Tend to your nails long enough and it becomes apparent that making sure your natural nails are strong and healthy is an important part of having long, beautiful nails. Strong nails chip less, can be grown out easier, and in general is just easier to manage than nails that have grown weak and brittle nails.
Blogs across the internet are full of nail care tips and tricks you can do at home to strengthen your nails. Let’s look at some of our favorites and why they’re so successful.
Olive Oil Soaks
In addition to being a staple kitchen item, olive oil can be applied towards achieving a variety of beauty goals, not least of which is to act as an efficient moisturizer for your nails. For this all you need is to soak your fingertips in the oil, making sure to cover your complete nail and cuticle, for 10-15 minutes a few times a week. The nutrients in the oil will moisturize cracked skin and help your nails grow long and strong.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often considered a ubiquitous problem-solver when it comes to home-remedies (the internet is saturated with articles explaining how it can be used for a cleaning product, a detox cleanse, or a skin toner), and its benefits are no less apparent in the nail department.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful home remedy that both fights off infectious microbes and heals brittle, broken nails. And you only have to use a little of this powerful oil for it to go a long way! Simply drop a few drops into a bowl of water and let your nails soak to enjoy the moisturizing, healing power of this essential oil. Plus, your hands will smell amazing!
Green tea is full of antioxidants, aka the body’s healing powerhouse! Not only is drinking green tea great for your overall health, but it’s also great for growing out your nails and making them stronger. Simply brew a cup of your favorite green tea, let it cool, and dip your fingers in for about 10-15 minutes twice a week. If you don’t want to brew a cup of tea, you can also mix a few drops of green tea essential oil with water, coconut oil, or aloe vera and massage the solution into your nails a few times a week. This mixture will moisturize and heal in no time and your nails will be stronger than ever!
If you want strong nails, you must take care of them as they’re growing. Whether you are doing your manicure at home or going to a salon, caring for your cuticles, nail beds, and nail tips are key. A few helpful tips when taking care of your beautiful digits include cuticle care, avoiding harsh chemicals, and being gentle on your nails.
Take Care of Your Cuticles
Your cuticles are a natural barrier that protects your nails from damage and infection. As Such, it’s important to take care of them to ensure that your nails grow strong and healthy. To do this, make sure your cuticles are always pushed back in a clean manner. Some nail pros recommend not actually clipping your cuticles, but instead just pushing them back and letting them grow. You might find something that works different on your unique nails, but either way make sure they are in tip-top shape. You should also regularly moisturize your cuticles using a cream, cuticle oil, or topical solution to keep them healthy.
Don’t Overuse Acetone
Acetone is great for removing polish, but this powerful chemical can also strip your nails of the essential oils they need to grow. With this in mind, try not to use acetone any more than necessary. You could try a more natural option of nail polish remover or leave your nails au naturale while they grow out. If you enjoying getting manicures, try to space them out enough to give your nails a chance to recover from the use of acetone use. We suggest using gel nail polish, which can last up to two weeks.
Watch Out for Harsh Files
One of the most common nail mistakes people make is using files that are too harsh on their nails. If you want to strengthen your nails, opt for a gentler file to lightly buff and shape the tip of your nails, rather than a harsh emory board. These harsh files can damage your nail beds and result in increased chipping or breakage when your nails grow out. When filing your nails, use a long motion that matches the direction of your nail growth instead of a back-and-forth sawing motion. Many nail technicians cite this sawing motion as a cause for nail damage.
Supplements that Strengthen Nails
There are countless supplements available that help with strengthening weak nails. Depending on your needs, you may want to start taking these supplements either as a standalone product or as part of a multi-vitamin (but always talk to your doctor first before making major changes to your health or diet). Beauty and nail professionals recommend three main categories for supplements that help your nails grow stronger : vitamins that help repair damage, vitamins that supplement your diet, and everyday vitamins.
