Are you worried that your nails aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be? Are they dry and peeling? Do they easily become cracked, chipped or split? These are all signs that your nails are weak and brittle. Luckily it’s not that hard to promote stronger nails.
Several factors can cause brittle nails. Most commonly brittle nails are the result of not enough moisture or too much moisture. Dry and brittle nails are usually caused by repeatedly emerging your hands in water. This will dry out the nails, making them brittle and weak. Soft and brittle nails, on the other hand, are caused by too much exposure to agents with excessive moisture. These can be things like household cleaners, nail polish remover and detergents. Brittle nails can also be caused by age, iron deficiency, hypothyroidism and circulation problems.
Thankfully, dry and brittle nails or soft and brittle nails are not the end of the world.
Because our nails are regenerative, weak nails can be strengthened. Here are ten simple lifestyle changes and habits you can do to promote stronger nails:
1. Avoid Overexposure to Water
Excessive exposure to water can result in weak and brittle nails. It isn’t possible to completely avoid submerging your hands but it’s important to be mindful of it. Consider wearing gloves when washing dishes and do your best to keep your hands out of the water when taking a bath.
2. Drink Lots of Water
While water may not be good for your nails externally, it’s essential in an internal sense. Consuming adequate amounts of water will help your nails to retain moisture and remain strong.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
Just as it’s important to drink enough water it’s also important to eat a healthy diet. Make sure your diet contains a sufficient amount of nutrients and minerals. You may also want to consider including a multivitamin to keep your immune system strong.
4. Supplement your Diet with Biotin
Biotin is a B vitamin. It helps to enhance nails and hair, as well as helping your nervous system to work properly. You can increase your biotin intake by eating sardines, cooked eggs, and legumes. Or you can take a B vitamin or supplement. However, if you’re going to add a biotin supplement to your diet, consult with a healthcare provider first to ensure it’s right for you.
5. Take a Break from Nail Polish
Constantly applying nail polish will weaken the nail and cause it to become brittle. The best practice is to wear nail polish for only one week at a time. Remove polish after a week and let your nails be polish-free, then re-apply and repeat.
6. Don’t Use Gel or Acrylic Nails
While gel and acrylic nails are a great alternative for people who have trouble growing their nails, constant and frequent use will cause your nails to peel and weaken. Furthermore, the ultraviolet light that is used to apply gel polish can age the skin around your nails. This can contribute to the weakening of a healthy nail.
7. Keep Your Nails Short
A short nail is a healthy nail. Long nails are also more likely to become chipped, cracked or split, causing them to be weak and brittle. Keeping your nails short means that they are less likely to break or be caught on things.
8. Moisturize your nails
Moisturizing hand lotion will help to keep your nails hydrated and healthy. Apply lotion on your hands after removing nail polish or after washing your hands.
9. Be Cautious with Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer dries out nails and can lead to brittle nails. When using hand sanitizer, avoid getting it on your nails and be careful not to overdo it.
10. Avoid Using Your Nails to do Things
When your nails break or chip this weakens the nail. Using your nails to pry open a can of soda, scratch-off lottery tickets, reach for things in small spaces or otherwise employ them, can cause breakage and chipping. Instead, use the pads of your fingers whenever possible.
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