, you can jumpstart this keratin growth and enjoys long, shiny hair and strong nails.
- Make sure to eat enough fruits and veggies, which contain protein and other vital nutrients. In particular, dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed full of protein and good stuff that your body needs to succeed.
- Chicken, turkey, pork, and other lean meats are all high in protein and low in fat. Incorporate these meats into your diet when available to grow healthy nails.
- Seafood, like salmon, is great for both protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood provides your body with the good fat it needs to function, as well as a high level of protein.
- If you are vegetarian, try tofu, soy, or lentils for your protein intake.
- Foods like coconuts, avocados, walnuts, peanut butter, and dark chocolate (yay!) all have what nutritionists call “healthy fats.” These fats help your body get stronger, repair itself, and can help protect against nasty health conditions like heart disease.
- When that snack craving hits, choose healthy choices like nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain high levels of protein, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients that are to thank for strong nails.
A balanced, healthy diet will help you look and feel better and in turn, your nails will be nice and strong.
Take Good Care of Your Nails
Like anything, your nails will benefit from regular maintenance and as little damage as possible. When considering your nail care, make sure to do the following:
- Avoid harsh chemicals, as these dry out our nails and cuticles by stripping them of their essential oils. If you are cleaning the house, gardening, or doing anything else with powerful chemicals, wear gloves to protect your hands.
- Unfortunately, even some nail solutions like acetone can damage your nails. Limit your exposure to this harsh liquid, or choose a natural alternative.
- Try not to put stress on the tips of your nails as they are growing out. This includes things like opening cans, packages, typing too hard, or other everyday activities. Be gentle on those growing nails!
- When filing your nails, opt for a gentle buff rather than a harsh emory board. Also, use a vertical motion that goes in the direction of your nail growth instead of a back-and-forth sawing motion. Your nail file should be your best friend, use it wisely.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Keeping your nail bed, cuticles and nails moisturized is key to their growth. You can try an at-home soak or just regular lotion sessions. Just make sure those thirsty nails are getting the liquid they need!
These tips are easy to do at home and will keep your nails happy and healthy. Lastly, consider supplements as a great way to boost your nail growth.
Supplements and Vitamins
There are many supplements and vitamins that will help you grow strong nails. Dermatologists and beauty gurus explain that the following choices may help women growing out their nails:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B6, B9, B12 and Folic Acid (B complex)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Although these vitamins won’t make your nails grow faster, they will increase your overall body performance and result in a healthier life and stronger nails. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new diet or vitamin regimen.
Have you tried any beauty secrets that have resulted in healthy, strong nails? We would love to hear!