Vitamins that Repair Damage
We put our nails through conditions that could be damaging every day: from manicures to nail biting, or even opening that tough can of soda. Luckily, there are a number of vitamins and supplements that will help repair broken nails and, therefore, help you grow stronger nails. The most popular vitamins include C, E, and zinc because they are high in antioxidants, which are responsible for a lot of the body’s growth and repair. FIxing damage from the inside out by taking vitamins and supplements helps with overall body health and as a result, helps you enjoy longer, stronger nails.
Supplementing a Poor Diet
We’ve all done it – go for that extra round at happy hour, indulge in donuts in the break room, or have pizza delivered when we don’t want to cook. But diets high in sugar, alcohol, salt, or carbs can have a detrimental effect on your nails. One way diet plays a role in your nail growth is by providing magnesium and iron, two crucial vitamins that help grow your nails. Thankfully, there are many supplements available to make sure you are getting the nutrition you need. While pills are not enough to compensate for a poor diet, taking vitamins that contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium will help your nails grow stronger.
If you are trying to strengthen your nails, you should look at vitamins that help with overall bodily health, like vitamin A and B vitamins. Your nails mirror your overall health, therefore taking care of your body will, in turn, improve the condition of your nails, as well. Vitamins B6, B9, B12 and Folic Acid (B complex) help create iron, which makes cells work to their fullest potential (including the cells that are growing your nails!). Biotin is also a great choice for strong nails and is sold in supplement form and also as a nail coating you can paint on your nails. These vitamins will aid in everyday cell growth and aren’t just for your nails. But longer, stronger nails are a nice benefit!
Dietary Habits for Stronger Nails
One of the most important factors in how you feel and look is what you put into your body. If you want to strengthen your nails, you will want to enjoy a diet high in good fats, protein, and other nail-friendly vitamins and minerals.
You likely know the difference between bad fats (you’re guilty, cheesy pizza!) and good fats (give us all the coconuts!). But did you know that good fats can help you grow the nails of your dreams? Coconuts, salmon, avocado, and lean meats are all great for building up your hair, skin and nails because the good fats provide essential fatty acids, keep your skin soft and healthy, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel.
Our hair and nails are made out of protein, so getting enough healthy protein into your diet is key to growing strong nails. Many nutritionists recommend eating lean meats, such as pork, turkey, and chicken, fresh seafood, and lots of dark, leafy greens. Veggies like kale and spinach are packed full of protein and provide your body with the nutrients to grow beautiful, strong nails.
Be Wary when Cutting Calories
Although counting and cutting calories is a popular strategy when aiming for weight-loss, some make the mistake of overlooking the nutritional value of the foods they consume in their quest of lowering calorie points, often at the detriment of their overall health and, eventually, nail growth. Just keep in mind that micro nutrients matter, too!
Strong nails are a result of an overall healthy lifestyle and there are many ways you can take care of your nails to help them grow stronger. To strengthen your nails, you can try easy at-home techniques, adding vitamins into your diet, and eating healthier in general.
1. Moisture is key to strengthening your nails. Lifestyle bloggers and nail technicians alike recommend soaks in things like olive oil, tea tree oil, green tea, or apple cider vinegar. The moisture and antioxidants found in these natural powerhouses will not only help you grow stronger nails, but will have your hands looking beautiful and soft, as well.
2. In addition to at-home remedies, make sure you are taking care of your nails regularly to help them grow long and strong. This includes avoiding harsh chemicals, taking care of your cuticles, and not using harsh files. You may also want to limit the amount of things you do to your nails, including opening packages, cans, or harsh outdoor activities.
3. Vitamins and supplements are a great way to grow your nails strong because they help with overall body health and can help supplement a diet lacking in nutrition. Some key vitamins and minerals include biotin, vitamin Bs, vitamin A, and many others. These vitamins and supplements can be bought at your local drugstore or vitamin shop.
4. Lastly, your diet plays a huge role in how strong your nails are. Think about creating a diet that is high in good fats and protein because these kinds of food have a direct correlation to healthy nail growth.
Once you start to grow strong nails, you will find it easier to grow long, beautiful nails, as well.