Raise your hand if a chipped nail can damper your mood in under 10 seconds? Yep, us too. It seems brittle, chipped, peeling or splitting nails are a pesky issue women run into time and time again. If you’re one of the rare ones who’s been blessed with genetically superior, healthy nails, well we applaud you… with envy! As if dealing with split ends weren’t unpleasant enough (thank god for these tricks), we have to deal with brittle nails, too. Every effort to mask frail nails contributes to an ongoing cycle of damaged nails, which we’re sad to admit, was likely caused by our love of pretty manis in the first place. Read on for how to break this vicious cycle.
- Drink Lots of Water: We all know how good water is for your overall health, so the same goes for your nails, too. Drinking water helps hydrate dry, damaged nails, just like it does for your skin and hair. Not fond of drinking tons of water? Try Ale’s go-to drink, coconut water, which is an extremely good source of internal hydration.
- Your Diet: Once again, the adage, ‘You are what you eat’ applies to you nails as well in addition to skin and hair. Adding protein to your diet is essential to build calcium and encourage healthy nails. It can be found in various types of oily fish, red meat, chicken breast, nuts and sunflower seeds. Multivitamin and calcium supplements can also be taken daily, look for biotin (B-complex) and vitamins C and E.
- Filing: If you sit there and saw away at your tips with a rough file, you could create unnecessary friction to impact your nails’ health, therefore we suggest using a fine-grain nail file to smooth down any tears along the edges of your nails, preferably filing in one direction.
- Use a Cuticle Cream: Your nails grow and get their health from the base, so it makes sense to keep your cuticles clean and nourished. Massage a soothing cuticle cream packed with Vitamin E into and around your nails nightly before going to bed.
- At-home Soak: For weak, thin nails, soak them in olive oil 10-15 minutes a day for a month, then twice a week thereafter. You can also substitute with coconut oil, argan oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, and castor oil which help fortify damaged, weak or peeling nails. Pour a bit of oil into a bowl and soak each hand for 10 minutes and massage the oil into your nail beds and cuticles to get the blood circulating. To really lock in the moisture, we suggest soaking your nails at night and even wearing moisturizing gloves to bed.
- Wear Gloves During Chores: Exposure to chemicals and detergents can weaken your nails, so next time you’re doing the dishes, cleaning and gardening, always remember to wear gloves.
- Avoid Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer: This can be especially drying for your nails. Wash your hands with soap and water and follow up with a hand creme or cuticle oil.
- Don’t Overuse Your Nails: Even something as quick as opening a soda can or scratching off a price tag puts pressure on the weakest part of your nail, the tip, and can contribute to peeling and breakage.
- Base Coat: Whenever you polish, make sure you use a base coat first to protect your nails from harsh chemicals of nail polish. Look for something that contains reinforcing agents like vitamins A, C, D, and E.
- Avoid Using Acetone Nail Polish Removers: Sure acetone removes nail polish much quicker, but the chemicals are extremely dehydrating and damaging to your nail beds. Look for non-acetone removers that won’t dry out your cuticles (extra bonus if they’re infused with aloe for added hydration!)
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