Your hands and skin show your age, and so can your nails. If you compare your nails to the nails of babies, you can see a big difference – yours may already be dry and brittle while theirs are strong and healthy. As you age, the condition of your nails changes. But remember that you can improve the health of your nails at any point in your life.
Brittle nails are common, especially among women. But they aren’t necessarily associated with medical conditions. Instead, deterioration is often due to high levels of wear and tear, poor nutrition, and improper hygiene.
Here are 10 ways you can fix your brittle nails and keep them strong (not really until doomsday, but impressively tough for the long term).
Evaluate Your Diet
Your diet plays a crucial role in keeping your nails healthy and strong. Calcium, iron, zinc, biotin, vitamin C and essential amino acids are all essential for making sure that your nails don’t become weak and brittle.
To ensure that you get these important nutrients, you have to include chicken, peanuts, eggs, seafood and fresh fruits in your diet. Also, cut down on processed foods, sugar and salt.
Stop Biting Your Fingernails
If you bite your nails, this causes trauma to the nail beds. In turn, this can affect the cuticles and cause your nails to become brittle, weak and more likely to snap. Furthermore, the rough edges left when you bite them become ideal environments for your nails to get dry and begin weakening.
Practice Good Habits
There are plenty of good habits you can easily implement into your daily routine to restore the healthy condition of your brittle and weak nails. These include soaking your nails in olive oil to strengthen them as well as wearing gloves whenever you expose your nails to harsh elements like the cold weather and cleaning chemicals.
Drinking enough water is vital for your body’s maintenance, and your nails are not an exemption. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily to make sure that your nails are growing strong and smooth.
Your cuticles and nail beds can get more prone to cracking if they lack moisture. Aside from water, eating water-rich food like cucumbers and watermelon is also an excellent way of moisturizing your nails.
Supplement Your Diet
As mentioned earlier, there are important vitamins and minerals that you should include in your diet. But if you are not getting enough amounts through the food you eat, supplementation for extra strength hair, skin and nails is highly advised.
Here are some of the supplements you can take. Take note that before consuming any supplements, consult with your physician first, especially if you are taking prescribed medications, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This way, you’re sure that the supplement does not interfere with your current health condition.
● Vitamin C
Due to the fact that the human body can’t produce vitamin C, you can only acquire it through food or supplementation. If you do not have enough vitamin C in your body, the growth of your fingernails and hair will slow down.
Also, this vitamin is important for the production of collagen, which is a vital component of your skin, hair, and nails.
Zinc contributes to immunity, helps in wound healing, hair and nail growth. A deficiency in zinc can lead to dry and brittle nails. Be careful, though, in taking zinc supplements because too much of it will upset your stomach, causing diarrhea.
Iron plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells. Iron deficiency may cause plenty of health problems, including brittle and concave-shaped nails. Combat deficiency by taking in iron supplements.
● B-Group Vitamins
Biotin is vital for maintaining strong and healthy nails. Your chance of developing a deficiency in this vitamin increases as you age. And this can lead to dry, brittle nails. Moreover, biotin helps the other B-group vitamins work together to keep your nails strong and shiny.
Check for Any Underlying Causes
Hormonal imbalance can cause brittle nails. Thus, women who reach menopause are more prone to problematic nails. A decline in hormones like estrogen can affect the hydration of your nails and the production of keratin. Hormone replacement therapy may be advised if this is the cause of your brittle nails because it is the fastest way to balance your hormones.
But there are other underlying conditions that may be causing brittle and weak nails. These include liver disorders, poor circulation, and nutrition-related conditions like anemia. If you have concerns about the symptoms you may be feeling, must seek the advice of your physician.
Minimize Water Exposure
Doing dishes and cleaning regularly is unavoidable, but this can be too tiring for your hands and nails. Prevent and heal brittle and weak nails by investing in a pair of protective gloves. Wearing gloves when doing household chores, especially if the activity involves hot water and soap, can go a long way in keeping your nails from becoming brittle and weak.
Don’t Use Harsh Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish removers have plenty of chemicals that can dry out your nails. These include formaldehyde, acetone, phthalates, and toluene. Aside from making your nails weak and brittle, nail polish removers can also irritate your eyes, lungs and skin. Instead, you must use conventional nail polish removers, or those with lemon, grapefruit and orange oils.
Use Hand Cream
When you are struggling with brittle nails, you must moisturize your hands and nails after you wash and dry your hands. So make sure to keep a hand moisturizer near your sink.
Apply Vitamin E
The thick liquid that comes out of the vitamin E capsules is an effective treatment for brittle nails. You just have to puncture the capsule and put a bit of the oil over each nail. This is an easy yet rejuvenating and potent treatment for dry, brittle nails.
Aside from knowing the best routines to care for your skin, you should also learn how to keep your nails healthy and strong. If your brittle nails are the result of bad habits, now is the time for you to stop doing such things, and adopt good habits instead. By giving your nails some TLC, they can age gracefully and healthy.